Happiness is something everyone is chasing. Still, in your quest for this coveted emotion, it is easy to get sidetracked by the stress in your life and lose sight of your happiness and health. However, happiness is a choice, and there are many ways that you can choose to be happy.
Modern lifestyles have an uncanny ability to distract individuals from emotional fulfillment. Maybe your job and home life are demanding too much from you. Or maybe you have fallen into the trap of social media and technological dependency.
The question remains, how can you choose to be happy when nothing seems to be going right in your life?
Choosing To Be Happy
While happiness can seem far off at times, you do have the power to change this. You can move towards a happier life of your own volition.
You might not realize it, but there are many small steps you can take to choose to be happy and healthy. Even small changes can make a big difference in your overall mood.
In this guide, we’ll introduce you to ten practices that you can choose to do and will leave you feeling happier and healthier. Happiness takes time and effort. However, paying attention to yourself and your body’s needs can lead you to happiness.
Everyone finds happiness at their own pace, but there are several positive steps you can choose to take in order to make your life worth living.
Ten Ways You Can Choose To Be Happy
In the next part of this article, we will talk about ten practices that can improve your mood levels and ways that you can choose to be happy. These are scientifically-backed practices.
A lot of these steps overlap with advice from psychological experts. However, if you are suffering from psychological issues, seek professional help.
1. Change The Way You Think About Negative Situations
Your attitude towards your circumstances plays an important role in your own happiness and health. Furthermore, it is easy to focus on the negative in your life.
Some individuals might think they are being realistic. But your attitude is not a passive state. It affects your body and mind in a very real way.
When you reshape your attitude from a negative orientation to a more positive one, you choose to be happy. Furthermore, you are choosing to move towards a happier life.
Recently, research has shown that a positive attitude can help you with stress management. Being able to deal with stress can make you happier and healthier.
In contrast, a negative mindset leaves you unable to deal with stress and may cause health complications and a persistent depressed mood.
However, positive thinking can seem cliché, hopelessly naive, or idealistic. But being a little more positive doesn’t mean you overlook the negative aspects of life.
In fact, a positive mindset embraces these experiences.
When you change your attitude to a more positive one, you are reframing a negative situation. You don’t overlook the negative but choose to focus on what you can control and what positives can be taken from the situation.
By reorienting the mind, you can more efficiently handle tough situations. By choosing a more positive mindset, you rewire your brain and teach yourself to deal with negativity more logically and healthily.
Negative thinking is the default for many people. It is challenging to change your behaviors, but with practice, you can learn to change your perception.
2. Try to Quiet Your Mind With Meditation
Meditation is another way you can choose to be happy. In fact, it is a small step you can take each day to increase your happiness. And for this very reason, meditation has seen an increase in interest in recent years.
Even doctors and psychologists have recommended this activity to their patients.
You might think it’s silly to sit down and do nothing. But this practice is scientifically proven to boost your mood.
Research shows that meditation significantly reduces levels of stress and promotes emotional well-being.
Stress can lead to health problems and unhappiness. Daily meditation combats stress and keeps you emotionally and physically healthy.
When you choose to meditate, you are choosing to heal your mind and body. Meditation leads you to a healthier and more positive mindset.
In a meditative state, your mind takes in life moment by moment. You learn how to let go of your worries and anxieties.
Furthermore, you also learn how to detach from your emotional negativity. Meditate a few times a week to improve your mood and take time away from your busy life to reset.
3. Cut Out That Sugary Snack
It’s not just what you are doing that affects your happiness. What you choose to put in your body can also greatly influence your mood and energy levels.
Food choice is an important component of mental health and how you can choose to be happy. It can be hard to let go of your comfort food, but the benefits are undeniable.
Science has shown that less refined carbs, fats, and sugars can improve your mood and lead to happiness.
Cutting out unhealthy foods and reducing your sugar intake can improve your health. With healthier food, you can think better, feel better, and live longer.
You won’t be happy right away, but over time you can feel the benefits of this choice. When you have more energy and time to do the things you love, happiness follows.
4. Limit Your Use Of Alcohol And Drugs
Alcohol and drugs are substances you should also try cutting back on or eliminating altogether.
Many people can cut back on drugs, but alcohol is a different story. People all around the world use alcohol to find happiness.
You may feel euphoric and connected with others with alcohol. But, while drinking can feel good in the moment, it doesn’t keep you feeling happy.
Alcohol is a depressant. And after it runs through your system, you can end up feeling worse than you did before you started drinking.
Worse yet, alcohol can contribute to several health issues. You are at risk for cancer, early death, liver disease, and many other health issues when you drink too much.
Cutting back and limiting your use of alcohol and drugs is one way you can choose to be happy. It can help not only improve your happiness levels, but it can also improve your health.
5. Try Exercising
When you are unhappy, the last thing you want to do is exercise. Instead, you might rather eat a snack or sit down and relax. However, your activity level affects your minds and your happiness.
When you are less active, you have less energy and a lower mood. Again and again, research has shown that increasing your activity levels can boost our happiness.
Ultimately, you feel better when you move, it’s just a fact.
Serotonin and endorphins rush in your brains when you exercise. These brain chemicals lead to higher levels of euphoria and improve your overall mood.
The amount you should exercise depends on several different factors. However, in the past experts have suggested for individuals to be exercising one-hundred and fifty minutes a week with moderate amounts of activity.
In reality, any kind of movement helps to improve your health and happiness.
After starting to exercise, work to increase the amount you exercise more frequently during the week and you will see benefits in your day to day life.
Find a way to get yourself moving and make exercise a priority. As a result, you will be less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health ailments.
6. Stay Connected With Family And Friends
Life gets busy and sometimes all you want to do is stay indoors and enjoy some time to yourself. Isolation is not always the answer though.
Humans are social by nature, and making connections with other people is something you should never neglect. Social ties and social support are crucial to your emotional health.
With friends or family, you can open up emotionally and discover insights into your own issues.
When you choose to stay connected to other people, you improve your health and boost your happiness.
Again, social connection is important for people of all ages.
Having friends, a romantic partner, and familial bonds allow you to feel valued and loved. This feeling of connection keeps you happier and living longer.
Research has shown that people with fewer social ties live lower quality lives. It’s something that you may take for granted, but staying socially active is important for personal happiness.
7. Be Nice To Yourself
How you talk to yourself can impact your happiness as well. If you speak to yourself in an uplifting way, you are more likely to be happy. Even when you mess up and are faced with tough situations.
However, if you always look for the negative and constantly judge yourself, you will find yourself in a constant state of unhappiness.
The power of your own self-talk is supported by research. If you can say positive things to yourself each day, you can change the way you perceive and frame your life.
8. Be Nice To Other People
This is another easy but effective piece of advice. It might seem like common sense, but if you do something nice for someone, you’ll feel better.
It is easy to forget how powerful kindness can be, but even a small act of kindness can create a change in your life.
You can do any number of things to brighten up someone’s day. Maybe you decide to do your roommate’s laundry. Maybe you take your partner out on a surprise dinner date. Or maybe you simply decide to compliment someone.
Each of these small acts makes other individuals feel valued, and in turn, you feel like you are being helpful and useful.
In fact, research has shown that you can find meaning and even increase your self-confidence by doing small acts of kindness. In turn, you feel a sense of purpose and happiness.
9. Stick To A Strict Sleep Schedule
Sleep lets your mind and body recover. When you sleep, your body repairs itself, and the brain slows down and rests.
With a strict sleep schedule, you are able to go through your day in a better mood. This is another example of how you can choose to be happy.
Unfortunately, many people are chronically sleep-deprived. Sleep deprivation is a serious condition that can prevent happiness. Lack of sleep can mess with your memory, your ability to think, and it can even lead to illness and weight gain.
If you aren’t sleeping right or waking up feeling refreshed, you want to try and get yourself back on track.
Try going to bed at the same time every night, and waking up at the same time every day. Turn your phone off an hour before you go to bed.
Also, avoid caffeine and exercise close to bedtime. Follow these tips to sleep longer and better.
Doctors typically recommend at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
However, the amount of sleep you need can depend on several different factors. Do some research and talk to your healthcare professional to see how much sleep you should be getting.
10. Take The Time To Relax
Life is stressful, and sometimes you need to let off that stress. Stress, as previously mentioned, can be dangerous to your body and mind.
Meditation is one way to de-stress, but it isn’t for everyone. Still, there are plenty of alternative activities that can help you relax and keep your happiness in check.
Doing the things you love naturally lifts your mood and lets you relax. You can read a book, listen to some upbeat music, watch a heartwarming movie, or maybe cook yourself a good meal.
There are so many great ways to unwind. You just have to take the time to fit these activities in. Again, doing what you love can lead you to feelings of happiness.
Facts for this article were referenced from a credible source:
- Mayo Clinic – How to be happy: Tips for cultivating contentment
The realization that there are 86,400 seconds each day. What are you doing today, so that tomorrow you are a step closer to where you want to be? If not now, then when?
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