Being happy all the time is probably an unreachable goal. In our day and age, it might simply be impossible. But you know what is possible? You CAN get happier!
There are many other suggestions of how to get happier: Exercise; Giving to others; Gratitude; Working towards a goal; Having a purpose in life; Feeling connected, Taking care of a pet; Eating healthier – to name just a few. All these are great methods! But they take effort, planning, possible disappointment or a major change in attitude.
So let’s just focus on one simple thing most people can easily integrate into their lives: Take a break. Go outside. Have fun. It’s what we’re all about here at Happier Place – and we want to help you do exactly that.
While science has shown that each of these individual activities is good for you, we believe the magic to get happier is in the combination of all three! It will allow you a true break from your responsibilities, worries, doomsday news-reporting and make you feel more connected to the beautiful things in life. In short: Taking a fun break outside will make you happier!
Taking breaks improves your mental health and restores your energy resources. While you might think that taking time-off from your daily grind of work, school, home, family and other responsibilities will put you behind on your to-do list, it will actually make you more productive afterwards. Even better, you’ll be engaged and productive with a smile on your face as you remember the fun you allowed yourself to have outside. Happier Tip: go all the way and turn off your phone during your break (if nothing else you can avoid the negative news updates of our times).
5 Science-Backed Ways Taking a Break Boosts Our Productivity (Kate Bartolotta, Huffington Post)
Relax! You’ll Be More Productive (Tony Schwartz, New York Times)
Looking for an Escape? The Impulse to Run Away from It All – That desire to get away can contain vital messages about self-care. (Julie J. Exline Ph.D., Psychology Today)
When do you “take a break”? Inspire others to get happier by adding your answer to the comment section.
There are so many benefits to spending time in nature, no matter if it’s on an empty beach or in a city park! Being in nature is more than just taking a break from your home, office or classroom – it will make you feel connected to the beautiful things in life. Looking at a pretty flower or a butterfly may fill you with joy; it also reminds you that YOU are part of the beauty of nature. Gazing at huge mountains can bring the comforting realizations that your problems aren’t so big after all, and you’ll be able to tackle them. Watching the sun rise or set, seeing the tides come in and go out and witnessing the change of seasonal colors are wonderful reminders that everything has its rhythm. There’s always more sunshine to come! Abigail Wise lists even more benefits in a well-researched article on HuffPost: Getting outside makes exercise easier. It can spur weight loss. Nature increases brain function. It amps up vitamin D intake. The outdoors may even help us age gracefully. Nature is great for stress-reduction. The outdoors make us happy.
Here’s Proof Going Outside Makes You Healthier (Abigail Wise, Huffington Post)
How Nature Can Make You Kinder, Happier, and More Creative (Jill Suttie, Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley)
How the Simple Act of Being in Nature Helps You De-Stress (Christina Heiser, NBC News)
Where do you like to go when you head outside? Inspire others to get happier by adding your answer to the comment section.
What exactly is “having fun”? Generally, it’s defined as experiencing “enjoyment, amusement or a light-hearted pleasure”. For most people this probably means playing, laughing and socializing with people whose company is enjoyable. Let’s also add: dancing, singing, eating, drinking, splashing around in the water, throwing sticks for the dog, walking a new trail and just relaxing in your Happy Place…
The benefits of fun might be obvious: fun is fun! Who doesn’t like fun? Who doesn’t feel happier when they are having fun? But there are actual physical and mental health benefits to having fun: it reduces cortisol (“stress hormone”) and increases serotonin (which helps with sleep, digestion, mood, healing) and other health-enhancing hormones. It also takes your mind off everything you’re trying to “take a break” from. If you’re having fun with others, it will make you feel more connected. If your kind of fun involved physical activities, there are all the obvious physical and mental health benefits. If eating or drinking are your pleasures – doesn’t everything taste even better out in nature?
8 Health Benefits of Having Fun (Heal That Pain)
The Health Benefits of Laughter (Elizabeth Scott, MS, Very Well)
The Benefits of Having Fun with Friends (Andy Luttrell, Ph.D., Social Psych Online)
What are some of your favorite “having fun” activities? Inspire others to get happier by adding your answer to the comment section.
A few specific suggestions to inspire you to get happier by taking a break, going outside and having fun:
- Instead of meeting your friends at a bar, suggest meeting them at a city park or a nearby lake.
- Instead of making dinner, grab a salad or sandwich from your grocery store and eat it outside.
- Instead of binge-watching a TV show after dinner, take a walk around the neighborhood.
- Take lunch breaks outside in the nearest green space.
- Have an always-ready go bag packed, so you can get outside quickly and have some fun.
- Watch a moon rise! Seriously, do it!
- Find a designated spot in nature to declare as your personal Happy Place. Just thinking about it will bring you joy.
- If you need a practical reminder to go outside, have fun and do more of what makes you happy: Place one of our inspirational stickers somewhere where you see it often.
Now go outside and play… 😉