We all have good days and bad days. And while some good and bad days seem to just "happen" due to events beyond our control, we do have significant power in creating better days. Creating the inner and outer conditions that make a day feel "good" to us can ensure a more positive day. While we'll always have ups and downs, and our "good days" often feel better when there are "bad days" to compare them to, there are steps you can take to relieve stress and promote happiness so that all of your days are a little better--or a lot. These simple tips can show how to have a good day, and make every day the best it can be.
Time Required: Ongoing
- Do What You Enjoy
One way to increase the likelihood that you have a good day is to include "gratifications," activities that you enjoy and that you are good at, that provide a sense of "flow", and that challenge you in a way that's stimulating and, well, gratifying. Some people experience gratifications on the job, but if you don't have the type of job that supplies this, you can participate in hobbies or other activities you enjoy and find the same result--a lift in mood and a reduction in stress. Perhaps the best thing about gratifications is that they don't get old--the same gratifications can always bring a lift.
- Add A Little Pleasure
Life's pleasures can add a quick lift to your mood, which can provide other benefits as well. There are many little pleasures you can add to your life to have a good day every day--tea, a warm bath, a walk in the park, etc. As long as you vary them (and enjoy some of them in moderation), pleasures in life can really brighten your day, every day.
Read more about enjoying pleasures in life.
- Stay In The Here And Now
Often, bad days come from a buildup of stress. For example, if something throws you off-balance in the morning (an early-day stressor, or rumination over something that happened days before), your stress response will likely become triggered, which can cause you to react to events throughout the rest of the day from a stressed mindset rather than from a relaxed one. This can make everything else you experience during the day feel more stressful, too. Staying in the here-and-now by practicing mindfulness can act like a "reset" button when you're having one of those days, and help relieve stress.
Read more about practicing mindfulness.
- Cultivate Laughter And Joy
Most people would agree that experiencing joy and laughter are part of having a good day--and perhaps are even a defining feature! That's why it's important to do what you can to create the conditions that foster joy for you--whether it's time with friends, indulging in a hobby, or doing whatever you find to be fun. Cultivating a sense of humor is also an important way not only to increase your chances of having a good day, but of coping more effectively with stress. After all, if you can laugh instead of panic, you can more easily focus on solutions.
Read more about laughing and having fun.
- Maintain Balance
If your schedule is completely packed, one minor emergency can snowball into a stressful day of late appointments and feelings of overwhelm. It's important--especially if you're a busy person--to stay balanced by scheduling in some flexibility and 'down time' if possible, and checking to be sure that everything in your schedule is important and necessary. Being busy is okay, but wasting time and energy on too many non-essentials can just lead to stress.
Read more about maintaining balance in your schedule.
- Use Positive Psychology
The relatively new field of positive psychology is helping to increase understanding and awareness of how to increase our levels of happiness, meaning and enjoyment of life. Positive psychology also provides research-backed techniques for making life more enjoyable. Having an understanding of positive psychology research and strategies can be helpful in coping with stress as well as ensuring that every day is a good day. Learn more about positive psychology, and enjoy life more!
Read more about positive psychology.