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6 Ways to Feel Happier Instantly

College can be extremely stressful. Between studying for upcoming tests, trying to complete homework and possibly having a job or internship, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and emotionally drained. Not to mention, trying to also maintain some sort of social life and dealing with any other challenges that life throws your way. Sometimes, college students can become so busy and wrapped up trying to balance everything that they forget to be happy; I know I have definitely been there many times.

However, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, your happiness and mental health are more important than any test grade or job application. As you make your schoolwork a priority, it is crucial to also make your own happiness and wellbeing a priority. 44% of college students report having symptoms of depression. While I believe the phrase “you can choose to be happy” is overused and honestly not necessarily always applicable, especially to students truly struggling with depression and anxiety (I’ve been there), there are simple steps you can take to at least increase your happiness for a moment.

Take a deep breath, let go of your fears and anxieties for a minute, and focus on rejuvenating your spirit for a moment with these six ways to feel happier instantly, even if it is just for a short period of time.

1. Think about something you are grateful for. Write it down.

When you find yourself feeling down, it is easy to focus on the negatives in life and forget about all that is positive. Taking a minute to reflect on what you are grateful can help bring you back down to Earth and remind you of all that is wonderful about life. Your list doesn’t have to be a long, and it can be focused on anything that makes you feel grateful, no matter how small. Your family. Your pet. The warmth of your bed. The comforting smell of coffee.


2. Listen to a song that makes you happy.

Put in your headphones (or if you’re alone, crank up your phone or computer!) and jam out to one of your favorite songs. Music is so powerful because it has the ability to instantly raise our moods and energy. Check out this list of empowering female songs to boost your confidence! 


3.  Call or a text a friend/family member.

When we are overwhelmed with emotions, it is easy to shut ourselves out from the rest of the world. However, this usually is not healthy. A simple text or phone call to a friend or family member can help you feel more connected to others. 


4. The power of laughter.

Laughter is an age-old cure for sadness. Think about something funny that has happened in the past week. Find humor in the situation in which you are currently in. Or re-watch clips from your favorite comedy on YouTube. Laughter is extremely powerful in helping you feel better.


5. Look up photos/videos of cute baby animals.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never looked at a picture or watched a video of a baby animal and felt worse than before. Is it cliché? Maybe. But if it brings a smile to your face, who cares. Get ready to be overwhelmed with cuteness here. And here. Or here.


6. Smile :) 

Something as simple as putting a smile on your face is scientifically proven to reduce stress and make you feel happier instantly. Plus, smiling will make you appear more approachable and friendly and in return attract more people to you. So when all else fails, smile! 


Photo Credits: 123, 4, 56, 78, 9

Lauren is currently a Junior at American University and is pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a Finance specialization. As a previous communications student, Lauren is a long-time writer for Her Campus. She believes every student, no matter what major, can benefit from learning about business and finance. Her goal is to share some of the information she has learned as a business student to empower other young people to prepare for financial success. Lauren writes articles focused mainly on personal finance, business and career prep. 
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