13 Simple Life Habits to Increase Your Happiness Today
If there’s one thing we are all aiming for then it’s probably fair to say that that thing is happiness. Some of us strive to be wealthy, some of us are looking for love, and some of us put more effort into developing the best relationships with our family and friends.
Whatever it is that makes you happy, ‘being happy’ is ultimately the goal that’s common to all of us.
With that in mind then, here we will look at 13 ways to make yourself happier and to live a more satisfying and fulfilled life.
1. Live in the Now
A lot of our stress comes from worrying about things that may never happen, or wallowing in the sadness of the past – often it would be much better to just live in a bubble and to fully appreciate what’s around you right now.
2 Stop Chasing the Wrong Goals
One of the things that make achieving happiness difficult is that many of us tend to lose sight of this goal. The problem is that we try so hard to achieve happiness through work or other activities, that we forget to actually allow ourselves to enjoy what we’ve worked for. Many of us want to be able to be free of stress and be able to travel and see the world.
As a result, we work really hard to earn the money that can buy us this freedom, but then when we finally have a high enough salary to live comfortably we forget the reason we started working so hard and instead just carry on trying to improve our position at work – we carry on working so hard that we can’t enjoy ourselves.
That holiday that you’ve been dreaming of? Maybe you should just do it now!
It might sound like an overly simple solution to a complex problem, but sometimes just smiling can be enough to improve our mood.
The reason for this is something called ‘facial feedback‘ which is a phenomenon whereby we feel the emotion of the expression we pull. Sit there all day with a deathly scowl on your face and your mood will be black but try smiling and you’ll find it raises your spirits and improves your mood no end.
4. Surround Yourself With the Right People
Have you ever been feeling low and not wanted to spend time socializing with others? Then you finally pluck up the energy to go out for those drinks and feel a million times better?
Spending time with friends has been shown to raise happiness hormones in the short AND long term. It also helps to fend off numerous serious mood disorders. So don’t shut yourself away!
5. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
If you can change the way you think then you’ll find that this can help you to be happier and to stop worrying so much. There are various ways we can alter the way we think for instance by using CBT or ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy‘ where we listen out for our negative thoughts then change these using positive affirmations and “thought challenging”.
6. Get Into Shape
If you feel healthy then you will feel happier as you feel fitter and more energetic and as you produce the right hormones and chemicals to encourage a good mood.
Make sure then that you eat your vitamins and that you get plenty of exercise as the latter will help you to produce endorphins which are actually a natural cure for depression.
7. Eat Well
Eating well helps to maintain a steady blood sugar level, which in turn prevents anxiety and low mood associated with those dips.
At the same time, eating well means getting the right nutrients that support healthy brain chemical production. Eat junk and you’ll feel rubbish!
8 Practice Gratitude
Gratitude means taking stock of what you have, instead of always focussing on what you want or need. Take ten minutes at the end of every day to write down three things you are truly grateful for and it will really transform your perspective on life.
Meditation has been shown to reduce anxiety, and when you reduce anxiety, you boost happiness! It’s simple, it’s easy, and it’s the perfect antidote to our modern way of fast-paced living.
10. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Many psychologists and sociologists have demonstrated in studies that a lot of dissatisfaction comes from comparing ourselves to others.
If this is something you struggle with, consider deleting Facebook and Instagram, as these show us highly curated and airbrushed pictures of other people’s “best moments.”
11. Pet a Dog or Cat
Many studies show that owning a dog or cat can make you happier, and the simple act of petting them helps to release happiness hormones such as serotonin which also lower heart rate and reduce anxiety. So get a dog or cat!
12. Spend More Time in Nature
Spending time in nature is incredibly good for the soul, and can help to reduce anxiety, as well as increase happiness hormones. Go for a long nature walk, listen to a babbling brook, and while you’re at it get some natural sunlight. The latter is particularly important for combating the risk of SAD or Seasonal Effective Disorder.
Quality sleep is extremely important for your mood and your overall wellbeing. If you aren’t getting enough, then it will take a serious toll on your mental health. Make sure you don’t let this crucial practice go forgotten!