How To Be Happy – 10 Happy Habits
For most people, being happy is the ultimate state of being. All our goals, ambitions, plans, and actions are motivated by our pursuit of happiness. We spend time with those who bring us the most joy. We spend money on things that return the most gratification. We spend energy on activities that reward us with the highest fulfillment. We all want to be happy.
At the same time, we also want to remove and avoid pain and suffering from our lives at every opportunity. The less negative states we experience, the better. We feel happier when we suffer less and this fundamentally sums up humanity’s eternal journey in a nutshell.
Today I’d to share ten happy habits to develop and integrate into your lives that will bring you must joy while also move you away from all the negative states.
1. Smile To Be Happy
You tend to smile when you’re happy. But it’s actually a two-way street.
We smile because we’re happy, and smiling causes the brain to release dopamine, which makes us happier.
That doesn’t mean you have to go around with a fake smile plastered on your face all the time. But the next time you find yourself feeling low, crack a smile and see what happens. Or try starting each morning by smiling at yourself in the mirror.
2. Exercise To Be Happy
Exercise isn’t just for your body. 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 physical activity can make a difference. You don’t have to train for a triathlon or scale a cliff — unless that’s what makes you happy, of course.
The trick is not to overexert. If you suddenly throw yourself into a strenuous routine, you’ll probably just end up frustrated (and sore).
Consider these exercise starters:
Take a walk around the block every night after dinner.
Sign up for a beginner’s class in yoga or tai chi.
Start your day with 5 minutes of stretching. Here’s a set of stretches to get you started.
Remind yourself of any fun activities you once enjoyed, but that has fallen by the wayside. Or activities you always wanted to try, such as golf, bowling, or dancing.
3. Sleep To Be Happy
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.
Most adults need about 7 or 8 hours of sleep every night. If you find yourself fighting the urge to nap during the day or just generally feel like you’re in a fog, your body may be telling you it needs more rest.
Here are a few tips to help you build a better sleep routine:
Write down how many hours of sleep you get each night and how rested you feel. After a week, you should have a better idea how you’re doing.
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends.
Reserve the hour before bed as quiet time. Take a bath, read, or do something relaxing. Avoid heavy eating and drinking.
Keep your bedroom dark, cool, and quiet.
Invest in some good bedding.
If you have to take a nap, try to limit it to 20 minutes.
If you consistently have problems sleeping, talk to your doctor. You may have a sleep disorder requiring treatment.
4. Eat To Be Happy
You already know that food choices have an impact on your overall physical health. But some foods can also affect your state of mind.
Carbohydrates release serotonin, a “feel good” hormone. Just keep simple carbs — foods high in sugar and starch — to a minimum, because that energy surge is short and you’ll crash. Complex carbs, such as vegetables, beans, and whole grains, are better.
Lean meat, poultry, legumes, and dairy are high in protein. These foods release dopamine and norepinephrine, which boost energy and concentration.
Highly processed or deep-fried foods tend to leave you feeling down. So will skipping meals.
Start by making one better food choice each day.
For example, swap a big, sweet breakfast pastry for some Greek yogurt with fruit. You’ll still satisfy your sweet tooth, and the protein will help you avoid a mid-morning energy crash. Try adding in a new food swap each week.
5. Be Grateful
Simply being grateful can give your mood a big boost, among other benefits. For example, a recent two-part study found that practicing gratitude can have a significant impact on feelings of hope and happiness.
Start each day by acknowledging one thing you’re grateful for. You can do this while you’re brushing your teeth or just waiting for that snoozed alarm to go off.
As you go about your day, try to keep an eye out for pleasant things in your life. They can be big things, such as knowing that someone loves you or getting a well-deserved promotion.
But they can also be little things, such as a co-worker who offered you a cup of coffee or the neighbor who waved to you. Maybe even just the warmth of the sun on your skin.
With a little practice, you may even become more aware of all the positive things around you.
6. Compliment Others
Research shows that performing acts of kindness can help you feel more satisfied.
Giving a sincere compliment is a quick, easy way to brighten someone’s day while giving your own happiness a boost.
Catch the person’s eye and say it with a smile so they know you mean it. You might be surprised by how good it makes you feel.
If you want to offer someone a compliment on their physical appearance, make sure to do it in a respectful way. Here are some tips to get you started.
7. Breathe Deeply To Be Happy
You’re tense, your shoulders are tight, and you feel as though you just might “lose it.” We all know that feeling.
Instinct may tell you to take a long, deep breath to calm yourself down.
Turns out, that instinct is a good
one. According to Harvard Health, deep breathing exercises can help
The next time you feel stressed or at your wit’s end, work through these steps:
Close your eyes. Try to envision a happy memory or beautiful place.
Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose.
Slowly breathe out through your mouth or nose.
Repeat this process several times, until you start to feel yourself calm down.
If you’re having a hard time taking slow, deliberate breaths, try counting to 5 in your head with each inhale and exhale.
8. Ditch Your Phone
Turn off all the electronics and put those ear buds away for at least one hour once a week. They’ll still be there for you later. If you still want them, that is.
If you haven’t unplugged in a while, you might be surprised at the difference it makes. Let your mind wander free for a change. Read. Meditate. Take a walk and pay attention to your surroundings. Be sociable. Or be alone. Just be.
Sound too daunting? Try doing a shorter amount of time several times a week.
9. Return To Nature
Spending 30 minutes or more a week in green spaces can help lower blood pressure and depression, according to a 2016 studyTrusted Source.
Your green space could be anything from your neighborhood park, your own backyard, or a rooftop garden — anywhere you can appreciate some nature and fresh air.
Better yet, add some outdoor
exercise into the mix for extra benefit.
10. Meditate To Be Happy
There are many methods of meditation to explore. They can involve movement, focus, spirituality, or a combination of all three.
Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as sitting quietly with your own thoughts for 5 minutes. Even the deep breathing exercises mentioned earlier can serve as a form of meditation
These ten happy habits are easy to do, available to everyone, and can be done every day. Start slow and take small steps. That way the practice won’t appear too daunting or overwhelming. Every day try to scale the habits up by small and manageable increments and before you know it, you will be performing all these happy habits naturally and effortlessly. Not only will you experience the benefits of happiness first hand, but those around you will slowly notice the positive and welcome changes too. This is the path to happiness where one takes full ownership of their joyful destinies.
May you realize great benefits from practicing these happy habits and may you live a life full of all the good things the world has to offer.
Thanks for reading 😊