Regardless of your conception of ultimate happiness, it is possible to live a happier, more fulfilled life. A few adjustments to your daily routine can help you reach your goal.
Habits are vital. If you have ever attempted to quit a bad habit, you are well aware of how ingrained they are.
However, positive habits are also strongly ingrained. Why not attempt to incorporate positive behaviors into your routine?
Here are some daily, monthly, and yearly habits that will help you get started on your journey. Remember that everyone’s definition of happiness and path to reaching it are slightly different.
If any of these behaviors cause additional stress or do not match your lifestyle, eliminate them. With some time and effort, you will determine what works and what doesn’t for you.
The following daily practices may assist you in attaining greater happiness in your life.
You typically smile when you are happy. However, it is a two-way street.
We smile because we are pleased, and smiling causes the release of dopamine in the brain, which makes us even happier.
Although not entirely conclusive, researchers have discovered that the link between smiling and pleasure may be explained by the “facial feedback theory,” according to which facial expressions may have a minor effect on emotions.
That does not imply that you must always walk about with a phony smile on your face. However, the next time you feel depressed, try smiling and see what occurs. Or, try beginning each morning with a smile in the mirror.
Exercise benefits more than just the body. Regular exercise can reduce stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms while increasing self-esteem and enjoyment.
Even modest amounts of physical activity can be beneficial. You are not required to train for a triathlon or climb a cliff, unless, of course, those activities make you happy.
The trick is to avoid overexertion. You may become dissatisfied if you abruptly adopt a rigorous schedule (and sore).
Consider the following workout starters:
Take a nightly stroll around the block after supper.
Sign up for a yoga or tai chi class for beginners.
Stretch for five minutes to start the day.
Recall any enjoyable pastimes that you formerly enjoyed but have since abandoned. Or, you may start doing something you’ve always wanted to try, such as golf, bowling, or dance.
3. Get adequate rest
The majority of adults require at least 7 hours of sleep per night. If you find yourself resisting the need to take a nap during the day or if you feel overall foggy, your body may be requesting more rest.
Despite the fact that our modern society encourages us to sleep less, we are aware that proper sleep is necessary for optimal health, brain function, and emotional well-being. Additionally, enough sleep lessens the chance of developing some chronic diseases, such as heart disease, depression, and diabetes.
Here are some suggestions for establishing a healthy sleep routine:
Record the number of hours you sleep each night and how rested you feel. You should have a better picture of your progress after one week. You can also track your sleep using an app.
Consistently go to bed and wake up at the same hour, especially on weekends.
Reserve the hour before bedtime for alone. Take a bath, read, or engage in a calming activity. Avoid eating and drinking excessively.
Maintain a dark, cool, and quiet bedroom.
Invest in some decent bedding.
If you must snooze, try to limit it to twenty minutes.
Consider speaking with a physician if you have persistent sleep problems. You may suffer from a sleep issue requiring therapy.
4. Consider your emotions when consuming food
You may already be aware that your dietary choices affect your overall physical health. However, certain meals might also alter your mood.
Carbohydrates stimulate the release of serotonin, the “feel good” hormone. Just limit your intake of simple carbohydrates — foods high in sugar and starch — because this energy boost is temporary and will be followed by a collapse. Choosing complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, can prevent a collapse while still supplying serotonin.
High in protein are lean meat, poultry, lentils, and dairy products. Protein-rich diets stimulate the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, which increase energy and focus.
It has been shown that omega-3 fatty acids, such as those present in fatty fish, have anti-inflammatory properties that extend to brain health as a whole. If you do not consume fish, you may wish to consult a physician about possible supplementation.
Highly processed or fried foods, as well as skipping meals, might leave you feeling depressed.
If you wish to eat with your mood in mind, you may want to start by choosing one food choice every day.
Replace a large, sweet breakfast pastry with Greek yogurt and fruit, for example. You will still be able to satisfy your sweet appetite, and the protein will prevent a midmorning energy slump. Consider incorporating a weekly food swap.
5. Practice gratitude
Being appreciative can increase your mood significantly, among other benefits. A two-part study indicated, for instance, that practicing thankfulness can have a substantial impact on sentiments of optimism and happiness.
You may try beginning each day by expressing gratitude for one thing. While brushing your teeth or waiting for your snoozed alarm to go off, you can complete this task.
Consider keeping an eye out for nice things in your life as you go about your day. They can be significant, such as learning that someone loves you or receiving a promotion that was well-deserved.
However, they can also be small gestures, such as a coworker offering you a cup of coffee or a neighbor waving to you. Perhaps it is simply the warmth of the sun on your skin.
You may even become more conscious of all the great things around you with a little effort.
6. Give a compliment
According to research, committing acts of kindness may also improve your general health.
A heartfelt compliment is a quick and simple approach to increase both your own and another person’s pleasure.
Catch the person’s attention and say it with a grin to demonstrate your sincerity. It may surprise you how amazing it makes you feel.
If you wish to appreciate someone’s physical beauty, be sure to do so in a respectful manner.
7. Take a big breath
You’re stiff, your shoulders are contracted, and you’re on the verge of “losing it.” We are all familiar with the sensation.
To calm yourself, your instinct may tell you to take a long, deep breath.
It turns out that instinct was correct. Slow breathing and deep breathing exercises can help lower stress, according to research.
Follow these steps the next time you feel overwhelmed or at your wits’ end:
Close your eyes. Consider a pleasant recollection or gorgeous location.
Inhale slowly and deeply through the nose.
Exhale slowly through your mouth or nose.
Repeat this approach until you feel yourself beginning to settle down.
If you find it difficult to take calm, deliberate breaths, try mentally counting to five with each inhale and exhale.
8. Acknowledge the times of distress
In general, a cheerful outlook is advantageous, although awful things happen to everyone. It is simply a part of life.
Don’t pretend to be cheerful if you receive terrible news, make a mistake, or feel down in the dumps.
Acknowledge your dissatisfaction and allow yourself to experience it for a moment. Then, change your attention to what triggered these feelings and what it may take to recover.
Would practicing deep breathing help? A lengthy stroll outside? Discussing it with someone?
Allow the moment to pass and attend to your needs. Remember that no one is always happy.
9. Keep a notebook
A journal is a useful tool for organizing ideas, analyzing emotions, and making plans. And you do not need to be a literary genius or a prolific writer to profit.
It might be as easy as writing down a few thoughts before night. If putting certain things on paper makes you anxious, you may always shred them afterward. The process is what matters.
Not certain what to do with all the emotions that make it to the page? Our advice to organizing your emotions may prove useful.
10. Confront stress head-on
There are several stressors in life, and it is impossible to avoid them all.
There is no reason to. Stress is not necessarily detrimental, and we can even alter our attitudes about it. Sometimes, stress can be advantageous.
For such unavoidable stressors, remind yourself that everyone experiences stress; there’s no reason to believe it’s all your fault. Moreover, you are probably stronger than you believe.
Instead than allowing yourself to become overwhelmed, attempt to confront the source of stress head-on. This may necessitate having an awkward conversation or performing additional labor, but the sooner you tackle it, the sooner the pit in your stomach may begin to diminish.
11. Avoid making comparisons to others.
It’s easy to fall into the habit of comparing oneself to others, whether it is on social media, at work, or even in yoga class. The outcome? You may experience increased dissatisfaction, diminished self-esteem, despair, and worry.
It may take work to stop comparing yourself to others, but it is well worth the effort for the sake of your inner peace and pleasure.
You can begin with some of the other suggestions on this list, such as deep breathing and journaling, which can help you focus on yourself. Consider speaking with a therapist for additional insight.The following suggestions involve weekly routines that may make you happier.
Decluttering may sound like a daunting task, but allocating just 20 minutes per week can have a significant impact.
What can be completed in 20 minutes? Lots.
Set a 15-minute timer on your phone and organize a specific area of one room, such as your closet or that out-of-control rubbish drawer. Put everything in its place and get rid of or donate any clutter that no longer serves you.
Keep a designated box for giveaways to facilitate distribution (and avoid creating more clutter).
Use the remaining 5 minutes to make a fast sweep of your living space and put away any stray things you encounter.
This trick can be performed once a week, once a day, or whenever you feel your space is out of hand.
13. See friends
Humans are usually regarded as social organisms, and although studies on the specific relationship between socialization and happiness is contradictory, the consensus is that having social relationships might make us happier.
Who do you miss? Communicate with them. Make plans to meet or simply have a lengthy phone conversation.
It can feel nearly hard to make new friends as an adult. However, it does not matter how many friends you have. It’s about building meaningful relationships, even with just one or two individuals.
Consider joining a local volunteer organization or enrolling in a class. Both can help you find like-minded individuals in your neighborhood. And it is possible that they are also seeking companionship.
Companionship need not be restricted to human beings. Multiple research have found that pets provide similar advantages.
Love animals but are unable to own one? Consider volunteering at a local animal shelter in order to make new human and animal friends.
14. Plan your week
Feel like you’re flailing about? Try sitting down at the conclusion of each week to create a simple to-do list for the next week.
Even if you don’t follow through, scheduling time to accomplish chores like washing, grocery shopping, or job duties might help calm your mind.
You can purchase a sophisticated planner or program, but a post-it note on your computer or scrap of paper in your pocket will suffice.
15. Abandon your phone.
Increasing research suggests that heavy phone use can lead to brain changes and affect your mood, with one study indicating even more severe cognitive and emotional effects in teens and young adults.
Once per week, turn off all electronics and remove your headphones for at least one hour. They will still be available if you desire them in the future.
If you haven’t disconnected recently, you may be shocked by the difference. Allow your mind to roam for a change. Read. Meditate. Take a stroll and observe your surroundings. Be sociable. Or you can be alone. Just be.
Sound too intimidating? Try unplugging for shorter durations multiple times per week.
16. Get into nature
According to one study, spending at least 30 minutes each week in green spaces can reduce blood pressure and the risk of developing depression.
Your green area could be a neighborhood park, your own backyard, or a rooftop garden – someplace where you can appreciate and enjoy nature and fresh air.
Even better, incorporate outdoor exercise for added benefit. People who spent time in green places were more inclined to exercise regularly and for longer durations, according to the same study.
17. Explore meditation
There are numerous meditation techniques to investigate. They may entail movement, concentration, or spirituality, or all three.
Meditation does not need to be difficult. It might be as simple as spending five minutes alone with your thoughts. Even the previously described deep breathing exercises can act as a sort of meditation.
18. Consider psychotherapy
Certainly, we are happy when we learn how to overcome problems. Consider what helped you overcome a comparable situation in the past when confronted with a challenge. Would it be applicable? What else could you do?
Consider consulting weekly with a mental health expert like a therapist if you feel like you’ve hit a brick wall. You do not need to have a documented mental illness or be in a dire situation to seek counseling.
Mental health experts are educated to assist individuals in enhancing their coping abilities. Additionally, there is no obligation to continue once you’ve begun.
Even a few sessions can help you add new emotional tools to your arsenal.
Concerned about the price? It is feasible to afford counseling regardless of finances.
19. Find a self-care ritual
Self-care is easy to overlook in today’s fast-paced environment. To support your body’s obligations of moving your thoughts, desires, and soul through the world, however, it is essential to find as much time as possible to care for yourself.
Maybe it’s taking a long, hot bath to decompress after a week of work. Or perhaps it is following a skin care regimen that makes you feel pampered. Or it may be as simple as scheduling a night to put on your coziest pajamas and watch a movie from beginning to end.
20. Make time for whatever it is you wish to do.
If necessary, put it in your planner, but make it a priority to complete the task.
You may wish to give these monthly happiness-enhancing practices a try.
Twenty. Give back
Consider establishing a monthly pattern of giving back on a greater scale if you discover that offering compliments daily gives a necessary mood boost.
This may be volunteering at a food bank every third weekend of the month or offering to watch a friend’s children one night per month.
21. Take yourself out of here
No one to accompany you? What rule prohibits you from going out alone?
Consider going to your favorite restaurant, seeing a movie, or taking that long-awaited vacation.
Even if you’re an extrovert, spending some time alone might help you reconnect with the activities that bring you the most joy.
22. Create a list of ideas
You come to your appointment 10 minutes early. How do you spend your time? Pick up your mobile phone to browse social media? Concerned about the hectic week that lies ahead?
Attempting to manage your thoughts during these brief moments can be beneficial.
Make a list of good memories or things you’re looking forward to at the beginning of each month on a small piece of paper or your phone.
When you are waiting for a ride, in line at the supermarket, or simply have a few minutes to waste, pull out your list. You can also utilize it when you’re feeling generally depressed and need a mental shift.
Consider implementing the following practices at least once a year to reflect and plan for happiness.
23. Take some time to reflect.
While the beginning of a new year is an excellent time to take stock of your life, you can establish yearly routines at any time. Consider devoting some time to reconnecting with yourself like you would with an old friend:
How do you feel?
What have you done recently?
Are you happier now than you were twelve months ago?
However, try not to judge yourself too harshly on your responses. You have survived another year, which is cause for celebration.
Consider speaking with a physician or mental health professional if your mood has not improved significantly during the past year. You may be suffering from depression or an underlying health ailment that is influencing your mood.
24. Reevaluate your ambitions
People evolve, so examine where you’re headed and whether it’s still your desired destination. There is no shame in modifying one’s plans.
Even if they sound good on paper, abandon any ambitions that are no longer serving you.
25. Take good care of your physique.
Almost certainly, you have heard this before, including multiple times in this essay. Your physical and emotional wellness are interdependent.
As you develop routines to enhance your happiness, it is essential to schedule routine visits to take care of your body, such as:
seeing a primary care physician for an annual physical, discussing and addressing any chronic health conditions with a healthcare professional, and seeing recommended specialists as necessary, seeing a dentist for an oral cleaning and dental exam, and follow-up as recommended, and having your vision examined 26. Let go of grudges
This is often simpler to say than to do. However, knowing that you are not necessary doing it for another individual or individuals may make you more receptive to initiating the process.
Sometimes granting forgiveness or letting go of resentment is more about self-care than it is about compassion for others.
26. Consider your interactions with others.
Do you harbor animosity or ill will toward a certain individual? If so, consider contacting them in an effort to mend fences.
This is not always a reconciliation. Possibly, you simply need to end the connection and move on.
If communication is not possible, try expressing your emotions in writing. You need not even mail it to them. The simple act of releasing your emotions into the world can be liberating. You can even shred the letter if you so choose.
27. Plan a trip
With an ever-busier schedule, it can be easy to forget to arrange something vital to your health: vacation time. Planning a journey, whether to a nearby or distant location, might provide additional benefits.
Additionally, evidence supports the mental and physical benefits of taking a much-needed vacation. In one such study, researchers examined the relationship between vacationing and stress and heart rate. They discovered that not only did the vacation itself lower stress, but so did the weeks preceding up to the trip.