Looking after your physical health is essential, but sometimes we forget that mental health is as important. The better you know yourself— what you like, what you dislike, what inspires you— the happier you become. By being faithful to your true nature, you will be able to experience real joy. But you may have those days when your happiness levels may need an extra boost. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do that will help improve your long-term levels of happiness.
By following the simple methods detailed below, you can strengthen your relationships, improve your mood, reduce the risk of depression, and improve your health in 2017.
1. Customize your Morning Routine
Your morning routine has a huge impact on how the rest of your day goes. But what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you. Develop a routine that makes you feel alive and awake in the mornings. For instance, waking up 15 minutes earlier can help you find the time to go for a walk, enjoy a delicious breakfast and get a head start on your day. Starting your day on the right note will do wonders for your mental health.
2. Workout Everyday
We all know that exercise has a positive impact on our health. Getting 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week is highly recommended. But is important to find a form of exercise you enjoy, to keep motivation levels high. Forcing yourself to do something you hate may not be the best way to stay fit. So whether it is Pilates, Yoga or swimming, find something you love and exercise will no longer feel like a chore. You should also look to get a good pair of crossfit shoes as these can support you in a variety of different fitness activities. Studies have also found that regular exercise can also reduce your risk of depression and other mental illnesses.
3. Get Adequate Sleep
Getting a good 7-8 hours of sleep every day will help you wake up feeling fantastic and refreshed. There is a strong link between the amount of quality sleep you are getting and your mood. A nap can also boost your happiness levels. So the next time you are feeling down, a short nap can actually help.
4. Enjoy Nature’s Beauty
Nature has a soothing effect on your mind and body, whether you’re walking down a trail or hiking up a hill. This is due to the fact that your environment has a direct impact on your mood. Going for a walk can help you lose yourself in the moment and forget about the other stressors that are a part of your life. People who take time out from their busy schedules to enjoy nature and live in the moment are likely to be happier and more balanced.
5. Drink Coffee with Coconut Oil Instead of Soda
Coffee with coconut oil has a beneficial effect on your mood. While useful in the cooking and baking, coconut oil’s health benefits makes it a perfect partner with coffee. A 2014 study showed that drinking coffee on a daily basis can lower your risk of depression, whereas drinking unhealthy carbonated drinks like soda, can actually raise this risk. However, it is important to note that while coffee is beneficial in small amounts, too much is never a good thing.
Meditating is helpful in lowering stress and also reduces symptoms of mild depression. Meditation can help with anxiety attacks and reduces high blood pressure. It also decreases tension related pain and the discomfort caused by headaches, insomnia, ulcers and muscle aches. It improves the immune system and gives you energy. Meditation increases serotonin production and has a positive impact on your mood. Meditating every day has also been linked to a better sense of wellbeing and happiness.
7. Perform Random Acts of Kindness
Carrying out charitable acts will leave you feeling happier and more content. These can include volunteering with animals, helping out at your local homeless shelter or simply giving a compliment to a stranger. You can try donating food or clothes to charity if you are short on time.
8. Laugh out Loud
Laughter stimulates a part of your brain that controls happiness. A good laugh with a group of friends not only feels good, but also boosts your mood and health. It has also been found to counteract certain stress hormones in the body. This simultaneously cuts out the stress and anxiety affecting the body. Laughter can also increase your overall sense of well-being.
9. Make Plans and Travel
If you’ve been putting off your dream trip because of the cost and other factors, it is time to act now. Do your research and figure out a plan to make your trip a reality. Making travel plans can create a sense of excitement and having something to look forward to, is a great mood booster. You can take this is a step further by creating a vision board and putting up inspirational images and quotes.
10. Keep learning
Learning new things keeps your mind sharp and alert. Learning or acquiring a new skill is a great way to gain self-confidence and stretch your mental faculties. Continuous learning at any age also contributes to higher levels of resilience and self-efficiency. You will also be better equipped to tackle challenges and complete tasks.
11. Form lasting Connections
Having a solid social circle can help boost your confidence levels and diminish your chances of becoming lonely or depressed. Meeting a group of friends or catching up with an old acquaintance can have a positive impact on your mood. If you can’t meet up with your loved ones, a good chat on the phone can help.
You will find true happiness in 2017 when you stop obsessing about the negative parts of your life and focus on the positive aspects. Try some of the tips mentioned in this article to experience the big changes that a positive outlook can bring about.