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Everyone strives for happiness and a content life but the rush of daily responsibilities often prevents us from enjoying the current moment. Obviously, being happy means something different for every person but here is a list of 11 positive things to do everyday that will keep you on the happier side!
As much as we all want to be positive and enjoy life, most of us have a ton of negative beliefs and negative thinking patterns circling in our heads on repeat. And unless you don’t consciously replace them with good stuff, they’ll continue to control your life and keep you miserable.
Doing some of these little positive things on a daily basis will tune your mindset into positivity so you’ll vibrate on a higher frequency and attract more good vibes into your life!
Now, here is the list of positive things to do every day to be happier!
1. Smile to a stranger
It’s been proven by countless studies that smiling makes us happier.
Every time you smile, your brain triggers endorphin release that has an effect somewhat similar to the one from morphine. It reduces stress and your perception of pain, which is one of the reasons it’s called “a feel-good hormone”.
By smiling to another person, you not only make your own day better but potentially improve the mood of someone else, even if just a little bit. And don’t take it personally if people don’t smile back: it usually has nothing to do with you, so don’t let it affect you. Simply share the positivity and don’t expect anything in return.
A simple smile is not demanding. It’s not even a verbal social interaction, so it shouldn’t be too hard even if you are an introvert. All you need to do is to engage a bunch of facial muscles for a couple of seconds. That’s all!
Doesn’t sound hard, right?
In fact, the process of smiling involves about twice fewer muscles as the process of frowning does. Can you imagine? As putting a smile on your face is so much easier, let’s do it more often!
If you are staying at home today and not gonna meet any people (although what really stops you from going for a short walk?), find a reason to smile anyway! Watch a good comedy, read a few jokes, talk to someone you love, or read some good news.
Whatever does it for you, make sure to smile every day, as it has a ton of benefits!
2. Eat a healthy meal
There is no argument that we need food to survive. But what exactly you put in your mouth is actually as important as the fact that you eat regularly.
Lots of studies found correlations between eating healthy food and being healthy overall.
For example, this long-term research about sugary drinks evaluated a huge group of 263,925 people with different consumption patterns after 10 years. They found out that people who drank four or more sodas per day were 30% more likely to develop depression than those who didn’t drink soda at all.
Another study based in Spain proved the link between the Mediterranean diet and good quality of life, which includes both physical and mental health. There are also lots of evidence related to all kinds of different diseases being caused by junk food, you can research more if you like.
In 2021 it’s crystal clear for us that eating healthy is crucial for longevity and general health. So make sure you have at least one good healthy meal per day and make the effort to make more healthy choices during the day!
3. Look at your vision board
Personally, I am a big believer in the Law Of Attraction.
Throughout my blog, you can find lots of positive affirmations on all kinds of topics: from building a millionaire mindset to attracting love and friendship to growing your self-esteem, and so much more! I also have my own definition of “manifestation rules” that help you attract everything you desire as fast as possible.
Making a vision board is a non-negotiable part of my yearly planning. I have it on my inspiration board and also as a background on my laptop, so I see it every single day one way or another.
Creating a vision board helps you get a clear understanding of what you want in life and what the focus for your next year should be to get there.
Not only it works as an inspiration, but it helps you to not lose your focus as the year goes by.
The process of looking at a vision board every day gives you a quick check-in to align your daily work with your goals and to make sure you don’t go in the wrong direction. Or if you get off track, it helps you pull yourself back on the right path to achieving your dreams.
4. Learn something new
If you have a growth mindset, you know that you can always get better at something, regardless of your age and background.
Constantly learning something new throughout life makes you an interesting and all-around person. It also keeps your brain from stagnation as you improve your knowledge and practice new skills.
By learning something new every day I don’t mean picking up a completely new hobby every single day, of course. It can be anything you may have interest in: learning a new historical fact, practicing guitar for 20 minutes, or learning a couple of new words in another language.
Luckily, we live in the 21st century!
If previous generations had to go to the library and dive into heavy books for any new information, our modern world saves us a lot of time and effort. With platforms like Masterclass, CreativeLive, or Udemy you can find a course you are interested in and start learning in a few minutes from now. How cool is that!
There are also platforms like Coursera and edX where you can learn a whole lot on a chosen topic from the best university professors in the world. And even get a certificate for your resume, if you want. Or even get a real degree in your field without leaving your home!
But my personal favorite is Skillshare where you pay for a subscription instead of per course. For only two or three dollars per month (if paid annually) you get access to thousands of practical classes about everything!
They have big topics like graphic design, web development, photography and marketing, and also all kinds of creative skills. Whether you are interested in storytelling, meditation, or designing your perfect home interior, you’ll find all of it and more at Skillshare.
The more you keep developing your brain and educating yourself, the more doors will be opening for you to improve your life quality!
5. Hug someone you love
If you are kinesthetic like me (here is a quick free quiz to find out), you experience the world through feelings, and the sense of touch is a big part of that.
But no matter your perception type, hugs are scientifically proven to give us all kinds of benefits.
Specifically, a hug from someone you love releases a bunch of so-called “feel-good” hormones. Some of the most known ones are dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. (If you have no idea what these are, this book explains it really well in relatively simple terms.)
Basically, they reduce stress, relieve pain, and improve your mood, all of which are factors that contribute to overall happiness and life satisfaction.
Among other positive things to do every day, this one I enjoy the most!
According to the famous quote by an influential American therapist Virginia Satir, we need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 for maintenance, and 12 hugs a day for growth. Do you think it’s too many or too few? Tell me in the comments!
But even if you live alone and don’t have anyone to hug that much on a daily basis, not to worry!
Research shows that cuddling with inanimate objects like pillows and stuffed animals has a lot of the same benefits as hugging a real person. Of course, it can’t replace a human connection, but it can give you comfort and release stress quite effectively.
I hope you understand the importance of hugs now!
Whether you enjoy the warm embrace of your partner or a cozy cuddle of a body pillow, it’s up to you. Just remind yourself to reach for it regularly to experience more moments of happiness every day.
6. Throw away one thing that doesn’t bring you joy
Are you familiar with these books by Marie Kondo?
If not, I can’t recommend her enough!
Marie Kondo is a tidying expert now known around the world thanks to these two books. Her whole approach to organizing your home and simplifying your life is based on surrounding yourself exclusively with items that “spark joy”.
She even invented her own KonMari Method™ for tidying which helped numerous clients to get rid of unnecessary stuff bit by bit. And has a whole store of useful organizational essentials.
It’s a great approach but that’s not exactly what I suggest you do every day (although it surely gave inspiration for this step).
You can definitely do a big life-reset challenge and declutter your whole life in one go, but for most of us with busy day-to-day lives, it may sound intimidating.
If you throw away only one item a day, which simply means having one more moment of consciousness regarding your surroundings, you’ll make your home 365 items lighter in a year without pretty much any actual time put into the process.
I’d call it the easiest way of decluttering. Ever! Do you agree?
If it’s your day one, work with what you have. Wherever you may be at this exact moment (you can postpone it until you get back home if you aren’t), look around the room with a critical sight. Start with the easy-to-reach surfaces and gradually go into the back drawers. Stop as soon as you find one item that doesn’t have a positive impact on your life!
Found one? Throw it away right now!
You may be afraid that you’ll need it again one day, and that’s okay. For many people, it’s hard to say goodbye to things that have been “yours” for ages. If you worry like that, here is my technique:
- Find a box or a sack big enough to hold 300+ random objects.
- Put some kind of label with a date on it so you know when your year of decluttering ends. You can also set a reminder in your calendar for a year from now.
- Every day find one thing that doesn’t bring you joy and put in there.
- When the year ends, take the whole bag and get rid of it. You can of course sort it and donate/sell some of it instead of throwing away, but be careful to not get attached to these things again! If you haven’t used it in a year, you don’t need it.
- At some point you may realize that you need something from that bag, and that’s ok (although hardly ever happens). Go take it out of the box but don’t take anything else unless you need it right this moment! Even if you start to think you’ll need some of the other items too, don’t touch them. You can always come back for them when or if you actually need them. But in most cases, you won’t.
7. Read a book
There are many ways in which reading makes you happier!
From reducing stress and anxiety to opening your mind and learning a lot about the world and human interactions, books can create a whole new world for you!
Personally, I am a typical bookworm: I used to read 100+ books per year! It’s not as many anymore as I focus more on self-development books (as opposed to fiction) that take more time to process and apply the recommended techniques. I also read in another language a lot to improve my language skills, which obviously slows me down.
At one point, I was even a part of a private book club!
With the significant rise of technology in the few last decades, reading gets less and less popular in the world. As a child, I was always sitting somewhere cozy with a book, while nowadays kids are glued to devices that offer an easier form of entertainment. This makes me really sad.
Some people love fiction as it’s more entertaining, others prefer non-fiction as it’s more educational. Whether it’s a self-help book for beating procrastination or a page-turning novel, you can definitely find something inspiring for you to read every day.
Find out whatever genre sparks something in you and make time for reading at least a few pages a day. You can start by looking at Amazon best-sellers to see what’s trending now. It will also give you a potential conversation subject, which is another benefit for a less social person!
8. Spend 15 minutes working on your dream
Even if you are the busiest person on a planet, you can find 15 minutes in your day to dedicate to your biggest dream!
If you can’t, you probably don’t want it that much.
This may sound harsh, but this is the truth: if you can’t dedicate 15 minutes of a day to your dream, you don’t want it enough.
Otherwise, why wouldn’t you go for it?
You can choose a life of chores and stay in the same place, or you can choose to go for your best life and do your best every day, with little steps!
Literally, making an easier recipe for dinner or ordering takeout instead of cooking gives you these fifteen minutes. Oftentimes you’ll spend more time working on your dream when you get in a flow.
If you think that you can’t do much in 15 minutes, you are wrong! With a good productivity planner, specific tasks, and focused time, you can do everything you set yourself up for. It may take longer, but it will be done eventually. As opposed to not doing anything at all, is there even a question?
15 minutes a day equals more than 90 hours per year. And working 90+ hours on any project you love will 100% bring you to a much better place than where you are now!
If you don’t know what your dream life looks like or if you are looking for your passion, here are some good books on a subject that you may find helpful:
- The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life
- Man’s Search for Meaning
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Whatever project you choose to work on, make those 15 minutes matter!
9. Appreciate yourself
Do you ever say thank you to yourself?
We are always grateful when other people do something for us, but it’s so common to devalue our own achievements!
If you are thinking “I didn’t do much” or “I don’t have any achievements” or “My work is not important”, this may be a typical case of low self-esteem. If you recognize yourself in these diminishing patterns, try using positive affirmations for confidence or self-love to learn to appreciate yourself more.
Self-appreciation means acknowledging your own positive qualities and successful deeds without any “buts” and negative thoughts. It may be in a form of saying affirmations or keeping a gratitude journal. For you, it may just mean being more conscious about your negativity and instantly replacing bad thoughts about yourself in your mind with something good.
The easiest and I think the most fun way to practice self-appreciation is with a mindfulness journal. There is a ton of awesome ones on the market these days, and they guide you into self-reflection topics you probably wouldn’t come up with yourself.
If that’s something that may be interesting for you, here are some really cool workbooks I found on Amazon!
- Present, Not Perfect: A Journal for Slowing Down, Letting Go, and Loving Who You Are
- Let That Sh*t Go: A Journal for Leaving Your Bullsh*t Behind and Creating a Happy Life
- Self-Love Workbook for Women: Release Self-Doubt, Build Self-Compassion, and Embrace Who You Are
- True You: A Self-Discovery Journal of Prompts and Exercises to Inspire Reflection and Growth
10. Read one inspiring quote
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of inspirational quotes!
I have them on my inspiration board, on sticky notes, on my wall, on my desk, in my planner, in my note-taking app, and sometimes on my phone background. And I still feel like I’m forgetting something…
Right! I also have an inspirational flip calendar on my desk similar to this one that gives me one quote for a day to think about and motivate myself.
For example, today’s quote is this:
If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.Neil Gaiman, “The Graveyard Book”
This actually correlates nicely with my point #8 above.
Anyway, as human beings, we can’t function productively on willpower alone. Unfortunately, it’s an exhaustible resource and at some point, external motivation comes really handy. That’s probably why motivational speakers are incredibly popular and successful!
By reading an inspirational quote every day you get an extra boost of motivation that keeps you effective longer. It only takes a minute – but benefits your whole day.
If you need a source of motivation, I have a few collections of my favorite quotes here.
11. Think of 3 good things that happened today
Being positive is not a special talent of successful people, it’s a skill that you can teach yourself and master.
If you focus on the negative, this is the only stuff you see. If you claim a day as “the bad day” and convince yourself that “everything goes wrong”, this is exactly what will happen. More misfortunes, more frustration, and at the end of the day you found a million confirmations that “it wasn’t your day”.
I’m not going to dive into why this happens as it’s out of this article’s scope. But it has everything to do with your mindset and perception of the events. And you can totally change a bad day into a great day!
This is why I love this exercise: write down 3 good things that happened today.
As I said, finding positive things in your life is a skill. As with any other skill, you need daily practice to make it easier over time. But when some skills may seem boring and repetitive, this one is actually fun!
If you are not a naturally optimistic person, it may feel like a hard task at first. But don’t worry, you’ll quickly get better at it! You can also do it together with a partner or a friend if you have trouble remembering.
- First, you may sit and think that nothing positive really happened today.
- Then you start to rewind the events of the day in your mind and find one little thing.
- And then another one.
- And the more you focus on the positive side, the more you start noticing good things around you.
Like a cute kitten on a sidewalk that you wouldn’t notice before. Or a compliment from a colleague that you would instantly forget about and maybe not even believe. Your favorite song randomly playing somewhere. The comfiness of your chair. A pleasant smell that touched your nose when you passed a bakery. And so on.
The most incredible thing is that, believe it or not, the more you see the positive, the more positive things happen to you!
You don’t need to believe in magic or anything like that. Try it, there is no harm, and see for yourself!
Conclusion on positive things to do everyday
This was my list of positive things to do daily to live a happier life!
Each individual one of them can bring a lot of benefits into your daily life. But when you convert a bunch of them into your habits, you’ll set yourself up for being a positive and successful person.
Did anything particularly capture your interest? Which ones do you think you need to do more of? Do you have your own positive activities to add to this list? Tell me in the comments below!