The happiness diet is a 31-day programme of things positive psychology has found increase happiness. Every person has a happiness scale within them, 0-10, Most people function on a daily basis between 5-6 which is called zombie land. Same routines, same job for more than three years and even the same parking space at work. To be a highly functioning, brilliant human that feels happy you need to be around 8-9 on the scale.
It’s 31 days so that you form a good happiness habit.
31 Simple Steps:
Day 1: make your bed! Before you go out of the house and even if someone else is in it! Gretchen Rubin found people who make their bed on a morning are happier than those who leave the sheets in a pile.
Day 2: Pair up with a brilliant buddy – someone else to do the 31 steps, you are more likely to have success and reach day 11 if you have a support buddy.
Day 3: Go Outside during the working day, for 10 mins in cold or 20 mins if it’s warmer. Going outside increases our oxygen intake and vitamin D levels which increase our happiness levels.
Day 4: Say Hello, good morning to everyone you meet – don’t be afraid even if they don’t reply keep going!
Day 5: Walk like you are happy. Stride around like you mean it and guess what you soon will start to feel happier not just from the exercise but also from good body posture.
Day 6: Just do it, exercise for the happiness feeling! Walk, run, skip, swim whatever but take some form of exercise today that lifts your heart rate. This will increase the serotonin level in your brain boosting happiness.
Day 7: Be determined to be happy today – chant ‘I am happy’ (even if you’re not). Think in any situation during the day ˜I am choosing happiness’
Day 8: Create a health optimism (oh wow I don’t have toothache!).
Day 9: Give out at least 5 compliments to others today. Watch the other person lift in happiness when you comment on how good they look or how nice their perfume smells.
Day 10: What are your simple pleasures? Cake, chocolate, nice coffee? Share whatever your simple pleasure is with colleagues at work.
Day 11: Spend money on others! Take your family for a treat, buy your co-workers a treat or pay backward in a drive thru or coffee shop. Spending money on others increases happiness.
Day 12: Make 10 in-person connections strangers and known people. Make eye contact and smile, genuinely or you might seem slightly strange.
Day 13: Take a portable speaker with you and have outbursts of music – if you dare get up and dance!
Day 14: Wear something silly – hat, bow tie, stick on moustache
Day 15: Listen as much as possible to others! Don’t talk just listen!
Day 16: Lose track of time by doing something that you really enjoy.
Day 17: Turn off your phone for 4 hours during the day – not silent actually off.
Day 18: Have coffee with a friend – face to face.
Day 19: Simple things make us happy so list all the things in your life that make you happy.
Day 20: Create a great buzzing play list – for your work place or a motivational play list for on the way to work.
Day 21: Get carried away with an idea, taking action on an idea will create a sense of purpose and increase Joy.
Day 22: Smile but only if it’s genuine – don’t fake it like the Panama smile. A genuine smile comes from the eyes.
Day 23: Identify your happy people at work and home and like medicine spend time with them as often as possible but tell them that they make you happy.
Day 24: Laugh out loud then belly laugh out loud – even fake ones can create happiness hahaha! Try some Laughter Yoga.
Day 25: Be aware of the good – look only for the good today it’s raining but I’ve got to put up with rain for the rainbow!!
Day 26: Be determined to be happy today – chant ‘I am happy’ (even if you’re not)
Day 27: Spread contagious joy!
Day 28: Identify who sucks your happiness or what sucks your happiness
Day 29: Encourage your family to tell you what makes them happy
Day 30: Do one thing that makes the people you live with happy (see answers from Day 29)
Day 31: Reflect on 31 days – using colours red, orange & green assess each day’s action (red did not do or like, orange was ok and green it made me happier or other people happier)
Shonette Bason-Wood is the co-author of Happiness your route-map to inner joy.