While everyone wants to be happy, not everyone knows how to increase their happiness. Many people mistakenly believe happiness lies in a well-paying job or a new relationship. However, there are things that virtually anyone can do to boost their mood. Below are two of them, both of which may be surprising.

Helping Others

Doing something kind for someone else won't only benefit them — it can benefit you too! Studies show that helping others can help alleviate depression and promote a positive mood. In one such study, people in the San Francisco Bay Area were examined. It was found that the ones who did volunteer work as teenagers had a lower likelihood of becoming depressed as adults.

Thus, the mood-boosting effects of helping others should not be underestimated. Below are some suggestions for how you can start helping people in your day-to-day life:

  • Be friendly to others: A simple thing like being smiled at can make a person's day. So if you're not in the habit of being friendly to strangers, you may want to start! Some things to try include telling a joke to a bored-looking cashier or offering a genuine compliment to a stranger. If they don't respond positively, don't take it personally. They may just be shy or having a bad day.
  • Volunteer for something you love: If there is a cause you're passionate about, try finding a way you can do something about it. If you love animals, for example, you may want to volunteer at an animal shelter or charity. If you love to teach, you could volunteer as a tutor or children's sports coach.

Smiling 

You know that people smile when they're happy. However, you may not know that smiling can help people feel happier, whether the smile is genuine or not. In a study done on smiling, people were found to be in better moods after smiling. So to take advantage of smiling's benefits, try the following tips:

  • Smile in front of a mirror: It's been proven that people who smile in front of a mirror experience a greater mood lift than those not using a mirror. So when you wake up in the morning, grab a mirror and smile at your reflection. This may sound like a silly suggestion, but you may be surprised by how much it improves your mood.
  • Smile while interacting with others: This will not only give you a mood boost but should also make you seem more likable and approachable.

From reading this article, you now know of simple ways to get an instant mood boost. For more help improving day-to-day mood, consider seeing a counsellor such as Jayne Weatherbe.

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