get happy in 10 minutes (or less!)

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November 05, 2013
Hi lovelies! What a crazy Tuesday! My day's just been all over the place--how was yours?

Lately, I’ve been in one of those life stages where everything is just cah to the razy. You know what I’m talking about: late nights, stress, no time for ANYTHING. And I’ve been trying to figure it out in my own life–how do I stay happy when it feels like I literally don’t have time to be happy?

The trick that I’ve found is to find things or activities that give you a good ratio of happy to time used. That is, I wanted to find things that would boost my mood but not require hours of my time. I call these “shots of happy“. So when I get stressed or down, no matter what I’m doing, I carve out ten minutes and take a metaphorical shot and get on my merry way.

I’ve found that even when I’m busier than Martha Stewart at Christmas, those ten minutes are crucial. “But it feels like I’m wasting time!” my inner voice says. WRONG. Spending time on yourself is never a waste–but you should still use your time wisely! I encourage you to take ten minutes when you’re stressed, just on yourself! I find it not only makes me happier, but also makes me work more efficiently and keeps my brain clear. Win-win!

So in the process of this little stressful journey of mine, I’ve found these ten fool-proof, quick, you-better-do-these shots of happy.

1. Go outside. Yeah, yeah, you know this, I know. But do you do it? Literally, go outside for ten minutes. The fresh air will clear your thoughts and the beauty around you will make you think happy thoughts and voila, less stress! If you want to go above and beyond, take your work outside (if possible) for a whole hour a day. Bonus points: keep track of how much you get done indoors vs. out. I’d bet you’re more productive outdoors!

2. Achieve a little goal. Studies (don’t ask me which study but I know I heard it somewhere!) show that achieving a goal, even if small, can immediately boost your mood! So I’m giving you some goals. Choose a square foot of your room–clean it. Throw away five things, even if they’re just scraps of paper. Do one little thing you’ve been putting off. Make sure your goal is small enough that you can complete it in ten minutes. Done it? Great! Now for bonus happy, make a big deal out of it. Pat yourself on the back (literally!). Tell yourself ‘yay’ (literally)! Write a facebook status about how proud you are of yourself (not literally…don't be that guy).

3. Give a really great compliment. If you’re busy, this might be the one for you. This doesn’t take ten minutes. Heck, it probably takes ten seconds. But it'll make you feel great, pinky swear. How do you give a really great compliment? In my opinion, the best compliments are two whole sentences, minimum. First sentence is I [really like/love/adore/envy] your [scarf, devilish smile, cute way of eating sushi]. It’s so [why you like it]. That’s all there is to it! For example: “I really love your dress. The shape makes you look so fit and the color really complements your eyes.” There you go. A+. Bonus points if you compliment a stranger.

4. Take a short drive. Take a road you’ve never taken before. Drive sketchily down random neighborhoods. Bonus points if you blast music and/or put the windows down.

5. Dance. Put on some fun music, close the blinds and dance. Just dance. Yes, you look stupid. Don’t let yourself care. Be silly for once. Bonus points: leave the curtains open! (gasp!)

6. Stretch. Take some deep breaths in; get the blood flowing. There are also lots of super short and easy yoga routines on Youtube. Some of my favorites are Erin Motz’s routines on DoYouYoga. Bonus points: invite a friend to stretch with you!

7. Read a book. Even in ten minutes a day, you have time to read. Choose a light read that you can pick up for just ten minutes today. No heavy nonfiction, think Nicholas Sparks or a comedian’s autobiography (David Sedaris or Tina Fey!) or something along those lines. Bonus points: read The Happiness Project.

8. Or, read some happy news. These days, it seems like every news paper or news channel is full of anger, murder, and war. For a happier alternative, try the Daily Good, the Good News Network or Happy News. Bonus points: set one as your homepage!

9. Write a thank you note to someone who doesn’t expect it. Your cleaning lady, the guy who gives you a smile along with your latte every morning, the friend that let you vent last week. No act is too small to appreciate and everyone loves knowing that they’re appreciated. Bonus: use a super cute card like any of these (free!) printables.

10. Choose your own shot of happy. Let’s be honest, there are some things that you really enjoy that other people might not! For me, that means noodling around on Photoshop or eating Chinese takeout. You do you, girl. (Or boy. I’m sure I have a few male readers…)

And there you go! If you learn one thing from this post, please know this: you are never, ever too busy to be happy.
7 comments on "get happy in 10 minutes (or less!)"
  1. Dancing is always a great way to improve your mood, I also find it makes tasks like cleaning much more fun.

  2. This is is so practical! Great advice. And I especially admire your flawless use of complement AND compliment in the same paragraph. Sprinkle cheer, young sass, you are good at it.

  3. Ahh YES! Finally someone appreciates my grammatical genius. :) Greatest comment ever.

  4. PERFECT advice! You are stellar and I'm so glad I can read your blog for everyday inspiration :]

  5. You're literally so great, Stacey Greene. Your comments make my day shine.

  6. WONDERFUL POST! I really love your sweet and shining positive. Thinking positive is so important. Recognizing what is negative is as well, and working through issues. But I believe positive brings positive! I love number 10, simply because it's so true - and good on you for supporting everyone's little moments of positive!


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