Get Well

10 Small Ways to Improve Your Happiness

Life can get extremely stressful and overwhelming. Staying consistently happy is something we often overlook in the midst of all of our daily distractions. It can be hard to pull yourself out of the dazed feeling that your head could possibly explode at any minute. However, you have the power to make little changes throughout your week to escape this mental instability that we all experience as humans. Take a deep breath and try to remember that life is about being happy, and your mental state should be a priority.

1) Change of scenery. Stuck in your dorm studying all day? Move around! Making a change of scenery every so often helps keep your mind awake and can help prevent that feeling of being trapped in the on-campus prison we call Bird Library. Even if it’s walking across the street to grab yourself a cup of coffee, a little change of location and a quick chat with a friend can help boost your mood.

2) Put something up on your wall that inspires you. It seems stupidly simple, but looking up at my wall filled with pictures of my friends and places I aspire to go genuinely makes me feel happier by bringing my mind elsewhere.

3) Go to a puppy shelter. When we’re at college we forget how nice it is to come home to a pet that is more enthusiastic to see you than anyone else in your household. Playing with animals is definitely a stress reliever and will certainly increase your mood when you’re having a bad day. I mean, who doesn’t love puppies?

4) Go adventuring! Whether you are looking to stay on campus or go for a little excursion, make an effort to accomplish something that has always been on your bucket list. Never been to the top of the water towers? Make it happen. Ever wanted to visit friends at their college? Make a quick plan, and scavenge for a car to take the fun little spontaneous trip you’ve always dreamed of.

5) Spend time around people who are generally motivated and happy. Being constantly surrounded by or living with people who look at the negative side of everything can really affect the way you feel. Try to find people who make you feel excited and passionate about life. When you find those people, never let those friendships go.

6) Have a set time every week for quality “you” time. Love doing yoga? Taking bike rides? Going hiking? Take a look at your schedule at the beginning of the week and see when you will have an hour or two to yourself where you won’t feel stressed about having to be somewhere or getting something done. Make this your time of the week to really focus on yourself, your mental state of being, and reflect on yourself. Use this time to improve your quality of life.

7) Watch something you know makes you laugh. This is such a simple thing that can instantly be a game changer for being stuck in an “I hate my life” mood. Go on YouTube and type in your favorite video of someone hilariously falling off a table or Anderson Cooper giggling like a small child (cracks me up every time).

8) Listen to music that brings you back to a happier time or place. Let’s be honest, sometimes you just need to take a step back and chill out. Close your laptop, turn off your lights and just have a moment or two to listen to some great music and think about your happiest moment or favorite place to be. Whether that’s home, the beach, or somewhere halfway around the world, visualizing yourself back in that moment brings your mind and body to a better place.

9) Get Vitamin D into your diet. In the dead of a Syracuse winter, we tend to get discouraged out of doing things because of the harsh temperatures in the double negatives. With the lack of sun, it’s common for people to be deficient in Vitamin D. Try adding dairy into your diet or talk to your doctor about Vitamin D supplements.

10) Stretch and exercise. You can never go wrong with either of these. Stretching out your body or doing some basic yoga is great for when you don’t have a lot of time in between classes or studying. Five minutes of a few basic stretches or a quick ab workout can make your body feel refreshed and take the stresses away from your thoughts for a bit.

By Sarah Kinzler