If someone asked you if you are happy, what would you say? Sure, it’s easy to say “yes” right after you’ve landed that dream job or gone to an event you’ve been looking forward to. But happiness is more than just feeling good at some point.
“Many factors contribute to happiness,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside and author of The how of happiness. “Happiness is really more internal than external, so it’s how you feel about yourself, others and the world around you. It’s the way you think, your day-to-day behavior that most influences the happiness.”
No matter who you are or where you live, most would agree that a big goal in life is to be happy, something that seems so easy but can be a real struggle, especially because it can’t be secured by appearance, money or possessions. While we can’t promise every day will be easy, our new 14-Day Happiness Challenge, which we’ve created in partnership with Preventioncan help you transform your outlook on life so that you learn to cultivate happiness in your own daily life.
In this exclusive guide for GH+ members, you can expect tips for creating healthier lifestyles and changing the way you view yourself and others. The two-week challenge lets you take your happiness to new levels, while giving you the tools to succeed when the first 14 days are up. Want a quick overview of what you can expect to find in our guide to happiness? Check out the tasks for day one of the challenge below:
Day 1: Practice self-care
Self-care is a broad term, and sometimes people confuse self-care with self-indulgence or an act of selfishness. But self-care is really about nurturing the body and mind so we can be the best version of ourselves in all areas of life: “When we don’t take care of ourselves, we’re more likely to feeling tired and having physical symptoms. , such as stress-related headaches or pain,” says Helen L. Coons, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist who specializes in women’s behavioral health and well-being at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. . “The most important thing is to be intentional about how we take care of ourselves. When we’re not last on the to-do list, we have more energy to do what’s important to us.
To start on the path to better self-care and create a self-care routine, try looking at the things that make you feel revitalized and adding more of them to your weekly schedule. Everyone has a different version of self-care, but we can all agree that neglecting yourself can get in the way of happiness, says Lyubomirsky. Acts of self-care can be anything that makes you happy, healthy, and rejuvenated. Try these ideas that might work for you:
✔️ Rest and relaxation: Engage in a ‘me time’ with a luxurious bath with scented candles and Epsom salt. Go the extra mile with a do-it-yourself manicure and pedicure, hair mask, or face mask (or all three, we’re not judging).
✔️ To move: try an impromptu, stress-relieving dance party to revive your body and mind. Add your favorite songs and let loose whenever and wherever the vibe hits you.
✔️ Be kind: a random act of kindness can put things into perspective and help you see the kindness and positivity in the world. “Helping others actually helps people feel happier,” Lyubomirsky says. So try giving compliments or holding doors for others, for a real mood-boosting activity.
Want full access to the challenge? For only $20 per yearyou can access the Good Housekeeping X Prevention 14 Day Happiness Challenge PLUS all our others exclusive guides, like the Beginner’s Guide to Sustainability, A Cleaning Expert’s Guide to Spring Cleaning, the 31-Day Get It Done Challenge and more. You will also have unlimited access to all content on the site, exclusive offers and discounts with our favorite brands, the possibility of being a product tester, exclusive access to GH experts, a one-year subscription to a print magazine and more.