6 Lifestyle Changes That Will Increase Your Happiness
We all want to be happy, and we all deserve to be happy. However, happiness isn’t something that just happens to us. It’s something you have to work for.
Here are some of the best lifestyle changes you can make to increase your happiness now, and in the future.
If you want to be happy, you have to be willing to work for it.
Cultivate a positive mindset
Have you noticed that people who tend to look on the bright side of things are happier? This seems like a real no-brainer. However, so many people do not see the connection between their negative thought processes and their chronic unhappiness. They think that they are only unhappy because bad things are always happening to them. They never think that it is because of them or the negative spin they put on almost all circumstances.
So, if you want to start feeling happier, the first thing you need to do is start cultivating a more positive mindset. The easiest way to do this is by keeping a gratitude journal. Simply note down five things each day that you felt grateful for. This may be the kid at the park who made you laugh, the delicious meal you had for dinner, or something else. Eventually, you’ll retrain your brain to focus on the positives for a happier, healthier you.
Do meaningful work
Most of us spend around one-third of our weekdays at work, so it makes sense that our working life could a source of our happiness or unhappiness as the case may be. So many people are unfulfilled by their work and would rather be doing something else, which makes them less than happy, to say the least.
Does that sound familiar? Think about what you would like to do instead, go out and get your degree, retrain as a yoga teacher, or do whatever you need to do to find work that is more meaningful for you. It might not be simple, but what’s the alternative – working potentially 40 years in a job you hate, and which makes you more miserable with each passing year? No one wants that so do the best you can to make a change, and if that really isn’t possible, try to find meaning in the work you do where you thought there was none – there is always meaning to be found if you look for it.
Get on top of your finances
Money isn’t the be-all and end-all, nor is it the most important thing in life, but if you want to increase your happiness levels, it is fair to say that you need some money to pay for the essentials of life. It is also fair to say that being in debt can drag you down and make you stressed, depressed, and downright unhappy.
So, if you want to increase your happiness levels right now, start by setting a budget. Figure out what you have coming in and going out each month. Identify any potential areas of potential savings. If you have debt, start working hard at paying it off. Get your financial affairs in good order as soon as possible – it’ll be a weight off your mind.
Learn to meditate
This is something that you see in all these kinds of health and wellness lists. If you’re like most people, you just ignore it and move on to the next, less intimidating thing. That’s a big mistake because meditation, when practiced regularly, can be a life-changer.
It may boil down to closing your eyes and focusing on your breath, but it is so much more than that. Meditation can help you find the space you need to discover who you really are, find more peace in the world, and take control of your emotions. Numerous studies have shown that it can change your brain in numerous ways, including increasing your levels of endorphins and serotonin, which you will probably recognize as feel-good chemicals. Learning to meditate is as easy as downloading an app and finding a few minutes in your day to practice, so what are you waiting for?
Another perennial in the world of health and wellbeing…exercise. Exercise really can be a miracle worker, especially when it comes to your brain. Numerous studies have shown that regular, moderate to vigorous exercise can help to improve mood. As well, it will increase your concentration and attention span. This is not surprising because most people get an endorphin rush when exercising. Additionally, a healthy body makes it easier to keep a healthy mind too! Stay as active as much as you can. Whether you prefer running on the beach, hiking in the mountains, or sweating it out in the gym, just do it.
When you hold a grudge against someone who has wronged you, it makes you feel bad. You ruminate on it and turn it over and over in your mind. Eventually, you get sadder and sadder or angrier and angrier. For your own happiness, try to forgive those people who have wronged you and let go of the past. That doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with them. You do not even have to speak to them again if you don’t want to. The act of forgiving them in your own mind and moving on is enough to help you get some peace and increase your happiness.
As you can see, with a few simple lifestyle changes, you can boost your happiness levels. It might seem like a lot to take in, but you don’t have to do it all at once. Simply pick one thing and start there. Once you’re ready, pick another one and soon you’ll be feeling great.