People often say that life is simple and it is we who make it complicated. That isn’t entirely true. Sometimes work, family issues, love life or simply falling into a rut can make us feel lost and even miserable. There are days when we simply can’t manage to find joy in the little things. That is exactly why we must make the time and make a conscious effort to bring the joy back into our lives and make the, at times, unbearable and exhausting moments easier. It’s amazing how the little things we can do for ourselves can improve the overall levels of contentment and make and put back those rose-colored glasses we so truly need to fight the grayness.

Steal some ‘me time’

In a hectic world of work commitments, errands, schedules it is paramount to set aside just a smidge of time for just you. Whether your joy comes from solitary moments spent sipping a great cup of coffee, reading a book or taking a stroll early in the morning before everyone rushes out to the streets, reclaim this time. It might seem corny, but it’s true; spending some quality time with yourself and your thoughts will bring you to that state of pure and untainted joy. According to Psychology Today solitude provides a chance to reconnect with yourself, reboot your brain and actually make you more productive in the long run.

Take a trip down memory lane

When life gets you down, and nothing good is happening in the present, looking back on the happy days of the past can do wonders at putting a smile on your face. Even science is behind this idea; according to a new study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that people who tend to hold a positive, nostalgic view of the past and are less likely to have negative thoughts and regrets. So, keep a journal of all your hilarious memories, those crazy times during college – basically everything that made you happy. Read and reminiscing a happy past will give you the boost that you need to create more wonderful memories in the future.

Love, actually

Independence is great, it’s empowering, but there is nothing that can trump the sense of knowing that at the end of a stressful day you get to go home and unwind and even complain to someone you love. Having a loved one makes everything so much easier. Even when they can’t help you resolve problems, they’re there ready to listen, love, and understand. Finding true love isn’t easy, and certain knowledge about how to attract a man you like is necessary. Keep in mind that in order to be successful in love, you should always be confident about your worth, brains and wit. Always remember that confidence is alluring. Once you’ve got the big L, you won’t sweat the small stuff as much.

Smile

Sometimes the key to feeling joy lies in spreading joy. Even when you’re not in the greatest of moods, force yourself to smile. Smile back at a stranger on the street, at a grandma walking towards you or a baby in a stroller. People will smile back, acknowledging this random act of kindness. This is a two-way street; with this random act of kindness you are actually making someone’s day, and that in turn will make you far happier as well. Go beyond that – help an elderly person cross the street, let someone cut in front of you in line at a grocery store. You’ll be surprised how much content and gleeful this will make you feel.

Dance it out

If you’re a fan of Grey’s Anatomy you’re probably familiar with the main characters’ routine of dancing it out whenever something monumental or even horrible happens. Get up, play your jams and dance like nobody’s watching. If you don’t trust us, perhaps you’ll trust science. A study conducted in Poland found that recreational dancers reported higher energy, less tension, and a better, more creative mood than before. Even if you’ve got two left feet – who cares, no one is there to see it, so get off the couch and dance your heart out.

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