The Top 10 Quickest Ways to Boost Your Happiness

By Jonathan Robinson

Articles with titles like this usually offer up simple platitudes for being happy, such as "accept everyone," or "live a balanced life." While those ideas are true, they are also basically worthless. Such platitudes are so general that they don't really give you anything that impacts your daily life. This article is different. I'm going to tell you what scientific research shows are the top 10 things you can quickly do to boost your level of happiness. By doing any of the 10 items that follow, you will almost surely feel dramatically better in under three minutes. In addition, by combining items from the list below, you can increase their effectiveness even more.

10. Look at pictures of people and animals you love on your smartphone or computer.As you look at each picture, remember an enjoyable time you had with the person or pet, and send a silent wish that they live a happy and productive life.

9. Exercise, even if only for 3 minutes.Take a quick brisk walk, do some jumping jacks, whatever gets your heart going and your lungs breathing more deeply. In even a minute you'll start to feel better. Hallelujah for such a simple thing.

8. Give someone money.Research shows that when you give to a needy person money, you immediately feel better about yourself. This strategy helps another person too, so it's a win-win.

7. Get cooler.By going from a hot or warm environment to a cooler one, your mood and sense of happiness tends to go up. Hooray for air conditioning!

6. Work towards an important goal.Whether it is cleaning your desk or selling more widgets, when you feel like you're making progress towards a specific and important goal, you invariably feel better. Just by reading all the way through this article, you'll have achieved something, so you'll feel good.

5. Tune into the power of gratitude. Just saying a sincere "Thank you" to people who serve you at a restaurant or bag your groceries can be a quick happiness booster. Another thing you can do to feel grateful is to write down three things you currently feel grateful for in your life. They could be big things such as your grandchildren, or small things such as the great burger you had for lunch. By writing them down, you'll immediately see that there is a lot of good in your life.

4. Do a 90-second "heart meditation"that consists of taking a deep breath and imagining exhaling out the center of your chest. Then, close your eyes and imagine someone you love, such as a pet, child, or friend. Remember special times with this being, and bask in the gratitude that they're in your life. If you want, imagine hugging or holding the loved one in a way that helps you to feel connected. This simple method can take you from stressed out to blissed out in about 90 seconds. Research shows that doing this for one minute can reduce your stress hormones for up to five hours.