Going through life can be a bit rough sometimes. If you're always stressed out and anxious, then you'll never be as happy as you could be. Don't live an unhappy life. Instead, why not spend some time improving your happiness factor? Below are 10 tips to follow which will improve your happiness.
- Find your purpose
“Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life.” – Confucius
Finding your purpose can boost your happiness, according to a new study published in Psychological Science.
For the study, researchers looked at how people feel when they're doing their “calling” versus when they're doing something that doesn't align with their passion. The researchers found that having a sense of purpose makes people happier than simply having more money or other material possessions.
They found that people who say they have direction in life — they know where they want to go and how to get there — are happier than those without purpose, even if their life circumstances are worse.
For example, someone who is unemployed but has a sense of direction may be happier than someone who has a job but no idea what he wants to do with his life.
The reason for this may be related to something called self-efficacy: People who have confidence in their ability to achieve goals are happier than those who don't.
- Exercise regularly
If you're like most people, you've probably heard that exercise is good for your health. But it turns out that exercise might also be good for your happiness.
Research has shown that people who participate in physical activities are more likely to report feeling happy and less likely to experience symptoms of depression than people who don't work out regularly.
Exercise can boost your mood by releasing endorphins, which are hormones that produce feelings of pleasure and euphoria, as well as serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that can elevate your mood. Exercise also increases blood flow to the brain, which provides oxygen and nutrients needed for healthy brain function.
Exercise also can help relieve stress and anxiety, which can be major contributors to feeling blue. When you're stressed or anxious, your body releases cortisol, a hormone associated with feeling overwhelmed or out of control. Cortisol suppresses the immune system, so if you're under a lot of pressure at work or home, it can make you more susceptible to illness — including colds and flus — which will only compound your feelings of unhappiness.
Regular exercise also promotes better sleep by helping you wind down after a busy day or stressful event.
- Eat well
Eating well can boost your mood by helping to fight off depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.Eating healthy keeps you energized and focused to tackle life's challenges head on.There are many ways to eat well, but the best way to do so is to follow a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products, and healthy fats from nuts and seeds.
- Get enough sleep
Sleep is one of the most important things for your health, but it can also have a profound effect on your mood. In fact, getting enough sleep regularly can boost your happiness — and even help you live longer.
Sleep also helps you think more clearly.You know that feeling when you're tired and your brain feels fuzzy? That's because not getting enough sleep affects your ability to concentrate and think clearly. And while it may seem like a good idea to get by with less sleep than you need, missing out on shut-eye can cause all kinds of problems at work and at home. Sleep helps regulate hormones that affect appetite and weight control.The hormones leptin and ghrelin play an important role in regulating appetite — so if they're not working properly, it can lead to problems with weight gain or loss. Leptin tells us when we've had enough food while ghrelin stimulates our appetites so we eat more frequently throughout the day (and night!). Both hormones work together to help keep our bodies running smoothly.
- Spend time with friends and family
Spending time with friends and family is a critical part of your happiness, but not just any kind of time will do.
The more time you spend with the people you love, the happier you'll be. That's the conclusion of a recent study that found that people who spend more time with their families are generally happier than those who don't. The same goes for spending time with friends — although it's important to note that the effects of spending time on these relationships can be very different.
Research shows that just spending 15 minutes a day with people who make us happy can help us feel better about ourselves. Even if you don't feel like socializing on any given day, forcing yourself to do so will help you get through difficult times more easily because people tend to become happier when they spend time with others.
- Give back to others
Studies have shown that people who give to others are happier than those who do not. In one study, researchers asked participants whether they had volunteered in the past month and then asked them a series of questions about their levels of happiness and well-being. The results showed that volunteers had significantly higher levels of positive emotions, including joy, interest, hope and pride, than non-volunteers. Volunteers also reported lower levels of negative emotions like anger or anxiety.
Volunteering has also been linked to better physical health among older adults, including reduced risk for chronic illnesses and disability.
Even giving back on a smaller scale can have positive effects on your happiness. For example, a study found that spending money on someone else instead of yourself makes you happier than spending money on yourself does.
- Keep a gratitude journal or list
Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions that can help you live a happier and healthier life. Research has found that practicing gratitude can improve your mood and make you feel more positive about your life.
To help boost your happiness, try keeping a gratitude journal or list. A gratitude journal is simply a notebook where you write down things for which you are grateful. It's a great way to focus on the positive things in your life, which can make you happier overall.
A gratitude list is similar to a journal but is usually kept online instead of on paper. The idea behind both methods is to take time out of your day to think about all the good things in your life, which helps you feel more grateful for them.
- Meditate or practice mindfulness daily
Meditation helps you focus on the present moment, letting go of negative thoughts and emotions. When you meditate, you become more aware of your surroundings and thoughts. This can help you identify what makes you happy and what doesn’t in your life.
When you practice mindfulness every day, it becomes easier for you to be mindful at other times as well. This means that whenever something negative happens in your life, you will be able to recognize it quickly and let it go instead of dwelling on it for too long.
- Use positive self-talk/affirmations (I am happy, I am healthy, etc)
Positive affirmations are a powerful tool to boost your happiness.
Positive affirmations are positive statements that you can use to help yourself feel better, think more positively and even change your behavior. By repeating these positive affirmations over and over again, you can train your brain to focus on the good things in life.
The basic idea behind positive affirmations is that by focusing on something repeatedly, you can change your thoughts and feelings about it. This is also known as “thought-emotion fusion” — once a thought becomes associated with an emotion like fear or joy, it's very hard to separate them.
- Surround yourself with positive people
Surrounding yourself with positive people can boost your happiness and make you feel more confident.
Being around other people who are happy, positive, and optimistic is contagious. You spend time with a person who’s content, and you’re likely to start feeling the same way.
There’s a reason why many of us avoid negative people like the plague — it’s because we don’t want their negativity to rub off on us. We want to feel better about ourselves and our lives so we avoid those who would drag us down.
We also don’t want them to influence our own thoughts or behaviors in a negative way either.But it turns out that if you surround yourself with happy people, it can actually make you happier too!
In the end, being happy is all about making the right choices that are right for you and your needs. Maybe one of the tips above will help you to find more happiness in your life and kick start your journey towards reaching “bliss.” They'll certainly help, at least in the short term, so give them a try and see how they work for you.
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