How to feel happier right now

I get a daily happiness e-mail from The Happiness Project and every Wednesday is Tip Day.  This article ran about a month ago but I keep coming back to it, and so I’m posting it here so I’ll remember it and also because maybe some of you may like it as well. I’ve printed out the list below and am determined to schedule some of these things into my life on a regular basis.  When I am active, reaching out to friends, or involved in something larger than myself, I DO feel better.  I suppose the real trick is to remember this list when I’m feeling not-so-peppy.

In Want to Feel Happier By the End of the Day? Your Menu of Options, Gretchen says: When you’re feeling blue, it can be hard to muster up the physical and mental energy to do the things that make you happier.  However, the more you push yourself, the better you’ll feel; but if you can’t tackle a big task, just do something small. Even a little step in the right direction will give you a lift.

According to my ground-breaking happiness formula, to be happy, you need to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth. What’s dragging you down? Is it a lack of fun, of connection? Do you feel a lot of guilt, boredom, or anger? Do you feel that something’s “not right” about your life? Do you feel stagnant or stuck? Focus your efforts on the choices that will do the most to address what’s not working in your life.

Your menu of choices — commit to doing as many items as you can:

Friends
__ call or email one of your closest friends
__ call or email three friends to whom you haven’t spoken in a while
__ track down an old friend who has drifted out of your life

Fun
__ add a fun thing to your calendar
__ better, add a fun thing to your calendar that involves other people
__ best, add a fun thing to your calendar that involves other people doing something outside

Challenge
__ think of a subject that you wish you knew more about (be honest! something that really interests you!) and spend 15 minutes on the internet reading about it
__ take a step toward acquiring a new skill that you want – research Italian classes in your neighborhood, investigate Photoshop
__ if you absolutely can’t think of one single subject that interests you, visit two bookstores (one huge chain, one independent) and browse until some book catches your attention – and buy it

Do good, feel good
__ sign up to be an organ donor, and remember to tell your family
__ give $25 or more to a worthy cause
__ sign up to volunteer or participate in an organization

Energy
__ walk around the block
__ do ten jumping-jacks
__ go the gym or go for a run

Order
__ clear out the space around your computer
__ clear out a closet
__ walk through your house with a garbage bag, and clear clutter until the bag is full of trash; then walk around again and fill a new bag with things to be given away; repeat

Guilt
__ make a dentist’s or doctor’s appointment that you’ve been putting off
__ reach out to a family member whom you’ve been neglecting
__ make something right: apologize, confess, repair, replace, or return something you borrowed

Nagging tasks
__ clean out three old emails that you haven’t answered
__ stop off at the drugstore to buy supplies you need
__ stop off at the hardware store to buy supplies you need
__ fix something broken

Good citizen
__ Throw away someone else’s litter
__ Be helpful to an elderly person or a person with small kids
__ Be friendly to a store clerk who seems grouchy

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