Strengthen self-control.We don’t have to exhaust our willpower or decision-making quota for the day when we make healthy habits automatic. Make one or more of these fundamental habits a regular part of your daily life in order to help you set and keep other healthy habits: 1. Get seven hours of sleep; 2. Go for a 20-minute walk; 3. Don’t let yourself get too hungry; 4. Take time to unclutter; 5. Give yourself a healthy treat.
Get some sleep. According to sleep expert Michael Breus, Ph.D., sleeping less than seven hours each night can negatively impact your outlook, make you crave unhealthy foods and even kill your productivity. For those with serious trouble sleeping, he suggests you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, take the TV out of the bedroom and get out of bed if you can’t fall asleep within 20 to 30 minutes.
Build up your emotional toolkit. If you struggle with depression or bouts of anxiety, build up your emotional toolkit. Use the tool of self-compassion to treat yourself with the same loving kindness you would extend to a friend. Silence that inner critic and give yourself a soft place to land when things don’t go right or you are working through a challenging experience. Fill up your mind with kind thoughts about yourself.
Happiness is the gateway to success, but like most good things in life, it also takes some work. Roll up your sleeves and put some effort into becoming a happier you. Here are 11 things you can do to enhance your happiness today. (For all of you happiness over-achievers, click on the headings below for more information on each tip!)
1. Take a look back
If you aren’t sure of your passion as an adult, revisit your youth for clues. Perhaps when you were a child, teenager or even a young adult, there was something that you were passionate about. Maybe there was something you loved to collect, a place you loved going, or an activity that you loved doing. Bring those old experiences back into your current life.
2. Go in search of awe
A sense of awe may help you fight depression and inflammation. Find awe by visiting a natural wonder. Listen to your favorite music. Lose yourself in an art museum. Go in search of what inspires you deeply.
3. Connect with people
Our relationships can have an almost magical effect on our happiness. Singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb feels fulfilled when she’s collaborating and connecting with others. You can find inspiration in others, too.
4. Value experiences over things
Things are nice, but the joy we get from experiences lasts longer, causes less waste and probably has a smaller negative environmental impact. Walk to a destination with your family to enjoy the outdoors and connect through conversation. Take a hike in nearby hills. Plan an exciting trip together. All of these things will give enjoyment that you can anticipate, experience and then savor afterward.
Read the rest of my article on Live Happy.
Posted on December 21, 2015 in Happiness by Sandra Bienkowski
Use this list to kickstart your happiness, starting now.
Hope isn’t the same thing as optimism. Hope is believing the future will be better than the present, and working to make it so. Pick a goal you are excited about, and write down two things you can do to make it happen.
Connect with your children on a deep emotional level by looking for their essence. What are your kids’ positive qualities? What is your child really interested and invested in? Make a list.
The great outdoors and exercise have something in common—both improve your mood and reduce stress. Now you can reap all the benefits to your mental and physical well-being by working out in nature.
Overwhelmed by your To-Do list? Break down bigger projects into steps that feel the opposite of overwhelming. Don’t stop until your list turns into a “gladly do” list.
Read the rest of this article on Live Happy.