Challenge: 7 days of happiness

In the daily grind, it can be easy to get lost in boredom and self-pity. And yet some people seem surprisingly resilient to the blows of life and exude joy even on the darkest day.

Some may be naturally endowed with such a sunny temperament, while for the rest, there are proven ways that should help anyone improve their mood. Often these methods take only a few minutes of your time, but bring a lasting feeling of overall life satisfaction and well-being.

Try following a weekly mood improvement plan to beat stress and look at life from a new angle!

1. Monday. Write thoughts in a journal to calm your body and mind.

Putting your feelings into words can help calm emotions and view them from different angles. Spending 15 minutes a day on your diary is enough to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, boost your immune system, and improve your performance!

2. Tuesday. Get inspired by doing good deeds.

It sounds trite, but it works: People who consciously tried to do five small acts of kindness a day once a week reported greater life satisfaction at the end of the six-week trial. And a growing body of research shows that more generous people feel happier and healthier.

3. Wednesday. Appreciate the loved ones in your life. Gratitude is the best stress reliever.

Imagine that you no longer have someone close to you in your life. It hurts, doesn’t it? However, research has found that people who do this kind of “mental subtraction” end up feeling a boost in mood—perhaps as a way of understanding that their loved ones shouldn’t be taken for granted. Regular gratitude for what we have increases our life satisfaction score.

4. Thursday. Find your favorite old photo and write down that memory. It will fill your life with meaning.

Psychologists point out the importance of having a “purpose” in your life – people who see meaning in their lives tend to be more mentally resilient to problems and stress. Research shows that simply looking at old photos is one way to remind yourself of the things that make your life meaningful and fulfilling—whether it’s your family or friends, a charity, or a major career achievement. Old memories link you back to your past and help you see recent events in a broader perspective, which can also help ease frustrations and anxieties.

5. Friday. Contemplate the beautiful. A sense of awe makes you more resilient to life’s disappointments.

If the routine has worn you down, it can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day worries. This is why scientists are increasingly interested in the positive effects of feelings of awe. Whether it’s a view of the starry sky or a visit to church, the feeling of admiration for something vast – it expands your outlook on life. Scientists have found that it makes people happier, more altruistic, and also reduces anxiety.

6. Saturday. Try giving up TV, booze, and chocolate for a while. This will allow you to better experience the pleasure of every day of life.

Things that once gave us pleasure may lose this quality over time. You can try to rediscover that original joy by temporarily giving up a source of pleasure, such as a favorite food or drink. Returning to them after a while, you will again feel full pleasure. In addition, such a practice could encourage you to look for other things and entertainment that could become a new source of pleasure.

If abstinence is too hard for you, you can at least try to practice mindfulness. For example, while sipping coffee, focus on the complex symphony of aromas bathing your taste buds. It will help you appreciate the little joys in life and relieve stress and anxiety.

7. Sunday. Remember: everyone makes mistakes. Don’t dwell on guilt.

The human mind tends to dwell on the suffering of our past. According to psychologists, the feeling of guilt is especially detrimental to us. By consciously taking a few minutes to try to develop good feelings for yourself, you will take a step towards finding happiness and willpower.

Veronika Kuzmina


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