Feeling energetic is a key to feeling happy. Studies show that when you feel energetic, you feel much better about yourself. On the other hand, when you feel exhausted, tasks that would ordinarily make you happy--like putting up holiday decorations--make you feel overwhelmed and blue.
When my energy feels at a low ebb, I try one of these techniques (well, first I drink something with caffeine in it, but if I feel like I need to take further steps, I try these strategies):
1. Exercise--even a quick ten-minute walk will increase your energy and boost your mood. This really works! Try it!
2. Listen to lively music.
3. Get enough sleep. If the alarm blasts you out of a sound sleep every morning, you're not getting enough--and it matters. (Here are some tips for getting good sleep.)
4. For some people, taking a 10-30 minute nap is a big help. I can't nap, myself, but my father has been known to take three naps in one day.
5. Act energetic. Research shows that when people move faster, their metabolism speeds up. Also, because the way we act influences the way we feel (to an almost uncanny degree), by acting energetic you'll make you feel more energetic.
6. Talk to friends. I've noticed that if I'm feeling low, and then run into a friend on the street, I walk away feeling much more energetic. Reach out if you need a boost. This is true for introverts and extroverts alike.
7. Get something done. Crossing a nagging chore off your to-do list provides a big rush of energy. For a huge surge, clean out a closet. You'll be amazed at how great you feel afterward.
8. Do NOT use food. It's tempting to reach for a carton of ice cream when you're feeling listless, but in the end, all those extra calories will just drag you down. In general, be wary of the urge to treat yourself when you're feeling low.
Energy (or lack of energy) is contagious. If you feel energetic, you'll help the people around you feel energetic, too. And that makes them feel happier. In fact, in his excellent book, The No A***ole Rule, Bob Sutton reports that being an energizer was one of the strongest predictors of a positive performance evaluation at work.
* How great! Groups for people who are doing happiness projects together have launched all over the world, and the group in Singapore, led by Marion, got written up in the magazine Her World. Click here if you want a starter-kit yourself.
* Today I'm gently encouraging (or, you might think, pestering) you to spread the word about the Happiness Project. You might:
-- Forward the link to someone you think would be interested
-- Link to a post on Twitter
-- Pre-order the book for a friend
-- Put a link to the blog in your Facebook status update
Thanks! I really appreciate any help. Word of mouth is the BEST.