Venturing into the great outdoors for awhile is a surefire way to become a happier person. It's pretty hard to take in a breathtaking landscape and not instantly feel a whole lot better about life, you know?
Today features two great holidays - Happiness Happens Day and International Cat Day. Kinda neat that one holiday stresses the importance of paying attention to your happiness and the other causes it to happen. It makes me smile just thinking about my ornery fuzzball of a cat and all the silly things he does. Like how he used to sleep across my wife's neck when he was a kitten. See? Instant happiness.
Today's holidays got me thinking of other things that induce happiness, and the urge to write about it struck. Here's a few activities that I love to get you started. I'm sure you can come up with a bunch more!
Experience Mother Nature.
This could be as simple as taking a stroll around your neighborhood for a breath of fresh air or as involved as an adventure down into the Grand Canyon on a donkey. There's just something about getting outside for a bit that makes you feel better, more peaceful, and genuinely happier. Go play in the rain on a warm summer day. Let the morning sun shine on your face. Share a walk in the woods with somebody you care about.
I like to go bicycling, hiking and canoeing, though I don't do these anywhere near as often as I'd like to. Still, every single time I head out, my happiness goes straight up. Heck, even just anticipating an adventure gives my mood a big lift. I especially love that getting outdoors is usually free. What's not to love about free fun?
Go prepared, though. Pack supplies, and dress appropriately. It's kinda hard to maintain your happy when you're really thirsty, you're fending off mosquitoes or you have a nasty sunburn. Or maybe you're hardcore and those things will remind you of the fun you had - whatever makes you happy!
Dote on your kids and your pets.
I defy anybody to impart some love on their little ones and not instantly feel happy. Go on... give 'em a squeeze. Watch them - and you - light up. Take your kids out for a treat. Play fetch with Farfel. Break out the laser pointer and watch Mittens go nuts trying to pounce on it. And guess what? Just like getting some outside time... doting is totally free. So dote away... happiness for everybody!
Watch a classic comedy.
A good laugh is sure to improve your mood, and what better way to induce fits of laughter than to watch a comedy? It can be one you've seen a hundred times or one you're taking in for the first time. It can be an unintentionally hilarious movie - like most of M. Night Shyamalan's work (sorry, couldn't resist poking a little fun there). Or watch people struggle through the obstacle courses on Wipeout... laugh so hard you start crying.
Here are some that never fail to make me grin from ear to ear, in no particular order: (Movies) Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Kung Fu Hustle, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Animal House, A Fish Called Wanda - (TV shows) Cheers, Seinfeld, The Big Bang Theory, Saturday Night Live, M*A*S*H... you get the idea.
Have fun with this! Start a movie night with friends and family and share the happiness all around. Use that handy smartphone to take in an episode during your lunch break at work. Get a cool retro T-shirt featuring Bull from Night Court, just to remind you and others how darn funny that show is.
Think about the things you don't have...
... that you don't want. Like, say... one leg shorter than the other. Or a crippling drug habit. Or an abusive significant other. Or Stage 4 cancer. In other words, be very thankful for what you do have, and cherish those things always! You live a blessed life. Oh, and don't compare your life to others or try to be perfect. Pro tip: nobody's perfect. Ever seen your favorite celebrity without their makeup on? Yeah... they're just like you and me. Just be the best you that you can be.
If you're not thrilled with what you have, make a little effort each day to improve something... anything. Make your bed. Splurge a little on a car wash. Use a coupon. Donate stuff to those in need. The possibilities are endless, and each one makes you feel a little bit better. Before you know it, you'll be a lot happier - I guarantee it!
As always, I welcome your positive feedback, thoughts, and suggestions for future articles - feel free to contact me any time!
Spread a little happiness,
Feel free to speak your mind via the commenting system - all I ask is that you do your best to keep your comments on the positive and constructive side, and that you respect the views of others. Have fun!
Note: Please disable your ad-blocker if you're not able to comment or if you don't see the commenting system at all.