Do you ever come across those people who are always upbeat and no matter what life throws at them, they just seem to roll with the punches? It’s quite possible they’re following a formula for happiness–right now. You can increase your own happiness quotient by doing these 14 things proven to make you happy.
Start with a Good Dose of Gratitude
Being consciously aware of what you’re thankful for can actually change your level of happiness. When you wake up each morning, spend time time recalling all the things for which you feel grateful. Start with simple things: Do you have a roof over your head? Enough to eat? It might be helpful to start a gratitude journal.
Make Sure You’re Giving Back
Do you give 10% of your income to your favorite charity or church? There’s something about giving that allows you to receive more in return besides just the awesome act of giving to help others. When you give, you’re sending a message to the Universe that you know everything’s going to be all right. By giving, you’ll be taken care of, too. You see it from those with very little to those who have millions: you have to give to get and by doing that, your happiness increases.
Laugh Every Day (It’s Better than Money)
Do you spend time each day laughing? Do you purposefully find something to laugh about? When you laugh, you release a happy hormone called oxytocin. It’s a hormone that uplifts us as we share experiences with others. Even just making yourself smile will put you in a better place.
Foster Good Relationships with Family and Friends
Happy people don’t spend large amounts of time alone. By spending time with people you like, you forge supportive relationships that help you in times of stress. You also bond with others through common experiences, such as life’s ups and downs. They become your support network. People who don’t spend as much time with family or friends are more prone to loneliness and depression.
Take Some Alone Time
In contrast to spending time with family and friends, it’s important to step back and take some time for yourself, by yourself. You can recharge your spirit and find a little peace in a little bit of silence. Taking some time away and being alone can do wonders for your mood and outlook.
Do What You Love
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Do what you love, because the money will follow?” Doing things that you love to do–and even better, getting paid for it–are good ways to boost your levels of happiness. When work feels like play, you’re more likely to enjoy other aspects of your life better, too.
Volunteer Your Time
When you give of yourself, either by time or talent, your focus shifts from your life to that of others, helping you realize that, just maybe, your own problems aren’t that bad. You invariably forge new relationships and experience an uplift in your spirit.
Get Enough Exercise
When you take time out for exercise, you’re doing your body good in more ways than one. First, you’re doing what it was designed to do: physical exertion. Humans were made to move around and the body works best when it does what it was meant to do. Second, as you exercise, you release those same feel-good hormones as mentioned above. Third, when you take some time to exert yourself, you reduce your stress levels. All around, you need exercise to function optimally.
We all make mistakes in life–that’s part of the human condition. But with a little forethought, you can try to avoid making big mistakes. Even then, they still happen. That’s when it’s best to learn to forgive–yourself and others–because everyone else just trying to get through life the best they can, too. They’ll make mistakes, but the trick is, moving on from them.
Take Time to Meditate
Sitting down, lighting a candle and doing some deep breathing for ten minutes are all it takes to relax your mind and body. In doing so, you get in touch with your inner-self, and invariably, you’ll get to know yourself a little better. That’s definitely a booster on the happiness scale.
Deal With Clutter
Are you overrun with books and papers piled everywhere? Too much mail sitting on the hall table? Why not tackle a small task each day for a month in an effort to de-clutter your life? When you’re not running around looking for items you can’t find, when everything has its place, you’ll automatically be less stressed and in a better mental state. That’s a great place to be on Monday morning when you’re trying to get out the door and you already know where the lunchboxes are, and the bills you have to mail.
Get Enough Rest
Ever notice how cranky you are the afternoon when you’ve only had five or six hours of sleep? Many of us are suffering from sleep deprivation which can lead to higher levels of stress and edginess. After a good night of sleep, you can tackle your daily tasks in a more calm, alert way. It’s so much better than experiencing that awful sluggish feeling in that oh-so-important meeting with your boss. Your body will thank you, too.
Eat Healthier Foods
You’ve heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.” It’s true. If you spend your time eating package after package of boxed noodles, canned dinners or fast food, your body is going to let you know by gaining weight, feeling sluggish, and quite possibly having a host of health problems. How can you look and feel your best if the foods you eat are not good for you? By eating better you’re not only taking care of yourself, but you’ll also feel more vibrant and energetic. You’ll literally be healthier from the inside out.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
This is definitely easier said than done, but if you can condition your mind to focus on the good that you are doing and the good things in your life, you’re not going to be tempted to focus on how others are doing.
Start to love your life by feeling excited about your day first: 10 Simple Reasons You Should Feel Excited About Your DayFeatured photo credit: Happy childhood: Little girls having fun with pillows and feathers via Shutterstock