In recovery, it can feel heavy to do the kind of work demanded of you. Factoring in this type of work as necessary to creating happiness in your life may feel a bit overwhelming, but even a moment can move you toward a long-term sense of fulfillment. While every experience has the potential to have a profound impact, not every experience requires profound commitments.
Whether you are trying to build a fulfilling life, feel more content, or just experience a brief flash of happiness on your journey toward those things, you have many tools available to you. To use them effectively, it’s important to distinguish which kind of happy you’re prioritizing right now so you can move your energy toward the small tasks that will help you achieve it.
There are small things you can do right now to feel happiness. The impact of some may be brief, tiny prisms in the sunshine, but others are long-lasting or build upon one another. Either way, they take minimal prep and can be done right now for a little boost of happiness—you are deserving of exactly that. Take what serves you, leave what doesn’t, and let your happiness take front and center, if only for a little while.
It doesn’t have to be a lot, as just seven minutes of moving your body is enough to get the endorphins and dopamine flowing. The emotional payoff and tangible sense of achievement can give you something to hold on to in the moment as well as continue to build toward longer-term feelings of happiness. Whether it’s a long walk, a HIIT circuit, or a balanced yoga flow, moving your body can make you feel happy.
2. Eat some chocolate.
For real. Chocolate can improve your mood. Eating a square of dark chocolate can prime your brain to produce all the chemicals that help manufacturer happiness and improve your mood, as well as creating a distraction when you take a moment’s break to find and consume your confectionary sunshine.
3. Label your emotions.
Giving your feelings a name can help you address them head-on, whether good or bad. Sad emotions (and sad songs) can allow us space and permission to experience the world in its entirety. Balance is vital to genuinely feel the full scope of the world, after all. So take inventory of what you’re feeling and slap a label on it, then find gratitude for yourself in doing so.
4. Reach for a friend.
Calling someone you love, sending a text, an email, or writing a letter can be a valuable way to reinforce a connection and bring about positive feelings that a relationship with something outside of yourself helps you feel. It’s also a helpful reminder that you matter to someone, which can go a long way in reinforcing your conviction in recovery.
5. Make a done list.
To remind yourself of all the things you’ve already accomplished, set aside that to-do list and make a list that shows you everything you’ve already achieved for a quick mood and confidence boost.
6. Plan a trip
You don’t even have to leave your comfort zone to feel the positive benefits of travel- the mere act of planning a trip can improve your mood. Taking the time to research, apply and coordinate the potential of a new adventure can boost your mood. Let your heart wander the globe, and take notes. Your next trip will benefit you now and then.
7. Have an orgasm
In addition to supporting your heart health long-term and improved sleep and a stronger immune system, orgasms can help boost your mood. By increasing the oxytocin and dopamine in your body, a little bit of self-love can profoundly impact your emotional state. Spend a little time on you, and carry that post-o glow right into a better mood.
8. Make a meal
Just like the done list, cooking a meal can give you a tangible product to boost your sense of productivity and create some feel-good instant gratification. Eating food you’ve made can give you a sense of power over your body and engage your mind in what you’re creating. Nourish your mind as you prepare to nourish your body.
While feeling happy right now may not be the long-term solution or the golden ticket to your best life, it’s undoubtedly a little glimmer in the right direction. Take as many steps as you need to move toward fulfillment in your recovery. In the meantime, you’re worthy of the many moments of happiness you can gather and treasure.