17 Ways To Be Happier in 10 Mins or Less
Updated: Jan 4
If you were to Google “ways to get happy” you’d likely be bombarded with hundreds, if not thousands of different answers.
I'd bet you'd see a lot of articles and plenty of wellness experts telling you that in order to be happier you're going to need to “make a lot of changes”, "drink more water", “change your thoughts”, “meditate every day” “sleep at least 10 hours a night” and so on and so forth – and they will probably be right.
Realistically though, we don’t have the time or, in most cases, the patience, to do these things. The 24/7 chaotic lifestyles that a so many of us live day in and day out, doesn’t quite allow us to do the big life-changing steps towards that oh-so-desired bliss. At least not at the pace we're hoping for. However, it does NOT mean we can’t be happier. I imagine a lot of us are quite content with our lives, but who couldn't use an extra sprinkle of happiness on top?!
Below is a list of 17 quick fixes, to get just a little bit happier, even if only briefly or for that moment you need it most. Here we go:
1. Exercise vigorously for 10 minutes
If you’re living in the trenches of school drop-offs, Zoom meetings galore, crazy schedules, deadlines, maybe distance learning, etc., you probably can’t sneak out to a boot camp class on any given day, without major planning. However, if you happen to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, or stub your toe on the way to the kitchen...take that your bad mood — and run with it. Literally. Even ten minutes of intense working out will produce the body’s feel good hormones: endorphins.
2. Cute overload
Seeing something cute makes us smile which in turn makes us happier. Looking at a picture of a cute puppy, a kitten, a baby anything, etc. will instantly improve your mood.
3. Help someone
Having a crappy day? Feeling really down? One of the quickest ways to pick yourself back up is to do something kind for someone else. It can be anything, big or small. Get creative. It can be as simple as holding open a door for someone, buying someone a coffee, or just offering a kind word or compliment to a stranger. Bonus feel good points when it's random and not expected of you.
4. See someone you love
Close your eyes and think of someone you love. Or take a quick peek at their picture. Maybe it’s a parent who has supported you through thick and thin, or the incredible person you’re still pinching yourself you were lucky enough to meet. It could be a best friend who always makes you laugh until your face hurts. Picture that person and you’ll undoubtedly find a little calm and a little bit of happy.
In one research study subjects who smiled after a stressful activity decreased their heart rate more quickly than those who didn't. It even works if you fake smile! I challenge you to smile at every single person you see on any given day. I promise you’ll feel better and you’ll make someone else’s day too!
6. Listen to a happy song
It’s quick; it’s easy; it’s an instant mood-lifter. Sing along (perfect pitch not required) for extra benefit.
Physical touch can decrease stress, make us feel happier, and even improve our health. For the single folks among us, don’t fret: Even a quick hug with a friend or acquaintance can yield benefits. Cuddling with a pet counts too!
Laughter can cheer us up and decrease anxiety—and the best news is it doesn’t have to be “genuine” to have a positive effect. So even when it seems like there’s absolutely nothing funny in all of this world, busting out a big ole from-the-belly laugh might just change your mind.
9. Text a friend
Reaching out to a friend and letting them know how awesome they are will make you feel awesome, too. Give it a try.
10. Make plans
Having something to look forward to, like a vacation, a massage, or even something small like catching up with a friend, can make you happier. Anticipation is like a secret weapon of happiness.
11. Stop comparing yourself
Chances are you always pick those at the very top to compare yourself to. No wonder you feel inadequate! Focusing on the things you've accomplished is a lot more productive. Celebrate and focus on your own victories. They’re big too!
12. Straighten up
Our posture dictates how we feel, so straighten up and walk like a boss!
13. Plan your week
One of the reasons you could be struggling with happiness is because you aren’t managing your thoughts or priorities. When you take a moment to plan things out, it can help you feel more accomplished, focused and relaxed.
Planning ahead will allow those buzzing waves to relax, and will give you something to focus your attention on. As psychotherapist and author Dr. Jane Greer explains, setting aside ten minutes before your week begins to plan a daily activity that brings you joy will temper your frustrations.
“Allow yourself the pleasure of looking forward to each one. What you choose should be something that gives you a tremendous amount of pleasure. This could be going for a walk, reading a magazine, watching a TV show, or grabbing coffee with a friend or your significant other,” she says.
Count your blessings
When times are tough, people often lose sight of the positive things in their lives. Few people really have their entire life crashing down around them. Most feel their mood drop in moments of stress. You can turn things up quickly thinking about what's going well. Think of everything good in your life. You'll be surprised how quickly that smile creeps back onto your face.
14. Go for some chocolate
If things are seeming bleak and you can't get out of the doldrums, grab a piece of chocolate. The darker the chocolate you eat, the better. Science has shown that chocolate is a natural mood enhancer. A little of the dark stuff goes a long way in brightening your day, without a ton of calories.
15. Have a 30-second dance party
This may sound silly, but it absolutely works. Doesn’t matter where you are or even if you have music. Just bust some moves for 30 seconds. You’ll be smiling before you know it and have the added benefit of a little cardio.
16. Get some “lovin”
This one might take longer than 10 minutes—but no guarantees. Probably best to avoid this one at work or out in public though, lol. BUT if you’re cranky at home (or somewhere else that’s private), orgasms can mellow people out. In addition to feeling good, intimate touch and orgasms make you feel connected to yourself and to your partner. And hey, if you don’t want to go all the way, any type of human contact means something.
“Oxytocin is released if you hug someone for thirty seconds, kiss for six seconds, or have an orgasm. With oxytocin flowing and cortisol being pushed out of your system, you’re bound to feel happy,” Dr. Schewitz explains.
17. Get some sun
A boost of vitamin D can keep the blues at bay. Head outside for a brisk walk around the block. If that’s not possible, station yourself near a window for a few minutes (and ignore stares from co-workers).
So there you go...a whole list of things to try the next time you’re feeling down or you’re just needing a little boost of happiness. Give em a try :)