Happiness is a state of mind, but, it’s also at the core of health and well-being. If you are trying to live a happier life, take a look at these ideas and see if some of them might help to increase your happiness.
Avoid Negative People
We’ve all had to deal with people who are just plain nasty. Truth is, negativity is contagious and spending time with people who are constantly complaining or who treat you badly has dire consequences for your happiness. Research shows that bad relationships can even affect our heart health. Avoid contact with negative people or just cut ties all together if you can. Walk away from conflict and ignore negative comments. You will see that once you start dropping the negativity, you will feel happier.
Find Your Flock
A solid group of people who share similar wants and needs is critical to living a happy life. A sense of belonging has been shown to boost your immune system, whereas loneliness has been cited in cases of heart disease, arthritis, type 2 diabetes and dementia. Try to keep your circle of friends filled with people that support one another and can be counted on to bring you up when you’re feeling down.
Make Sure Your Needs are Met
A lot of times, we give to others without stopping to take a second and make sure that we are doing well also. Being in tune with your personal needs is a must. If you don’t have a good sense of your self-worth or you don’t love yourself, others will not be able to love you either. Setting boundaries and saying no sometimes doesn’t make you a bad person, it shows others that you are strong and resigned to doing what it takes to care for yourself.
Take time each day to reflect on all the wonderful things in your life. Being grateful usually results in an elevated mood, a sense of purpose and a happier disposition. The more grateful you are, the more you will have to be grateful for.
Judge not… I don’t want to get overtly religious, but ancient books like the Bible even tell us not to be judgmental. Being overly-critical brings down your mood as well as those around you. If you see someone struggling in life, offer to lend a hand. I promise that everyone will feel better once the difficulty has passed.
Keep Your Mental Health in Mind
We all have a hard time asking for and accepting help when we aren’t feeling our best. But, when you are struggling, a therapist, coach or counselor are sometimes the best way to get yourself back on track and focusing on the things that matter most. Make your mental health a priority and you will see more progress in every area of your life.
Cut Back on Social Media
Social media and technology in general are actually structured to be addictive. That fact, in addition to the constant comparisons of your life to all of your “friends” lives, lead many of us to feel inadequate. These feelings over time will completely contaminate your self-esteem and work against your efforts at being happy. Take breaks from Social Media to avoid feeling anxious or overwhelmed. Control the technology, don’t let it control you.
Live in the Moment
Be present and mindful, many of the things that put us in a negative state of mind are beyond our control. Use mindfulness to avoid mental traps and try to stay positive and in the moment. Take time to figure out what you can and can’t control and then work to change the things that are in your control to make your life better.
Get Up and Move
You don’t have to spend money on the gym and fancy clothes in order to stay fit and healthy. A stroll down the block in the air and weather will not only benefit you physically, but it will also do wonders for your mental health. New studies show that regular exercise over the long-term actually help cure some forms of clinical depression.
Adopt a Pet
It is a widely known fact that owning a pet helps maintain a more positive, optimistic perspective on life and the things we are faced with. Studies have proven that symptoms of anxiety and depression are lessened in pet owners than in others without pets. Adopting a pet from a shelter will also give you a boost for your karma.
We all hear that Americans don’t sleep well. The American Psychological Association recommends that people get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. They also state that the consequences of sleep deprivation can be disastrous. Our bodies do the majority of healing, repairing and restoring while we are asleep. Without regular, sound sleep we will not function well either physically or mentally. I’ll finish this article after my nap.
Spend Time with Friends and Family
Okay, so the nap was nice. Spending time with loved ones is a key to contentment. Fulfilling relationships and social connections help increase happiness. Laughing and feeling sympathy trigger the release of endorphins in the brain and help revitalize the immune system.
You don’t have to be a part of a large volunteer organization to be able to make a significant contribution to society. Simply helping someone in any way tends to make people happier, we get a psychological reward when helping someone in need. There is an old saying, “Do good, Fell good”.
Expand Your Horizons
Traveling can be fun and exciting, but it can also help recharge the body and mind. When we get away for even a little while, we tend to come back to our daily lives with a fresher “sunnier” outlook and attitude. The occasional getaway helps open our minds and see the world from a different perspective.
When something positive happens, take a minute to congratulate yourself and appreciate the work you’ve accomplished. Focusing on victories and accomplishments can produce noticeable increases in happiness in a very short time.
We all deserve to be happy. Don’t let yourself focus on the negativity in life, it can do irreparable damage over time. With a small amount of effort, we can become happier and more joyous.
Please feel free to leave comments or questions if you would like to know more about achieving happiness.
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