Monday, June 30, 2014

10 Ways You Can Bend Time to Improve Your Life


Fact: Every day, we all start with 24 hours. Subtract the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep, and we're left with a measly 15 to 17 waking hours per day. No wonder we're always rushing around, trying to cram in all our "have-tos" and "want-tos!" But sometimes slowwwwwing down to enjoy the good stuff — and speeding up to increase efficiencies in other areas — can add a whole lot of awesomeness to everyday life.

1. Truly Enjoy Those Things Worth Savoring

Think of one or two things that you look forward to every day. Whether it's sitting outside watching the birds fly around the bird feeder, walking the dog, or enjoying an after-dinner cocktail, see if you can find an extra 10-15 minutes to really savor the experience.
For me, there never seems to be enough time between the blaring of the alarm clock and the rush out the door in the morning. I used to blast through my morning routine on high-speed auto-pilot — so quickly that before I knew it, my coffee pot was empty, and I could hardly remember drinking it. But one weekend morning, when I was leisurely enjoying my morning java, I had a coffee epiphany: Wow… this tastes amazing! It was a life-changing moment. By waking up 15 minutes earlier, I now slow down and appreciate its deliciousness sip by sip — every day!

2. Do It Right the First Time

When you slow down, whether it's at work, in the kitchen, or during an argument with your partner, you reduce your chances of making mistakes. How awesome is the thought of not needing to cover a bank overdraft, run out for fast-food when you scorch the chicken, or find ways to tell your honey that you really, really did not mean those things that just slipped out of your mouth before thinking? One of my favorite John Wooden quotes sums it up best: "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" Mistakes happen, but more often than not, it's because we're rushing. Instead, slow down and do it right the first time.

3. Be Present

It's impossible to multitask and be 100% present at the same time. Sure, you can drive the car and listen to the radio — even sing along to your favorite song — but you can't really focus on your partner's detailed account of a problem at work while scrolling through your Twitter feed.
Make an effort to decide what things will get your full and undivided attention. Sometimes full presence trumps efficiency.

4. Multitask Smartly

Many low-attention items on your to-do list can be grouped together to spend your time more efficiently. For example, why not fold a load of towels while catching up on the latest episode of Orange is the New Black? Catch up on Facebook while on hold with the cable company. Often, we find ourselves multitasking haphazardly, which can cause problems. But purposeful — scheduled — multitasking often makes sense. 

5. Delay Purchase, Increase Satisfaction

You just saw the cutest purse / coolest pair of sunglasses / latest and greatest iPhone… Sure, impulse gifts-to-self can be fun, but anticipated purchases can be far more gratifying. Keep a little "wish list" going, and reward yourself with a special purchase when you reach a goal.
When you make a decision to buy that certain something that you really want, schedule it for a later time (even later that same day), another day, or as a reward after you finish that daunting task that's been on your list for months.
Anticipating the purchase will make it that much more enjoyable once it becomes yours.

6. Spend Less Time on Workouts for Better Results

Interval training, combining short bursts of high-intensity activity with intervals of slower, lighter intensity activity can help burn more calories, improve your aerobic capacity, and keep your workouts from becoming boring. Add a few sprints to your bike ride, jog or walk — and notice results faster.
When lifting weights, super slow reps can improve your strength by creating greater tension and recruiting higher muscle fiber, according to Dr. Len Kravitz of the University of New Mexico. While not all experts agree that super slow weight lifting indeed creates stronger muscles, scripted group exercise classes like Group Power and Group Rideincorporate varying speeds and counts in all of their exercise routines.

7. Read for Speed and Boost Comprehension

Think about all the reading you do on an average day. Newspapers (online or in print), emails, reports, proposals, notes from school… On average, people read about 250 words per minute, according to Mindtools. Did you know that — in addition to helping you read faster — speed reading can also improve your comprehension of the "big picture" message of the content? Sometimes getting the gist of a newspaper article is good enough, and wasting time on the impertinent details can get you backlogged.
Other times, of course, reading slowly — paying close attention to every word — is necessary. Missing or misreading one word in a contract or proposal can have disastrous implications! When reading for pleasure, going slowly allows you to appreciate the details of the images the author has painted with words.

8. Shop Fast and Save Money

Wouldn't it be great to come home from the grocery store without buyer's remorse — or tempting diet sabotages? Schedule your grocery shopping as you would for other activities on your "to-do" list, allotting a reasonable time limit — and sticking to it. When you grocery shop with a list in hand and a predetermined time span, you can dash up and down the aisles, grabbing the items that you need, and avoiding the temptations that may lurk in the junk food section. Go quickly, stay focused and get it done! (But remember to smile at the cashier, the "rush" ends when you hit the check-out lane.)

9. Make Time for the Important Stuff

Sometimes we get too busy to meet a friend for lunch or a beer after work. Even finding time to chat on the phone often takes a back seat to appointments, work deadlines, carpools and other obligations. But as much as we sometimes tell ourselves we can't afford the time, the truth is, we can't afford not to take the time to connect with friends. Few things nourish the soul like a good, old-fashioned gab session with a friend.
Making time to rest, finding "me-time" to recharge or even indulging in healthy routines like exercise are all things we know we should do for ourselves, yet they often take a backseat, thinking they can wait another week. They can't. Give the same priority to relationships and self-care as you do to checking your email and social media — the things that often can wait another week.
Rather than feeling as if we don't "have enough time," realize that the way we spend our time is up to us.

10. Make "a Long Time" More Manageable

No matter how you slice it, an hour is 60 minutes, a week is 7 days, and so on. But all time does not feel equal. Somehow, an hour in the dentist's chair simply doesn't pass as quickly as an hour of Zumba. Long periods of time can be toughest, whether it's undergoing treatment for a serious illness, recovering from a broken leg, or waiting for a family member to return from military duty in Afghanistan, time can feel often feel like a jail sentence. Even anticipating the good stuff — taking that well-deserved beachy vacation or remodeling your kitchen — can seem to last for an eternity.
One strategy to conquer the "mountain" of time is to break it into manageable chunks, marked by smaller milestones. Choose an activity to help you mark time; for example, try one new recipe per week while awaiting your spouse's return from military duty; at the end of the wait, you'll have your partner back — and all kinds of new meals to put on the table!
Instead of letting yourself become overwhelmed by what may feel like an abyss of time, manage what feels manageable — whether it's a day, a week, or a physical therapy session at a time.
Source:10 Ways You Can Bend Time to Improve Your Life

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Emotional Intelligence


It takes a wide range of skills to succeed and while vision and fresh creative ideas are critical, expanding research shows the importance of emotional intelligence (EI) as an important ingredient for effective leadership.
One study showed that 90% of top performers are high in emotional intelligence. Top business schools, such as Yale, are beginning to look at emotional intelligence levels as admittance criteria along with high school grades. The good news is that everyone can increase their EI, regardless of their level. Here are some areas to look at.


Great leaders make themselves and personal improvement, a lifelong project. They find people who will point out the truth about how they come across to others and areas they could improve. They seek organizations who will accommodate them or hire a coach that will give them honest feedback. Leaders recognize and accept that they are a work in progress and are always striving to improve. They view their shortcomings as opportunities for improvement and then pass this awareness and opportunity to others junior to themselves.


In the field of the communications family, listening skills have always been the poor cousins, not receiving the attention and respect deserved. Good leaders, however, have always been aware of the importance of listening. They recognize that we all have a strong desire to be heard. From developing good listening skills, we not only receive more crucial information, we are able to connect with others through picking up meanings and messages behind the spoken word.
Normally when we listen, we are thinking of a response, which keeps us from really hearing the other person. In a couples workshop, that my partner and I took, we learned a great technique for developing listening skills. One of us would speak for a couple of minutes. The other person was not allowed to talk during that time. At the end the other person would repeat back to the speaker what they said, or what they thought they heard. Toastmasters is a great place to pick up public speaking skills and confidence that develops listening skills. The meetings include many opportunities to give feedback which require focused listening.


An emotionally intelligent leader not only learns names of everyone who works in their company but finds out as much about his or her staff as possible. He or she finds out what is important to them, their families, hobbies, and special interests. Showing an interest in the personal lives of staff delivers the feeling they are valued as people, instead of cogs in a machine.
One manager went as far as keeping short files of personal information on details important in the lives of all staff to help him remember. When he knew he would be talking to them he would quickly go over the file, then ask them about something that had meaning. They were often totally amazed at how he could remember so much about the large number of staff in his ranks. 


While managing emotions in the workplace is an important skill for everyone to have, it is crucial for leaders as they set the tone in the workplace. Instead of reacting with their emotions, Leaders with high EI are able to process information and respond after they have thought about the situation. They are able to pick up the underlying feelings behind the words spoken. This is a crucial ability for a leader who wants to develop close working relationships with and loyalty from staff.
Employees want first and foremost to be heard. Often there is no quick or easy solution to the problem. A leader with a good dose of EI can often diffuse that anger by listening and recognizing the feelings. A sure sign of a workplace that has leaders with low EI is that negative feelings are never acknowledged, but simply left to fester and grow. 


If asked what they are grateful for, good leaders will be able to quickly come up with a long list. They are always appreciative and cognizant of the fact that they have others to thank for getting to where they are.
One way of developing gratitude is to keep a gratitude book and every morning before you do anything else, write down ten things you are grateful for. you are grateful for. This helps to keep up a positive attitude and motivation throughout the day. Another great way is to volunteer and spend time helping those less fortunate. Self-aware leaders always consider how they would like to be treated when dealing with those reporting to them. They give of their time and resources generously to help staff who are struggling as well as contributing to their community.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

4 Ways to Improve Your Alexa Ranking

Alexa Ranking

You must have heard of many ways to  improve your blog's Alexa ranking.

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my ways  to improve your blog’s Alexa Ranking:

1.      Post regularly: It is good to post daily. Your Alexa Rankingis determined by the   intensity of your posting. The more frequently you post the better. According to Alexa:

 Traffic Ranks are updated daily. A site’s ranking is based on a combined measure of Unique Visitors and Pageviews. Unique Visitors are determined by the number of unique Alexa users who visit a site on a given day. Pageviews are the total number of Alexa user URL requests for a site.  The rank is calculated using a proprietary methodology that combines a site's estimated average of daily unique visitors and its estimated number of pageviews over the past 3 months.

I post an article a day and the posting is automated by Blogger so that it is live at the same time every day.  When you post regularly, your readers are expecting to read your new post daily.  In a way I am building readership and followers because they can count on me. 

2.      Internal links: I only started to do internal links in April this year after reading an article     by Neil Patel, How to Conduct a Content Audit on Your Site. I follow faithfully his method to audit my site. I notice that I have not done internal linking so I just do it. The result is amazing.  I see substantial improvement in Bounce Rate, Daily Pageviews per Visitor and Daily Time on Site as shown in the above image as at June 23,2014.  Internal links are links within an article to other articles of the same blog. You will notice what I have done in this article for those words highlighted in red . When you click on it, it leads you to another article. The more links you have the better it is. It is good for your readers as well as for search engine optimization. It is a proof that your blog is providing a wealth of information.    

3.      Share your posts at social networking sites: It is not enough just to post daily and do nothing else. You have to market your blog and posts. I upload an article three times a day (morning, afternoon and evening) to the following sites:

·         Facebook  
·         Pinterest
· (indirectly posted to LinkedIn and Twitter)
·         Google+

                  The idea is to attract more people in different time zones to visit my site.

4.      Get connected: Once a day, I look for people to connect at social networking sites as mentioned in No.3.  The more you connect and get acquainted, the more people will take note and go to your site to read your posts. As the posts are internally linked to other articles, they are more likely to read more pages and spend more time on my site.  

To be effective, it is necessary to do all four things regularly. 

I hope the information is useful to you and you are able to improve your Alexa Ranking.  

Friday, June 27, 2014

20 Habits You Must Kick Right Now and Be a Better Person

Old Habits New Habits

Better, faster, stronger.
This is not only the mantra of fans from Daft Punk and "The Six Million Dollar Man," but also from life hackers around the world who are looking for ways to make their lives better. The first step on your way to self-improvement is to level the playing field by getting rid of bad habits that are slowing you down. 
By eliminating these 20 bad habits, you set up yourself to tackle any challenge.


People are, by nature, social. When we put our heads together, we are able to achieve great things, such as the Pyramids or the Powerpoint presentations due Monday.

1. Being Late

"80% of life is showing up," recommends Woody Allen. If your personal clock keeps on running 15 to 30 minutes behind everybody else's, then people are going to stop relying on you and find a replacement. Make it a habit to show up to meetings and appointments 15 minutes early. This buys you time for any last-minute surprises and shows people that you are taking them seriously. Being on time is the easiest way to show respect.

2. Texting During Conversations

A major turn-off for co-workers, friends, and relatives is your obsession with your smartphone or tablet during conversations. Trying to answer an email and posting a tweet while your spouse is asking you what would you like for dinner is just plain rude. Not to mention that it's making you dumber. Studies show that multitasking lowers your IQ as much as missing a whole night's sleep — and more than smoking pot.

3. Making the World Circle Around You

Complaining too much, constantly fishing for compliments, de-emphasizing actual compliments, and cutting people off mid-sentence are red flags that you are too self-centered. You are not the center of the universe, and your problems are not bigger than everybody else's. Start using "you" more often than "I" and make an effort to let others speak more than you do. Remember that "being a good listener" is a compliment, and one that shows others that you care for others.

4. Telling "Little White Lies"

No one likes being lied to. Yet, we still keep telling ourselves that is okay to do tell white lies. Even those lies that supposedly hurt nobody cast a shadow of doubt on your integrity. Tell enough of them, and people won't listen to you anymore. To start limiting the number of lies you dish out every day, try the "Little Jimmy Test." Little Jimmy is your five-year-old kid — would you be okay with him saying what you are about to say?

5. Oversharing in Social Media

If you Instagram, Vine, or Facebook every aspect of your life, you may be alienating yourself from friends and family. Not everybody wants to be tagged in every picture or be included in every check-in. Respect the privacy of others and ask before you share any information about somebody else.


Remember your New Year's resolution to lose weight this year? It is going to take more than wishful thinking to get it done.

6. Drinking Soda

Studies have shown that people that consume soda have an 11% increase in cholesterol compared with people that drink other beverages. And drinking diet soda is no good either. In a 10-year study, people who drank two diet sodas a day had a 500% increase in waist circumference. Switch soda for water and you will keep both your cholesterol and waistline in check. On top of that, drinking water when we are thirsty boosts our brain's performance in mental tests.

7. Binge Drinking

While light to moderate drinking has been shown to have health benefits, pounding three or more drinks in a row, raises your blood pressure and lowers your vitamin B1. This vitamin is necessary for a healthy nervous system. Stop binge drinking and, if you must drink, limit yourself to two drinks.

8. Late Night Snacking in Front of TV

Not watching what you're eating is going to increase the amount of food you gobble. By eating while distracted not only do you eat 10% more, but also 25% more at a later meal. There are three ways to attack this bad habit. First, hide snacks from yourself so that you are less likely to reach for them. Second, use a very small plate to limit the size of your snack. Third, choose lighter snacks, such as fruits and veggies.

9. Skipping Breakfast

Mom was right, again. Breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day. Men that frequently skip breakfast have a 27% higher risk of suffering a heart attack or fatal coronary disease, compared to those that eat breakfast daily. In the case of women, skipping breakfast increases their risk of type 2 diabetes. Make your momma proud and take the time to fix yourself a healthy breakfast every day. (See also: 9 Make Ahead, Freezable Hot Breakfasts)

10. Wearing Headphones All the Time

If you are using your headphones at 60% of their maximum volume for a total of 60 minutes a day, then you are already a victim of irreversible hearing loss. Start observing the 60/60 rule regarding volume and duration, buy larger headphones that rest over the ear instead of inside the ear, and preserve your hearing.

11. Getting Sunburned Too Often

Your risk of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, doubles if you have five or more sunburns. Don't test your luck. Make it a daily habit to use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Hats, sunglasses, and UV-blocking clothing are also good ideas. Limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and keep completely away from tanning booths.


"Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver," said Ayn Rand. It is time to reclaim your seat at the driving wheel and kick these financial bad habits to the curb. (See also: 25 Dumb Habits That Are Keeping You in Debt)

12. Paying Credit Cards Late

One of the top reasons that your credit card balances never seem to go down is that you keep paying past the due date. Every time you do that, you're slammed with a fine of up to $35. On top of that, your creditor is likely to increase your interest rate after too many late payments. To fix this, set up an automatic payment plan or contact your credit card company to move your due date.

13. Buying "Deals" for Premium Goods

Have you ever had to buy something because it was a once in a lifetime deal? Turns out you may have been better off without such deal in the first place. Research suggests that "coupons for premium-priced products can actually make consumers spend more money than they would have spent in the absence of coupons." Our minds are tricked to focus on the coupon rather than total price, so we end up spending more than we originally intended. By focusing on saving $200, you end up spending over $1,000 and…

14. Busting Your Budget

The king of all financial bad habits. You need to kick this one as soon as possible.
When making your budget be sure you're capturing all your spending. By making a very thorough list, you will plan ahead better and increase your chances of keeping within your means.

15. Overspending on Media Consumption

Your iTunes habit may be killing your hearing and your wallet. The price of $1.29 per song may not seem that much, but if you buy 100 songs throughout the year, then you are spending $129. If you have your iTunes account connected to your credit card, yes that credit card that you always pay late, you need to re-evaluate your media consumption. Analyze your options and check out whether paying per song or buying a subscription is the better deal.

16. Not Saving for Retirement

Make your golden years truly golden by starting a retirement account. It is never too late and there are options available, no matter how close you may be to your retirement age.


Becoming more productive is at the top of almost everybody's to-do list.

17. Taking Mental Notes

Talking about lists, your main productive challenge may be that you're not committing tasks to paper. Start using the notes app from your smartphone to jot down your objectives for the day. Include important information, such as what is the deadline, what you need to complete it, and who you need to contact. Check your list several times during the day so that you can clearly see what you need to do.

18. Not Committing to Deadlines

Deadlines force us to take action. Here is a quick lifehack from psychology and behavioral professor, Dan Ariely: "Publicly committing to a deadline is a powerful motivator because it puts your reputation on the line." Nobody likes to disappoint friends and colleagues, so this gives you that second wind and adrenaline rush to meet your deadline on time.

19. Being Too Available

If you have Skype, Twitter, Whatsapp, email, and a smartphone on at all times, your work output is going to suffer. While it is a good idea to be accessible, it has to be within specified hours. When you need to get work done, you need to limit your access. This means turning off the phone, shutting down messaging apps, and finding a private space. If you committed publicly to a deadline, your friends and coworkers understand that you are trying to meet that deadline.

20. Overfocusing on Email

Email is a productivity trap.
    • If an email chain goes beyond two replies, pick up the phone.
    • If a co-worker two cubicles down emails you too much, walk over to her.
  • Your incorrect use of email might make you look rude.
What are some other bad habits that need to be in this list? Please share in comments!
Source:20 Habits You Must Kick Right Now and Be a Better Person

Thursday, June 26, 2014

5 Things To Do Before Bed That Will Jump Start Tomorrow

Curled Up Sleeping Dog
Being effective as an entrepreneur is often about hard work, but even more importantly it’s about smart work. Great entrepreneurs know that time is limited and valuable, so they need to make the most of each waking hour.
There are many factors that contribute to working smart -- but planning and proper sleep are among the top performance increasers.
To maximize your time and efficiency, here are five essential and easy things you should do before bed that will make help transform your waking hours into super productivity.
1. Take a look at your calendar. As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. By reviewing your calendar the night before, you’ll know what’s ahead for the day so you can be prepared and plan for the best method to tackle your objectives. You’ll sleep better knowing that you’ve already planned for the day ahead and you’ll rise in the morning knowing that you’ve already taken care of the leg work to get a jump start on the day.
There’s another old saying, “If you don’t use your head, you’ll end up using your feet,” and that proverb goes a long way for productivity! Come up with a strategy the night before on how to tackle tomorrow.
2. Get the gym bag ready. Whether you go to the gym, run in the neighborhood or walk your dog, have your exercise gear out and ready to throw on for when you wake up. Getting your clean clothes together and ready is a life hack lots of entrepreneurs use to minimize the risk of skipping their workout.
It only takes a minute to lay out your gear, but it’s a great shortcut for making sure you get your fitness in every morning. Taking care of your health is an important part of the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
3. Turn off your phone. Sleep is a crucial part of the successful entrepreneur’s healthy lifestyle. Once you’ve checked your calendar and you know what’s ahead for tomorrow, put the phone on silent or turn it off to ensure it doesn’t beep, chime or ring and disturb your REM cycle. Disruptions to your sleep will leave you tired and slow your performance.
To keep your productivity at its highest level, make sure you eliminate any hindrances to your sleep cycle. That email or text message can wait until tomorrow. Turn off your phone or put it on silent to ensure a good night’s sleep.
4. Write in your journal. No, not the “dear diary” kind of entries. Keeping a journal is a practice that can help you process the day and make sense of your thoughts. Keep your journal in the nightstand and every night take a few minutes to review the day’s triumphs and write down what you’re grateful for that day.
Don’t make this a boring, unthoughtful experience. Think of it as a nightly meditation -- just two minutes of reflection thinking about the day’s highlights and writing them down will transform your waking and sleeping thought. It’s part of a wealthy lifestyle to appreciate all the great things of the day: doors held open, great conversations had. 
Whatever the highlight, list it and prepare your mind for great sleep.
5. Read a real book. One last thing to contribute to your good sleep is to read a quality book. You can decide what a quality book is to you, but reading before bed is a great way to make that final transition into sleep.
It will also keep you away from bright lights and electronics (hint: don’t read on your phone or tablet, the light might disrupt your eyes and affect your sleep cycle) and soothe your body into the sleeping process.
Source: 5 Things To Do Before Bed That Will Jump Start Tomorrow

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier

 10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier

Defining happiness is difficult, as happiness is actually a state of mind. What brings on happiness is therefore unique to the individual person; what makes you happy may be quite different from what makes your neighbor or your officemate happy.
Still, despite being hard to define, there’s something about happiness that has universal appeal. Virtually everyone strives for it, but not everyone will reach it.
One recent Harris Poll found that, despite an ostensibly recovering economy, only one in three Americans said they’re very happy,1 which means, of course, that two out of three are not.
Yet, as abstract, and at times as elusive, as happiness may be, there are proven ways to make yourself happier, and you can do many of these things starting today.

10 Proven Ways to Be a Happier Person

1. Exercise More Often
Exercise is one of the best strategies for overcoming depression. Indeed, it can have a dramatic impact on your mental health. For example, a Duke University team studied three groups that tried exercise only, exercise plus drugs, and drugs only, to see what treatment best treated depression.

They found that 10 months later, it was the exercise-only group that was most successful in maintaining wellness and avoiding a depression relapse!
Yet, exercise may still make you happier even if you’re not depressed. It can help you to feel better about your body,2 for starters, while also boosting levels of health-promoting brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress.
Rather than viewing exercise as a medical tool to lose weight, prevent disease, and live longer – all benefits that occur in the future – try viewing exercise as a daily tool to immediately enhance your frame of mind, reduce stress and feel happier.
2. Get Proper Sleep
A lack of sleep makes it more difficult to recall pleasant memories (but gloomy memories are recalled just fine).3 Lack of sleep may also make you more susceptible to negative emotions like fear and anger, while taking a nap in the afternoon may enhance positive emotions.
Not to mention, sleep deprivation is linked to psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and bipolar depression, while getting the right amount of sleep has been linked to positive personality characteristics such as optimism and greater self-esteem, as well as a greater ability to solve difficult problems.4
3. Shorten Your Commute
If you can move closer to where you work, or work closer to where you live, do it. A long commute is stressful and draining, even if it allows you to buy a bigger house or have a better job. Such factors do not make up for the unhappiness created by a longer commute, according to research by two Swiss economists. Generally speaking, it would take a 40 percent increase in pay to make up for a job with a longer commute.5
4. Nourish Your Relationships
Friends and family mean everything in life, and research shows spending social time with your friends and loved ones generally makes people much happier. One study even found that relationships are worth more than $100,000 in terms of life satisfaction, while actual changes in income buy very little happiness.6
5. Spend Time Outdoors
Simply going outside to get some fresh air and sunshine boosts mood, broadens thinking and improves working memory. One study found that it takes just 20 minutes outdoors to make most people happier, while other research showed that happiness is maximized when it’s 57 degrees F outside7 – so keep an eye on the thermometer!
6. Help Others
Volunteering can lower your risk of depression and anxiety,8 and significantly boost your psychological well-being.9 Not only does it keep you active and on your feet, but there’s a definite social aspect as well, both of which contribute to happiness. Volunteering to help others also gives you a greater sense of purpose and can even lead to a so-called “helper’s high,” which may occur because doing good things releases feel-good hormones like oxytocin in your body while lowering levels of stress hormones like cortisol.
7. Smile
Putting on a fake smile can worsen your mood, but thinking positive thoughts and then smiling as a result can make you happier.10 When you smile at others, they’re also more likely to smile back in return, creating an ongoing feedback loop that may lead to more positivity in your life and the lives of others.
8. Plan a Vacation
It might be that the simple act of planning a vacation can make you happier, even if you don’t actually go on one. Research showed that people were happiest during the planning stage of their vacation, when their sense of anticipation was peaked.11 After the vacation was over, levels of happiness quickly returned to baseline.
9. Meditate
Meditation helps you keep your mind focused, calms your nerves and supports inner peace. Research shows it can even lead to physical changes in your brain that make you happier, including an increase in areas associated with compassion and self-awareness and a shrinking in areas associated with stress.
10. Practice Gratitude
People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions, and are better able to reach their goals. The best way to harness the positive power of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal or list, where you actively write down exactly what you’re grateful for each day. Doing so has been linked to happier moods, greater optimism and even better physical health.

True Happiness Comes From Within

If there is one common thread to the tips above, it is that the factors that increase happiness tend to do so from the inside, as lasting happiness is not something that can be achieved from external sources. It may be helpful to remember that happiness doesn't depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely upon what you think.
This is part of the power of affirmations, which can also help you to boost your happiness.
For example, starting each day by thinking of all the things you have to be thankful for is one way to put your mind on the right track. Also, remember that your future depends largely on the thoughts you think today. So each moment of every day is an opportunity to turn your thinking around, thereby helping or hindering your ability to think and feel more positively in the very next moment.
Most experts agree that there are no shortcuts to happiness. Even generally happy people do not experience joy 24 hours a day. But a happy person can have a bad day and still find pleasure in the small things in life.
Postponing your happiness until you reach a certain goal, like getting a promotion or pay raise to go on vacation, is a sure-fire way to stay stuck in misery. Instead, consciously spend a few minutes every day thinking about the good things in your life, such as eating a balanced meal or getting enough rest. Practice this every day and each day try to extend the time you spend on positive thoughts.
Additionally, while there is no rule or special formula that can make a person constantly happy, happiness tends to come more easily when you focus on developing positive social relationships and enjoyable work, and have a sense that life has meaning. Overall, having a spiritual dimension tends to be an essential component of happiness for most people as well.
Source: 10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier
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