Lifehacks aim to make life that little bit better and that little bit easier by providing us with quick tricks we can use to get more done more quickly. These can help us to cook healthier meals without slaving us over the stove, to save time when doing household chores, or to use our old belongings in creative ways around the house.
But really what makes life great is happiness and our sense of wellbeing. Can that be hacked? Can you use simple tricks to improve your mood throughout the day and thus make life better with a few simple hacks?
It’s not always that simple and in some cases you’ll find you need something a little bit more thorough than a hack to get life back on track. But if you want to do a few things that will help make life just that little bit better with no extra work… then hacks may just be able to help. Here are some great tricks you can use.
Put Pictures in Drawers
Pictures of our friends and loved ones are intended to make us happier every time we look at them and if they remind us of a good time then that’s precisely what they’ll accomplish.
Unfortunately though, standing pictures on a dresser won’t always have the desired effect because of our tendency to not look at them. In no time at all we can forget to look at pictures we’ve had for a long time and so they fail to have the impact they should. A great way to solve this problem is to opt to keep pictures in drawers rather than standing on your surfaces – in your underwear drawer or cutlery drawer for instance. Now every time you go to find something from that drawer you will see the picture and be reminded of the memories it represents!
Hide Money in an Old Wallet
Have you ever found money in an old wallet in your drawer and then been delighted with the discovery? It might only be a tenner, but it still feels like a great opportunity to treat yourself and is a nice little bit of sunshine on a rainy day.
In that case then, why not create this scenario artificially? All you need to do is to find an old wallet, deliberately stash a tenner in it and then hide it somewhere where you’re not going to look for a while. Future happiness guaranteed!
Offer to Reimburse Your Friend/Partner When They Lose Money
While finding a tenner can be a great moment, losing as much can put a real downer on your day – whether it’s because you were over-charged at the shops or you just physically lost the money on a blustery day. To avoid future disappointment then, make a pact with a friend or partner to reimburse one another whenever one of you loses any money of a small amount. You’ll be near-enough even in the grand scheme of things, but each time you get the money back it will prevent you from feeling like life is out to get you.
If you are in a relationship then another pact you can make is to exchange massages and other treats with one another once a month. It’s very rare to ever feel like you’re truly being indulged, so it’s a great feeling to know you have an entire day of guilt-free massage. And this day can include other little treats as well, such as small gifts, getting cooked for etc. Then you’ll have something to look forward to for the rest of the month.
Spend Your Birthday Money on Activities With Friends
Can you buy happiness? Not according to the old adage but it seems that research has something else to say on the matter. It turns out that spending money can bring you happiness but only if you spend it on either activities (like a holiday or bungee jumping) or if you spend it on spending time with friends. The best solution then? Spend your disposable income on doing fun things with friends. Life will have more colour and you’ll forge stronger friendships.
Hugging is a great way to improve your mood and studies show that it can help to stimulate the production of multiple happiness hormones and even to improve immune function! Other things that can give you a quick jolt of happiness hormones include bananas and exercise. Sex will do it too FYI.
Sunlight and Plants
SAD stands for ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’ and is a condition in which we feel depressed or low on energy during the winter months. This is partly because we aren’t spending enough time outside meaning we aren’t getting enough natural sunlight or fresh air.
Simply spending more time outside then can improve your mood to no end – and especially if you spend that time somewhere beautiful like an attractive park. Simply being around fauna has been shown to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and having plants in your house can actually have a similar effect!
For those without access to sunlight on demand, a good alternative is to use a ‘daylight’ lamp, which is a light that gives off a similar wavelength of light as the sun.
Do Something Enjoyable Every Day
Sometimes life can feel like an endless slog of work, tidying, cooking and going to bed to start the process again. This is no way to live, so it’s important that you do at least one thing that you genuinely enjoy every day. For me that’s playing a game of Sonic the Hedgehog, reading a comic or eating a bowl of my favourite cereal ‘Lucky Charms’. None of these things needs to take more than 10 minutes, but they give me something to look forward to every single day.
A lot of our mood is about what we focus on – and unfortunately we have a tendency to focus on the things we don’t have or aren’t happy with while forgetting the things we’re pleased about that we come to take for granted.
To stop this trend it’s time to start being grateful for the things that are going well in your life and to literally count your blessings. A great habit to get into is to once a day list all of the things you’re happy about, grateful for and proud of.
Another great list to make is all the things you have to look forward to. That could focus on things like upcoming activities, it could mean developments in science and technology, or it could mean more mundane things like ‘dinner’ or ‘the next issue of Amazing Spider-Man’. Most of us have plenty of things to be excited about and remembering these can help to make life exciting and colourful again.