It's not a secret, it's science: good relationships are a major source of happiness in our lives.
As healthy adults, we have relationships with friends, parents, spouses, partners, children and ourselves, to name a few. But like anything important, all of them sometimes require work and tune-ups.
If you want to quickly warm up your connection with the people closest to you, or spark a better relationship with others, these 15 little boosts can provide BIG results, in 60-seconds or less.
1. Give your partner a 60-second hug (f you can only give it 20-30 seconds, that will suffice). Touching your partner in this way will boost oxytocin and dopamine, your attachment and pleasure hormones. It feels like you've enshrouded yourself in a warm blanket, and that feeling will stay with you for the day.
2. Send your partner a sweet text telling him/her something you appreciate or love about them. This text could also be about a fond memory that you share. It will brighten up your partner's day in an instant.
3. Think of your partner's favorite drink, snack or dessert, and stop at the store to grab it today. People love when you 'know' them, and it's truly the little things that mean a lot.
4. For a friendship that you'd like to resuscitate, send a short, thoughtful email or text. Something as simple as, "I heard 'NSYNC' on the radio today and it made me think of you. Miss you and would love to talk soon!"
5. Send your best female friend purple tulips for no reason — there is something magical about purple tulips and she will LOVE them. Purple represents nobility, passion, strength and love — and in the card, tell her those are things she brings to your life.
6. Leave your best friend a voicemail telling her how important she is to your life. You can sing it to her, or just say it straight up. It will put tears in her eyes.
7. Put a cute note with a smily face in your kids' lunchbox. I have saved my Mom's 'love' notes from my lunch box for over 20 years :)
8. Arrange their food for breakfast or dinner into the shape of a fun character or animal (and this doesn't have to be ornate). I put crackers in a heart shape with a hunk of cheese in the middle - and it brings a smile to even my middle school daughter's face.
9. During dinner, fill their emotional buckets with a compliment. Tell your kids something specific that you love about them or what they bring to your family. They will treasure that and remind them of that again when they're going to bed.
10. Buy a treat for the members of your team — could be something small like "Hershey's Kisses" (showing your love for the team), or pick up a dozen donuts at the drive through on the way to work. Only takes a minute with a little pre-planning, and will make the office a sweeter place that day.
11. Send someone that has recently helped you at work a message of thanks, titled, "Thank You!" That title will ensure that your message gets opened, and people love to be acknowledged for their help (especially in writing). They can save it and look back on your kind words whenever THEY need a boost again!
12. Sincerely compliment your boss — bosses rarely receive nice notes or comments from their employees, and rarely get feedback from their direct reports.
13. Make a list of seven things that make you happy when you do them, and commit to doing at least one per day this week.
14. Giving feels better than receiving. Surprise the person behind you at Starbucks (even at the drive-through) by buying their coffee. The smile you'll bring to their face will warm your heart, and put a little spring in your step all day long.
15. Make a list of your five favorite things about yourself on a credit card-sized slip of paper. Put that slip in your wallet where those cards are. Every time you pull out a card to spend money, pull out your slip of paper, and boost your self-esteem that minute.