Everybody wants to be happy, live a happier, more satisfied life. All this is definitely within reach with some positive habits you can add to your life.
Smiling is a two-way street. We smile when we’re happy, and smiling causes the brain to release dopamine, which makes us happier.
The next time you find yourself feeling low, crack a smile and see what happens. You can start by smiling at yourself in the mirror every morning.
Regular exercise can help to reduce stress, feelings of anxiety, and symptoms of depression while boosting self-esteem and happiness.
You don’t have to train for a triathlon – even a small amount of physical activity can make a difference.
Get enough sleep
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.
Eat to feel good
Some food choices can affect your mood.
Carbohydrates release serotonin, a “feel good” hormone. Keep simple carbs — foods high in sugar and starch — to a minimum, because that energy surge is short and shortly after eating them, 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.
Being grateful is a big mood boost. Practicing gratitude can have a significant impact on feelings of hope and happiness. Start each day by acknowledging one thing you’re grateful for.
Performing acts of kindness can help you feel more satisfied. For example, giving a sincere compliment is a quick, easy way to brighten someone’s day while giving your own happiness a boost.
Taking a long, deep breath can reduce stress and calm yourself down.
Keep a journal
A journal is a good way to organize your thoughts, analyze your feelings, and make plans. It can be as simple as jotting down a few thoughts before you go to bed.
Decluttering doesn’t have to be a big project. Just setting aside just 20 minutes a week can have a big impact.
Keep in touch with friends
Having close friends and meaningful relationships can make us happier. Set time to meet or chat with your friends.
Spend time outdoors
Spending 30 minutes or more a week in green spaces can help lower blood pressure and depression, according to a 2016 studyTrusted Source. It can be your neighborhood park, your own backyard, or a rooftop garden — anywhere you can appreciate some nature and fresh air.
Going out to your favorite restaurant, taking a movie, or going on that trip you’ve always dreamed of is also recipe for some happiness in your life.
At the start of each month, make a short list of happy memories or things you’re looking forward to on a small piece of paper or on your phone.
When you find yourself waiting for a ride, standing in line at the grocery store, or just with a few minutes to kill, break out the list. You can even use it when you’re just generally feeling down and need to change up your thoughts.