It’s Monday morning, it’s pouring rain and you have an Excel sheet that will never die. What could anyone possibly have to be happy about? Then in comes your upbeat co-worker, smiling and cracking jokes and acting like she’s just won the lottery. How does she do it? We think a combination of a few of these things.
THEY PRACTICE GRATITUDE
You woke up late, the sink is full of dishes and you already have 245 unread emails. But instead of jumping on the stress train, take a sec to appreciate that you have 20 minutes of alone time with this cup of warm tea, your comfy slippers and a relaxing hot shower before rushing off to work. Even if it’s the only 20 minutes you’ll enjoy all day, at least you’ll have that.
THEY EXERCISE DAILY
Doing at least 30 minutes of cardio every day isn’t just getting you in shape for bathing suit season–it’s also releasing endorphins, which will keep you calm and happy long after you’ve kicked off your sneaks.
THEY GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Staying up late and watching just one more episode of Broad City might make you happy…until you wake up groggy and cranky the next morning. Stick with a regular bedtime and make sure you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep a night to keep your moods level all day long.
THEY DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
Just because your boss snapped at you in a meeting doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of the day moping around. Keep the good energy flowing and work to make sure every interaction you have (even if it’s just with the coffee cart guy) is happy and positive.
THEY LIGHTEN UP THEIR ENVIRONMENT
Find a way to brighten every space you’re in (like your house, your office and your car) by pulling back the shades, opening the windows (if possible) and adding a plant or a vase of flowers. When you’re in a cheery, bright room, it’s impossible to feel grumpy.
THEY PLAY WITH A PET
People with pets are proven to be generally happier than people without, so cuddle up with your pup at least once a day for a good-mood boost. (Or swing by the neighbor’s place to wrestle with theirs.)
Take 15 minutes to sit in stillness with your eyes closed before you start the day. You might have to crank the alarm clock back a notch to squeeze this in your schedule, but research says you’ll see a noticeable change in your stress level and mood after just one week of regular meditation.
SOMETIMES, THEY PUT THEMSELVES FIRST
If you meet your BFF for lunch and spend the entire time talking about how stressed and exhausted you are, she’s going to leave feeling frazzled, too. Take some time to yourself–even if it’s only half an hour to get a mani or read a book–to recharge when you’re feeling off-kilter. Your friends and family won’t mind–in fact, they’ll thank you.
THEY’RE NOT AFRAID TO GET MAD
OK, let’s say none of this stuff is working. Instead of bottling up your stress or denying its existence altogether, give yourself some time to just be angry, punch your pillow, repeat that hot shower, whatever you gotta do. The mood will pass and you’ll feel better for having released the negative energy.