How To Feel Happier In 5 Minutes Flat
There is a saying that goes, ‘happiness is not a destination, it’s a journey’. This does not mean that you have to be happy all the time – the journey comes with highs and lows – but, instead of treating happiness as something that you will achieve one day in the future, view it as an emotion that you can feel whenever you want to, with only a tiny amount of effort. In this blog post we take a look at how to feel happier in five minutes flat.
But how do you do this?
Dr Christos Kouimtsidis, Consultant Psychiatrist at The London Psychiatry Centre explains: “By engaging in small, five-minute, psychological tricks to make yourself happy, whether you are feeling neutral or low. Doing this regularly can trigger a reminder in your brain, so that when you need a pick-me-up, you instantly know what to do to help you feel better. Overall, this may be able to help you avoid prolonged low moods, and make happiness feel more accessible to you.”
How to feel happier
Here are our recommendations for how to feel happier in just five minutes (or less).
1. Watch a funny or heartwarming video
Entertaining videos can be found all over social media, so finding one that can make you laugh or smile shouldn’t take long! Try making a playlist of your favourite funny or heartwarming videos on YouTube, then refer back to them when you need a mood boost.
2. Practice gratitude
It’s easy to get caught up in all of the things that bring us down, and forget about those that we should be grateful for, like having a warm home, being in good health and having access to food. Take a moment to look around you and note the things you see that you are grateful for; you could also start a gratitude journal, by writing down something that you are grateful for each day. Practicing this regularly could show you how to feel happy instantly, whenever you need to.
3. Listen to positive music
Upbeat music, whether it has a fast tempo, uses major chords or features positive lyrics, is shown to improve mood when combined with an intention to become happier. Much like video, you can create a playlist of your favourite positive music, and listen to it when you feel down. Just one song could be all you need to become happier.
4. Doing something nice for others
Something as simple as cutting some flowers from your garden and giving them to your neighbour can boost their mood as well as your own. This altruistic behaviour can even be applied to the workplace; one study revealed that workers who help their colleagues succeed are happier, more committed to their work, and less likely to quit. So, next time you’re feeling a bit low at your desk, try asking a coworker if they need help with something – it could be the mood boost that you both need.
5. Get moving
Engaging in any form of activity that requires mood not only benefits physical health, but also mental health. Aerobic exercise (such as running, cycling, swimming and rowing) is said to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, while meditative movement (such as yoga, tai chi and qigong) are ideal for alleviating depressive moods.
Even better, synchronising your movement with another person has been shown to build self-esteem, encouraging you to see yourself in a more positive light. Try going for a quick walk and talk with a friend to see if your mood can improve.
6. Complete a five-minute task
Putting off a task that should only take you five minutes? If you have a job on your to-do list – like organising your handbag or wallet, vacuuming a room, or watering your plants – ticking it off will help you feel more accomplished and less stressed, therefore providing a quick mood lift.
7. Feed your creativity
Even if you don’t feel like a creative person, creativity can be achieved in even the simplest everyday tasks. Try planning something different for your evening meal, using inspiration from a cookbook or online recipe to get your taste buds tingling. You could even use creativity when planning your day, either by using doodles and colour in a notebook to signify different activities, or by planning unusual and creative activities, such as putting aside five minutes to daydream.
8. Massage yourself
Giving yourself a five-minute massage, whether it’s focusing on your head, limbs, hands or feet, can increase serotonin, which is a mood modulating hormone. Massage is shown to decrease depression, increase attentiveness and enhance immune function. Try using essential oils during your massage – citrus, sage and ylang ylang oils are just a few that possess uplifting characteristics.
9. Reward yourself for small victories
Don’t reserve celebrations for birthdays or achieving big life goals. Small celebrations when you complete a task, such as taking a relaxing bubble bath after completing a long day of work, can help you strike a balance between effort and reward, leaving you more content and satisfied.
10. Look through old photos
Haul out your photo album – research indicates that recalling a nostalgic event increases optimism. We often take photographs during times that we want to remember in future, so leaf through your old pictures to look back at times when you were happiest, and feel those emotions once again. Even better, listen to one of your favourite songs from back in the day while you’re doing so!
Receive More Advice On How To Feel Happy Again
The London Psychiatry Centre blog contains a number of practical articles that provide tips on boosting mood, or coping with mental health issues. Feel free to browse our articles at your leisure.
If you require further help with a specific mental health problem, please do not hesitate to book a consultation. We are able to provide in-person appointments, as well as telephone or video appointments for those unable to visit our London-based clinic. Get in touch with us using the details below: