Habits that could Increase Happiness
Happy is the person who keeps on learning. Proverbs 3:18
Happiness looks different to everyone. Maybe it’s being at peace with who you are. Or perhaps it’s having a secure network of friends who accept you unconditionally. Or the freedom to pursue your deepest dreams.
Regardless of your version of true happiness, living a happier, more satisfied and fulfilled life is within reach. Just a few tweaks to your regular habits can help you get there.
Habits matter. If you have ever tried to break a bad habit, you know how engrained and difficult they are. But good habits are engrained also. Why not work at making positive habits a part of your routine?
Remember, everyone’s version of happiness is a little different, and so is their path to achieving it. If some of these habits create added stress or just don’t fit your lifestyle, ditch them. Figure out what does and does not work for YOU.
- Smile – you tend to smile when you are happy, and smiling causes the brain to release dopamine, which makes us happier. So, the next time you are feeling low, crack a smile and see what happens.
- Exercise – regular exercise can help to reduce stress, feelings of anxiety, and symptoms of depression while boosting self-esteem and happiness. Even a small amount of activity can make a difference. The trick is not to overexert. Walk around the block. Start the day with 5 minutes of stretches. Remember activities you used to do and enjoy and start again.
- Get plenty of sleep – no matter how much modern society steers us toward less sleep, we know that adequate sleep is vital to good health, brain function, and emotional well-being. 7-8 hours per night, a quiet hour before going to bed, and your bedroom dark, cool and quiet are helps to a good night’s sleep.
- Eat with mood in mind – carbohydrates release serotonin. A “feel good” hormone. Keep foods high in sugar and starch to a minimum and focus on eating complex carbs – vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Lean meats, poultry, and dairy are high in protein and these foods release dopamine and norepinephrine which boost energy and concentration.
- Be grateful – a recent study found that practicing gratitude can have a significant impact on feelings of hope and happiness. Start each day acknowledging one thing that you are grateful for.
- Give a compliment – performing acts of kindness can make you feel more satisfied. Do it with a smile and it is surprising how good it makes you feel.
- Breathe deeply – you are tense, your shoulders are tight and you feel as if you might “lose it.” Close your eyes, take a slow deep breath through your nose, and slowly release it out through your mouth. Repeat several times until you start to feel yourself calm down.
- Acknowledge the unhappy moments – bad things happen to everyone. It is part of life. Acknowledge the feeling of unhappiness for a moment, then shift your focus toward what made you feel this way and what it might take to recover. Do a deep breathing exercise, take a long walk outside, perhaps talking it over with someone. Let the moment pass and take care of yourself. No one’s happy all the time.
These are suggestions for habits that you can do daily and there are many more suggestions for habits that you can work on weekly, monthly, and yearly to be happier, to feel more positive and fulfilled.
- Declutter – what can you do in 20 minutes?
- See Friends
- Plan Your Week
- Ditch the Phone
- Get into Nature – 30 minutes in a greenspace can decrease both blood pressure and depression
- Explore Meditation – sit with your thoughts for 5 minutes and deep breathe
- Find a Self-care Ritual
- Give Back
- Take Yourself Out
- Take time to Reflect and Re-evaluate your Goals
- Take Care of Your Body
- Let Go of Grudges
Resource :Healthline: Wellness Wire