Happiness and Relaxation
We can spend so much time thinking about everything we have to do and deal with that we can forget the importance of simply being happy. And it is important! Research in positive psychology, or the study of human flourishing, shows us that happiness is linked with better health, stress management, and success in life.
Lift your spirits with these happiness tips
Use Your Unique Strengths
When your daily actions are aligned with your natural strengths, you feel powerful and effective. Give yourself permission to name your strengths and own them, and then consider how you could use them more in your daily life.
Try it now:
Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude
Spend a little time every day thinking about what you enjoy and appreciate. Even just a few minutes spent noticing one thing that made your day easier can shift your mindset and improve your mood.
Optimism is the ability to see the future in a positive light and see yourself as having the ability to make that positive future happen. Here are two simple steps to help you practice optimism:
Give yourself something to look forward to every day.
Put at least 1 thing to look forward to in your daily planner. It doesn't need to be extravagant. Even seemingly simple actions like having a glass of lemonade or saying hi to a friend can make all the difference.
Envision your best possible self.
Spend time picturing your highest vision for yourself and your goals in an important area of your life.
Try this Best Possible Self activity from Greater Good in Action to see how it works.
Try it now:
- Put away the to-do list and make a looking forward to list.
- Put those looking forward to things in your schedule.
- Envision your best possible future self.
Set meaningful goals
A happy life is built on the foundation of positive emotions, engagement, positive relationships, meaning, accomplishment, and vitality. Or, PERMA-V. When each of these domains is expressed in your life, you feel better and do better.
If you're feeling off-balance, do a quick self-test. Is one area lacking in your life? How can you bring it back into alignment?
What meaningful goals can you set based on PERMA-V?
Use PERMA-V to make them meaningful. Use SMART to make them stick.
Savor the Good Feelings
How do you want to feel? (Support that.)
Take a few minutes to think about what happiness means to you. Does it mean contentment? Personal freedom? Feeling connected to important friends? Choose a few feelings that resonate with you and make a point of doing things to support those feelings every day.
The feeling of awe you get when you look at a beautiful piece of art or marvel at nature is good for you! Take time out for awe and inspiration. Listen to an inspirational song, watch a documentary about someone you admire, or spend time in nature.
Feel good in 5 minutes or less:
More tools for happiness
BUILD YOUR COPING SKILLS (FOR FREE!)
TAO Pathways offers free self-help activities recommended by CAPS to help with stress, anxiety, relationship problems, anger management, problem-solving, communication, or evaluating your alcohol and drug use - without a counseling appointment.
Enroll for free with the enrollment key: CAPS-Cares-520
TALK TO SOMEONE AT CAPS
At CAPS, enrolled students can receive mental health care, including:
- short-term counseling
- short-term psychiatry
- groups and workshops
- self-paced self-help
- specialty services, including ADHD treatment and evaluation, eating disorder services, Oasis sexual assault and trauma services, LGBTQIA services, and substance abuse recovery
Learn more about getting started at CAPS.
Articles& Online Tools
The 7 Habits of Happy People on Pursuit of Happiness
6 Positive Psychology Tips That Can Improve Your Everyday Life on Psych Central
89 Ways to Achieve a Positive Mental Attitude on Positive Psychology Program
The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky
Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being by Martin Seligman