Everyone gets the blues occasionally, but people who can detach themselves from a bad mood may have discovered the secret to happiness.
"The secret to having a happy life isn't to be constantly laughing, but to be able to bounce back from a bout with unhappiness, to use little tricks -- some happy habits -- to jump-start your mind and revitalize your energy," says Bix Bender, author of "7 Habits of Highly Happy People."
Mr. Bender talks about the following strategies on how to beat the blues from friends, neighbors and strangers. One or two of these happy habits may help lift your spirits the next time you're feeling down.
Get that 'good tired' feeling
"When you exercise, you're doing something for yourself -- your body, mind and spirit," Mr. Bender says. "After a day of strenuous activity, such as cleaning house or gardening, you're probably tired -- but it's a good tired. This feeling has to do with the fact you did something that needed doing, but it also means your mind and body worked together in a pleasing way."
Do something you like
Get a jump-start on happiness by doing something for yourself that makes you happy.
Write down the words to an inspirational song or poem and place it where you'll see it every day. Use it to remind yourself of how you want to live your life.
Go to a sporting event-the cheering will boost your mood.
Turn up on your radio or car stereo and sing along to your favorite song.
Draw a beautiful, peaceful, happy scene.
Spend time in nature
"The great outdoors can soothe the spirit and inspire happiness," Mr. Bender says.
To learn from nature:
Have a special outdoor space/place -- a lake, park or forest where you can go for restoration.
Grow something. This can range from tending to a whole garden, a tree or a bean in a paper cup.
Walk barefoot in the grass or on the beach.
Do something for someone else. This will help you focus your mind on spread the happiness.
Do something to make someone smile.
Do a favor for someone without being asked.
Enjoy the little things
"A person doesn't become happy in big gushes and explosions," Mr. Bender says. "Someone who feels good about life builds happiness one little moment at a time, one decision at a time, one smile at a time." To acknowledge life's small pleasures:
Think about those you love and those who love you.
Spend time with positive people.
Find happiness in little things -- smelling freshly cut flowers, getting something done you have been wanted to accomplish, saying hello to a stranger and having the person smile back.
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