If you’ve been feeling down lately, it’s understandable. The world hasn’t been the easiest place to be in recently. And while there might not be a lot you can do about what is going on in the outside world, there is something you can do about what is going on in your inside world. Cultivating daily rituals that are completely dedicated to your well-being and happiness can be a great way to support yourself despite outside stressors.
Whether you’re drinking a cup of serotonin-boosting flower tea every morning or committing yourself to a ceramics class every Thursday afternoon, the following daily rituals are scientifically proven to give you a happiness boost. A lot of us know how to take better care of ourselves, but the hardest part can be actually doing it.
If you’re struggling to add wellness rituals to your daily routine, try scheduling them into your calendar or enjoying them in bite sized pieces. If you want to exercise more, but can’t commit to an hour-long class, do a 5-minute ab workout and then keep going if you feel the motivation to.
Another thing you should do is be very clear on your goals and focus in on one thing. Instead of saying “I want to do more self-care activities,” say “I want to drink a healing cup of tea every morning.” Depending on the person, using positive motivating rewards can also be helpful. Maybe you can treat yourself to a massage if you manage to go to a yoga class 3-days a week.
At the end of the day, listen to your body and do what works best for you. A wellness ritual that works for one person might not work for another. Finally, constantly educating yourself on new wellness practices can be a great way to find something that works for you!
A few different studies have shared the happiness-boosting benefits of yoga. One Harvard study shared that holding opening body postures for two minutes can help increase testosterone, which has been seen to improve self-confidence and self-assuredness. The poses were also seen to decrease cortisol. (1)
Yoga has also been shown to help manage stress, improve sleep, and increase energy levels, which all play a part in your overall happiness. We love this 5-minute chair yoga routine because it can be added easily into anyone’s day. If you use the Pomodoro method to work, this makes a great 5-minute break in between 25-minute work sessions.
If chair yoga isn’t for you, there are a ton of different types of yoga out there and we’re sure one would work for you. The trick is finding something you like and something that can easily fit into your schedule.
Time spent in nature is proven to increase happiness. In fact, even just looking at pictures of nature can stimulate the parts of your brain which are linked to feelings of happiness, emotional stability, and positivity. While you might be quick to change your phone background to some florals or a beach sunset, there are actually more benefits you can get from actually being outside. (2)
Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to depression so by going out and getting in the sunshine you’ll be more likely to get that coveted vitamin D boost. Being outside has also been seen to lower blood pressure, improve your focus, and even help you heal faster. Also, light has been known to elevate people's mood. If you want to get even more benefits try forest bathing!
Finally, there is no shortage of research that talks about the benefits of exercise. Getting your heart pumping has been shown to help people relax and cheer up. When you exercise your brain releases extra endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline and endocannabinoid, which have all been linked to feeling less anxiety, feeling happier, and feeling more confident.
Whole Flower Tea Ritual
Like we mentioned earlier, just looking at nature has been seen to help your brain work better and help you feel better. In one study, students took a 40-second “microbreak” in between the two tasks. During that break, they saw either an image of a building roof made of concrete or one covered in grass and flowers. The group that saw the image of grass and flowers felt more restored. (3)
But enjoying flowers actually goes beyond that. Vogue recently shared some anecdotal evidence from a 2005 study where a researcher named Jeannette Haviland-Jones tested whether gifting a candle, a fruit basket, or flowers brought more joy. The people who received flowers all reacted with a Duchenne smile, which is a smile that is known by psychologists as being the only indicator of true enjoyment. (4)
The reason for this might be that seeing flowers release happiness chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. All of these incredible benefits might have you running out to the florist, but enjoying a cup of beautiful whole flower tea can provide many of the same effects.
While our Shangri-La rose tea starts out dry, after being submerged in hot water it will bloom into a full-bodied rose. After trying a flower tea herself, Jessica Sullima from Thrillist said it best when she said, “Imagine the serotonin boost you’d receive after taking a break from your screen to watch a single flower bloom inside a teacup. There’s never been a better winter to prioritize tiny pleasures, and whole flower teas are providing a comfort that’s both sensory and nutritious (5).”
This 3-minute ritual can be a great way to cultivate joy in your daily life.
There are a TON of benefits to cultivating gratitude. One study revealed that simply journaling for five minutes a day about what you're grateful for can boost your long-term happiness by over 10%! Life isn’t always easy so it can get tough to forget about all the stressful things in our lives, but focusing on the positive things in our lives can be really helpful. (6)
If you struggle with comparing yourself to things you see on the internet, gratitude could be a wonderful thing for you. One study showed that being grateful for what you have can reduce envy and facilitate positive emotions. Instead of focusing on all of the things you don’t have, with gratitude sessions you really sit down and think about all of the things you are lucky to have.
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you are privileged enough to have a computer and a wi-fi connection and most likely a roof over your head. This might not seem like much to some people, but there are hundreds of thousands of people who don’t have the same.
Cultivating gratitude can be as simple as listening to a gratitude meditation or writing down 5 things you’re grateful for every morning. Adding gratitude to your day can be an incredible wellness ritual that isn’t very time consuming.
Being creative has been linked to positive emotions and a greater sense of well-being. A recent study revealed that people who engaged in everyday creative endeavors reported being happier and energized than when they weren’t engaging in creative endeavors. Most of us know that it feels good to be creative, but there is evidence to show that being creative makes you feel good outside of creative endeavors as well. (7)
One study showed that being more creative than usual one day will have you experiencing positive emotions like energy, enthusiasm, and excitement the next day. Luckily getting in on these benefits aren’t hard. Even if you don’t consider yourself a creative person engaging in art forms like watercolor painting, ceramics, and even origami can really do some good.
Whether you decide to drink a cup of whole flower chrysanthemum tea every night before bed or do a 5-minute chair yoga session between work calls, we hope one of these daily wellness rituals will bring a little happiness to your day.