1. Go to bed an hour earlier. If you can sleep the extra rest will work wonders for your happiness the next day, and if you can’t sleep, then using the time to read a novel will feel absolutely luxurious.
2. Get flowers for your desk. Picking wildflowers is great if you can, but even buying a single rose to look at throughout your stressful days will make you happier.
3. Put yourself in “time out” for half an hour. Enjoy the space to think and just be. The best punishments for 6-year-olds are often the best happiness boosters for adults.
4. Eat chocolate for breakfast.
5. Take a walk down a road in your neighborhood that is not on your typical route.
6. Make chocolate chip cookie dough and forget to bake it. Extra points for freezing half in nibble size lumps that can be thawed and enjoyed on those days when nothing else is happy.
7. Write a thank-you note. Not only will you feel good about having done so, the act of writing out something that you’re thankful for will make you happier.
8. Volunteer at your local library. Not only will you be doing good, you’ll also get to meet some of the quirkiest people!
9. Buy your favorite childhood beverage. Even if it’s that dreadful overly sweet grape drink that tastes more like grape bubble gum than anything else.
10. Share gratitude. Start a tumblr (it’s free and has a great mobile app) and every day post 3 things that you are thankful for that day.
11. Clean out that closet or drawer where you can never find things when you need them. Then congratulation yourself each time you open it in the future.
12. Give blood. You’ll be helping out a stranger, it’s an excuse to eat sugary things, and you get to feel proud of all the questions you answer “no” to.
13. Pray for a friend. You don’t need to be religious to do this. A few heartfelt words followed by action is something that inspires all sorts of faith.
14. Find a way to cut 1% of your spending each month. Then put it in a separate savings account for your dream vacation.
15. Call your grandmother.
16. Keep a copy of your favorite children’s book on your coffee table.
17. Complete the couch-2-5K.
18. Take a day away from the news–no NPR, no newspaper, no Yahoo! news, no nothing.
19. Picnic with friends.
20. Use an online photo book site to make a book of pictures of some of your happiest times. You’ll both feel happier while laying out the pictures, you’ll get an additional boost a week or two later when the book arrives in the mail, and something to flip through to make you smile for years to come.
21. Write a letter to your younger self. Use the letter not only to tell yourself about how life has been so very different from what you could have predicted, but also to forgive yourself for your mistakes and to appreciate the vibrancy that you never could control.
22. Take vitamins.
23. Sing while you go about your morning routine.
24. If the weather is good, stop whatever it is you are doing and go outside just for a few minutes.
25. Make weekly rather than yearly resolutions. The wins come more quickly and the losses are more easily forgotten.
26. Research charities that show concrete results for helping the most needy and donate.
27. Sincerely compliment a coworker. Do this consistently and you may be a little freaked out by how quickly the praise starts flowing back.
28. Practice saying “yes” to your children. Their joy in getting what they want will bring great happiness (in addition to avoiding the fights that come from saying “no” when it isn’t really necessary).
29. Re-record your voice mail greeting on your personal cellphone while smiling. You will sound happier and people will naturally leave happier sounding messages in response.
30. Watch your favorite comedy.
31. Go through your closet and donate everything that is in season that you haven’t worn in the past month.
What have you done this week to add happy to your day? Take one of these suggestions for a spin and let us know how it goes or add one of your own below. Thanks for sharing Real Zest with your friends!
Thanks, Luis Hernandez, Amir Kuckovic, and Camdiluv AmmyLynn!