25 small ways to boost your happiness day-to-day 

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Health Assured team

25 August 2022

Happiness means different things to different people. Generally, we associate this positive state with peace, wellbeing and a sense of satisfaction. But happiness is a funny old thing. Sometimes we have it. Other times it seems to elude us. Must we seek happiness outside of us? Or is it something we can discover within? Thousands of books, years of research and highly-regarded philosophies try to guide people in their quest for happiness. Maybe there is no one answer. Or maybe, the answer is different for everyone

One thing we know for sure? We can all find small ways to sneak some more joy into our life. Happiness doesn’t have to wait for a future time when goals are completed, or problems are resolved. With a little bit of conscious effort, we can choose and make time for happiness—right here, right now

So in honour of International Day of Happiness on the 20th March, we’ve compiled a list of little happiness boosters you can incorporate into your day-to-day. We wanted this list to be as authentic as possible. So, on a quest for tried and tested tips, we put the question to colleagues here at Health Assured to see what they had to say. Below you’ll find 25 of the top answers.

We hope these bring you just as much joy as they do to us. 


1. Take time to talk to a friend 

Call a friend to check in on how they are doing, ask them about their day or remind them of a funny memory you had together. Five minutes is all it takes to boost your sense of connection and strengthen the bond with someone you love.


2. Watch the sunrise or sunset 

While sunny skies see moods thrive, there’s something special about the vibrantly painted skies of a sunrise or sunset. 


3. Smile more

What’s synonymous with happiness? A smile, of course. Smiling helps show attentiveness and communicate warmth. And as a result, you might find that this opens up new conversations, connections and pathways that might have otherwise remained closed.


4. Open doors for people 

It’s nice to be nice. Small gestures of kindness go a long way. 


5. Give someone a genuine compliment

Compliments are free to give, and their impact spans far and wide. You can make someone’s day with a few words, and this ripple effect has the potential to keep growing. 


6. Cuddle a pet 

Pets bring innocence, companionship and love to our lives. So make the most of it by showing your pet some love. Not got a pet? Cuddling a loved one is just as good. 


7. Take the deepest breath you’ve taken all day 

Breathe deeply into your belly. Feel your chest expanding—and let it all go. 


8. Celebrate the little wins 

Tiny achievements add up to big results. All too often we don’t stop to appreciate the little milestones along the way. It could be finishing a book, taking the stairs or meeting a target at work. Celebrate these small moments and encourage others to do the same. 


9. Decorate your space

Put up pictures of things you love and quotes or people that inspire you. Even if you’re renting, you can paint anything over. 


10. Go for a walk in nature 

Green spaces, fresh air and movement are good for the soul. Immersing yourself in nature helps to reduce anxiety, encourage creativity and increase your activity levels. 


11. Do nothing 

Find some quiet by simply sitting in silence. Listen to the sounds and watch the world go by or close your eyes if you prefer. Taking this time for you helps you wind down, connect to yourself and make the most of your day. 


12. Learn something new 

It was Mahatma Gandhi who said “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Learning new things opens our minds, helps us grow and sparks curiosity—keep that going. 


13. Drink a glass of water when you wake up 

When our bodies are hydrated, they function optimally, we feel energised, and our brain works better. Drinking one glass of water as soon as you wake up helps you set the wheels in motion for a jolly day.


14. Make your bed in the morning 

Set yourself up for a winner by putting your sheets in order. Productive days start with good habits.


15. Write down 5 things you are grateful for

Try to be as specific as possible and write the list down if you can. The notion of being grateful helps us to shift perspectives from what we lack to appreciating what we already have. 


16. Cook a meal from scratch that you love

Cook a tasty recipe that makes you smile. Enjoy the process. The sense of achievement will be worth it. 


17. Listen, sing, or dance to your favourite song 

Music is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Seize the day with a singalong or a boogie to your all-time favourite tune. 


18. Stretch 

A few simple stretches can help ease tense muscles. Don’t underestimate the power of a good stretch. 


19. Read a positive quote/daily affirmation each day

To an extent, we are all products of our environment and the information we consume. Choose to consume inspirational words and messages each day. 


20. Relax the tension in your face, neck, back & shoulders 

We often don’t realise we’re tensing up our bodies. Ease any tension down the front and back of your neck, let your shoulder blades slide down your back, release your jaw. 


21. Read a book

Books take us into mystical worlds. They guide us to see others’ perspectives, teach us new things and help us clear our minds for a while. Start the pages turning and see where it takes you. 


22. Clean or tidy something

It could be your room, desk, shower or cupboards. Many find the cleaning process therapeutic in itself. Tidy spaces can also have a calming effect on the mind by easing stress and cluttered thoughts. 


23. Have a bath

It relaxes the muscles, soothes the mind and warms the heart. Self-care is important—don’t neglect it


24. Watch an animal-related video

From cats playing the piano to documentaries on life below the sea—find time to get lost in the animal world for a while. Not an animal lover? Find a video that makes you happy it could be live music, comedy, or an old favourite from your phone. 


25. Nurture a long-distance friendship/relationship

Sometimes we can’t always see the people we love as much as we’d like to. Don’t let distance come between connections and relationships with those you care for. It can be hard to keep in contact sometimes. But a surprise call can bridge the gap and fuel the fire. 


It’s not always that simple…

If you’ve been feeling really down at the moment, we’re not advising these things will provide the cure. Sometimes we need a little more support when times get tough. And we’re here at Health Assured to provide that support.

Explore our blog for a range of advice on coping with mental health topics. If you have access to Health Assured’s helpline via your EAP or SAP package, then get in touch with us today. Our counsellors are here 24/7, 365 to support you. 

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