4 Things to Do Today to be Happier in Life Love and Work

4 Things to Do Today to be Happier in Life, Love and Work2 min read

A wise man once said, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones, (Proverbs 17:22 ESV).

If you increase your happiness, science says you can expect more positive benefits, when compared to people with less happiness:

Life Benefits
– Superior mental health
– Excellent physical health
– Ability to bounce back from hardship and trauma

Love Benefits
– Marital satisfaction
– Great sex
– Happy children
– Caring friends

Work Benefits:
– More requests for job interviews
– Better performance evaluations
– Higher productivity
– Greater job satisfaction
– Higher income

It’s not hard to be happy. With a little bit of effort, you can be happier today.

Here are four simple things you can do. You only need to do one to improve your mood and add pleasure to your day. You might even add joy to someone else’s day.

1. Thank

Pause and reflect on things that you’re thankful for. Choose at least three things that have happened within the last 24 hours that you’re grateful for. Write them down. Not only will this increase your happiness today, but if you do this three or four times in a week, you can increase your happiness for up to six months.

2. Give

Do something generous. Buy lunch for a workmate. Buy a small gift for your spouse–something you know that they will appreciate. Volunteer your time and talent for a charity. Donate money to a cause that is important to you. Generous giving immediately boosts happiness.

3. Smile

The simple act of looking in the mirror and smiling at yourself can increase your happiness. But even better than that, smile at the people you meet today. Make it a genuine smile–one that you feel from your heart. And say something like, “it’s good to see you today!” Most people will return the smile and thank you.

4. Play

Play isn’t just for children. I’m also not talking about playing a competitive sport. Sneak up on a family member and give them a gentle tickle. Flirt with your spouse the way you did when you were dating. Make a game out of tossing waste paper into the recycling bin, and invite somebody to join you–but don’t keep score. Be creative. Play won’t only increase your happiness, but will increase the happiness of those who play with you. It will also bring you closer to each other.

What are you going to do today to be happy?

If this post has helped you, please share it.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

A version of this post also appeared on LifeZette.com.

Jon Beaty

I'm a counselor, writer and believer in the power of God to help you thrive in your marriage and family. I live with my family, a small herd of Boer goats, and thousands of honeybees near Portland, Oregon.

  • This weekend our family is working on #4, with a beach day, BBQ, and family water-balloon fight. Thanks for the reminder that all of this fun isn’t simply, “goofing-off”–it’s important! Wishing you and your family a happy and fun weekend too 🙂

    • Jon Beaty says:

      Jed, Thanks for the comment. I did have fun! Our goats are playful, especially our 2 month old kids. We had fun playing with them. We also did some giving, visiting a friend of ours who is recovering from an accident that crushed his lower leg.

  • Jon Beaty says:

    Jed, Thanks for the comment. I did have fun. Our goats are playful, especially our 2 month old kids. We had fun playing with them. We also did some giving, visiting a friend of ours who is recovering from an accident that crushed his lower leg.

  • Kirby Ingles says:

    I’m actually doing all these though there are a few days I don’t get to play. The one I enjoy most is gratitude. I’ve been asking myself additional questions when I journal about gratitude. Who helped me make this happen, why this happened, how can I make more of this happen. This way I’m not just listing things but actually thinking about the process and who was a part of that.

  • Erik Tyler says:

    Hi, Jon. I got here hopping a link you left on http://www.CoffeeShopConversation.com. It fits right in with the post there on “The Power of Simple Advice.”

    Your four focus areas are simple, and yet it is a wonder that more people don’t put them into practice I hope your post will be another good reminder to many readers.

    These are things I am mindful of daily and about which I write continually. You or other readers may enjoy these two extensions of your #3 (Smile) and #4 (Play) points:

    skin and bones

    big kids: part 1

    And I see Kirby here, as well! Nice to be forming a “band of brothers” who can encourage one another in these ways. Looking forward to reading more from you, Jon.

    • Jon Beaty says:

      Hey Erik, Thanks for your comment! I’m grateful to have met you hear today and look forward to getting better acquainted and encouraging each other. I’m going to read posts.

    • Kirby Ingles says:

      Thanks for the mention. I like to focus on the simple things but how I get there is by looking at the bigger picture. If it doesn’t fit I get rid of it. Our lives our very complex and getting more as technology expands. Though this is a good thing too. Sometimes when I’m playing or tweaking new systems I have to look at does this really add value and get me to where I need to be or is this taking more time away from more important things like relationships and giving away value. Sometimes we focus on the wrong things and forget to thank, give, smile and play which actually rejuvenates another person but us as well.

  • >