10 super simple things you can do to be happier

10 super simple things you can do to be happier

by Jessica Stillman from Inc.com 

Happiness is such an important and profound subject that many of us assume that it will take big changes in our lives–a new job, a big move, a whole lot of therapy–to make a significant gain in our levels of well being.

But research says otherwise.

Previous studies have shown that usually the simplest of actions, like, say, making someone smile, often have a bigger impact on our reported happiness levels than striving for big goals. That, of course, is awesome news. Though it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to sell your house and follow that dream of sailing around the world anytime soon, it’s totally achievable to make small changes to your routine and behavior without much fuss or pain.

What should these changes be? A recent thread on question-and-answer site Quora provided a bevy of great suggestions. In response to someone inquiring, "What are the simplest things one can do to make oneself happier?" dozens of thoughtful respondents offered ideas that you can implement today, including:

Assume Positive Intent

"All this means is that when someone does something that upsets you–like cuts you off in traffic–assume they're just trying to get through their day and in no way, shape, or form were targeting you," writes copywriter Jeff Shattuck. "There was no malice, just an awkward move in a fast-moving world. This little nugget has helped me immensely."

The Walk-in-the-Door Rule

"When I was in a dark period, I instituted a simple rule that changed my life,” explains social marketer Brad Einarsen. What was it? "When I arrive home from work, he says, "the very first thing I tell my wife is the best thing that happened that day."

The Breakfast (or Lunch) Surprise

Giving to others is one of the most powerful ways to make yourself happier. Why not start today, on a small scale, suggests CPA Brent Scott. "I normally grab breakfast from a drive-through restaurant that stays packed," Scott says. "A few weeks ago, I handed my card to the cashier at the window and she said, 'The gentleman in front of you paid for your order.' No idea who he was, and his car was gone by the time the cashier said that. It was completely unexpected and made me feel confident that even though there are a lot of things wrong in the world, random acts of kindness still exist…Since then, I've done the same for others."

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