“How to be happy”? The feeling of happiness differs from one person to another. For you, it may be in having inner peace with yourself, or perhaps in having a safe network of friends who call you strange nicknames without restrictions or conditions, or it may be in your feeling of complete freedom in living your dreams. Regardless of all the things that make you happy, there are a few steps that you add to your daily habits that can help you reach the peak of happiness.
If you have tried to break your bad habits, you know very well how attractive they are, but good habits are also real. Why not make positive habits a part of your routine then?
Here’s a look at some daily, monthly, and yearly habits to help you begin your search for peak happiness. Just remember that everyone’s version of happiness is a little different and so are their ways of achieving it.
If some of these habits create additional stress or do not fit with your lifestyle, get rid of them after you practice them for some time, and you will discover what does not work for you and what does not work for you then.
You tend to smile when you are happy. But it is actually a two-way street. We smile because we are happy, and smiling allows the brain to release dopamine, which makes us feel more happy. This doesn’t mean you have to walk around with a fake smile on your face all the time. But the next time you find yourself feeling low, smile and see what happens. Or try starting each morning by smiling in front of the mirror.
Exercise isn’t just for your body. Regular exercise can help reduce stress, feelings of anxiety and symptoms of depression while increasing self-esteem. Even a small amount of physical activity can make a difference. You don’t have to train for a triathlon or climb a cliff – unless, of course, that makes you happy. The trick is not to challenge your abilities. If you suddenly throw yourself into a grueling routine, you may end up getting frustrated.
Consider the types of exercises:
- Work out every night after dinner.
- Sign up for a beginner’s class in yoga or tai chi.
- Start your day with 5 minutes of meditation.
Remind yourself of any fun activities you once enjoyed, but stopped doing because of work or activities you’ve always wanted to try, such as golf, bowling, or dancing.
- Get plenty of sleep
No matter how much talk directs us toward fewer hours of sleep, we know that adequate sleep is a reliable source of good health, brain function, and emotional well-being. Most adults need about 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night. If you find yourself resisting the urge to nap during the day or generally feel like you’re foggy, your body may be telling you it needs more rest.
Here are some tips to help you build a better sleep routine:
Write down how many hours of sleep you get each night and how restful you feel. After a week, you should have a better idea of how to do it.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends.
- Set aside an hour before bed as time to get some calm. Take a bath, read, or do something that relaxes you. Avoid heavy eating and drinking.
- Keep your bedroom dark, cool and quiet.
- Investing in good sleep.
- If you have to take a nap, try to limit it to 20 minutes.
- If you constantly have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor. You may have a disorder that needs treatment.
- Eat and be in a good mood
You already know that food choices have an impact on your overall physical health, but some foods can also affect your state of mind . For example:
Carbohydrates release serotonin, which is the “happiness” hormone. Just keep simple carbohydrates – foods rich in sugar and starch – to a minimum, because sugars give you only temporary energy. A complex carbohydrate, such as those found in vegetables, beans and whole grains, sounds good.
Lean meat, poultry, legumes and dairy products are rich in protein. These foods release dopamine and norepinephrine, which enhance energy and focus.
Canned or fried foods tend to make you feel restless and lethargic, so skip these meals as much as possible.
Start by choosing a better food every day , swap out your big sweet breakfast pastries for some fruity Greek yogurt to keep your sweet tooth in check and protein will help you keep energy in the morning. Try adding a new menu each week.
- Be grateful
Simply being grateful can give your mood a huge boost of optimism. A recent study found that practicing gratitude in everyday life can have a huge impact on feelings of hope and happiness. Begin each day by acknowledging one thing for which you are grateful. You can do this while brushing your teeth or while you’re waiting for your breakfast to be ready.
As you go about your day, try to keep an eye on the interesting things in your life. It can be big things like knowing someone loves you or getting a promotion that you deserve… but it can also be small things, like having a co-worker offer you a cup of coffee or a neighbor waving you. Maybe even just the warmth of the sun on your skin would be beneficial.
With a little practice, you may become more aware of all the positive things around you.
- Be a volunteer
Research shows that doing volunteer work can help you feel fulfilled.
Giving a pure compliment is a quick and easy way to brighten someone’s day and yours.
Choose compliments carefully, look them in the eye, and say them with a smile, so the person knows you mean them, and you might be surprised how good you feel after doing so.
If you want to compliment someone on their physical appearance, be sure to do so in a respectful manner.
- Breathe deeply
You’re tense, your shoulders are tight, and you feel as if you’ve “lost something forever.” We all know that feeling. In this case , your instinct may ask you to take long, deep breaths to calm yourself. This instinct turns out to be so good, according to Harvard Health, that deep breathing exercises can help you reduce stress. So the next time you feel stressed or on your end, take these steps:
- close your eyes. Try to imagine a happy memory or a beautiful place.
- Take a slow, deep breath.
- Breathe in slowly through your mouth or nose.
- Repeat this process several times, until you begin to feel calm.
- If you have difficulty breathing in slowly, deliberately, try counting to 5 in your head with each inhale and exhale.
- Acknowledging the unfortunate moments
A positive attitude is generally a good thing, but bad things happen to everyone and are part of a person’s life. If you get some bad news, make a mistake, or feel unhappy, don’t try to pretend you’re happy. Acknowledge the feeling of unhappiness, and let yourself experience the moment. Next, shift your focus toward what made you feel this way and what you might need to recover. Let the moment pass, take care of yourself and always remember that no one will be happy all the time.
- Write a diary
A diary is a good way to organize your thoughts, analyze your feelings, and make plans for your goals. You don’t have to be a literary genius or write volumes to make use of it. It can be as simple as writing down a few ideas before you go to bed and committing to doing them.
- Face stress head-on
Life is full of psychological and practical pressures and it is impossible to avoid them all. Stress is not always harmful, says Kelly McGonigal, a psychologist at Stanford University. We can even change our attitudes to stress. Instead of immersing yourself in thinking, try to tackle stressors head on. This may mean starting an uncomfortable conversation or taking on some extra work, but the sooner you address it, the cramping felt in your stomach.