Happiness Hacks: 300+ Ways to Get—and Stay—Happy

Recently, I just saw this book (by Adams Media) on a visit to a local Barnes & Noble. There are 301 “hacks” in the book, one per page, and I thought I’d share some of the ones I thought many of us don’t think about too much.

1. “Gaze at a gorgeous you” (Hack #2)

Portrait of a Person
Photo by Svyatoslav Romanov on Unsplash

While this may seem self-absorbent, if you put a picture on your desk of yourself looking nice and look at it when you have negative thoughts, it can push away those negative thoughts, increase your self-confidence, and make you feel good.

2. “Spend Money on Things” (Hack # 69)

People Giving Money
Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

As suggested in the book, you should spend money on doing things, not on stuff. It’s about the memories and experiences you’re having. You only live once, so why not try what you want to try?

3. “Have Cash on You” (Hack #74)

Photo by Aidan Bartos on Unsplash

While having lots of cash on you may feel risky, it’s important to carry around some in your purse or pocket. That way, when you’re in an emergency situation you know you have some cash to use just in case. It may also help you feel more secure knowing that you have money in your pocket and you’re not broke.

4. “Sniff Citrus” (Hack #155)

Slices of Citrus Fruit
Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

As mentioned in the book, the “scent of oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits eases stress and creates positive chemical reactions in your brain.” Next time you’re stressed, why don’t you get yourself a citrus fruit?

5. “Treat Yourself” (Hack # 192)

Person Enjoying / Treating Themselves with Food
Photo by Patricia Prudente on Unsplash

Your house may be a mess, laundry might have to be done, or you may have other chores to get done. Leave it alone for a day and make yourself happy by doing something you want to do.

6. “Don’t work so much” (Hack #215)

Stressed and Overworked Person Looking at Desk
Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

While you should work, you shouldn’t work too much. The book talks about how those who “work more than eleven hours a day have a higher risk of depression than those who work a standard seven- or eight-hour day.”

7. “Don’t Be Unhappy about Being Unhappy” (Hack #239)

Upset Dog
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Life can be a struggle sometimes. Those struggles can come in the form of pain, sadness, distress, worry, embarrassment,  or other negative emotions, and these are all human experiences. It’s important to remember not to be mad at yourself when you experience these emotions. Instead, acknowledge or accept them, and becoming happier and feeling better will happen soon enough.

8. “Record Your Relatives” (Hack #244)

Cassette Player
Photo by Simone Acquaroli on Unsplash

Before your relatives get any older, ask them to sit down with you so that you could record a conversation with them. Make it informal as you ask easy questions like, as the book suggests, when they were born and where, who their parents were, and what they themselves did for a living. Then ask them about their earliest memories and other open-ended questions. That way, after their passing, you could listen to the recording and feel the joy you had in the original conversation.

These were eight of the book’s “hacks” that I liked from reading the book. If you’ve read the book or will read the book in the future, share what your favorites were or what you learned and/or found interesting.

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