This is a guest post by: Matthew Snider
We all want to be happy throughout life, but we may wonder if nonstop joy just appears in our lives without us doing anything to get it. It’s true that happiness can at times operate that way. But many times, happiness is also something we need to cultivate as we would tend a garden, and there is much we can do to facilitate greater satisfaction and happiness. Stop waiting to be happy! Cultivate these 8 habits today and watch your life change.
“Being happy never goes out of style” – Lily Pulitzer
It may seem basic, but eating enough food that has high levels of vitamins, minerals, and the various essential nutrients causes your body, including your brain and all your feelings, to work more efficiently. Typically fresh fruits and vegetables plus healthy protein and fat can be some of the best foods for building up the body while staying healthy and happy.
The human body is not designed to be immobile while sitting for hours upon hours daily. Yet this is how high numbers of people in the U.S. are living. Much better is to incorporate movement every day of your life, even if it’s just as simple as throwing the baseball with the kids or riding bikes. Exercise and movement have so many reported benefits, and these can in turn contribute to a heightened happiness level.
People who do not get enough sleep tend to feel miserable physically, mentally, and emotionally. They are irritable, find it difficult to focus on tasks, and are lethargic. Getting enough sleep based on your body’s individual needs, which is typically about 8 hours per night for an adult, can make a profound difference in your happiness level.
Healthy, Positive Relationships
We’ve all been around people who are difficult to tolerate in certain ways, and even just being in their presence can drain our energy. Perhaps they instigate arguments, don’t know the “give and take” principle and thus just take, or they have constant sour attitudes. Whatever the problem is with getting along with them, the best thing for the sake of your happiness is to steer clear of them. Continuous interaction with them will only cause you to be less happy and more stressful. When people are striving to improve their interactions with others, then and only then should you consider having them as part of your life again.
Attitude of Gratitude
People who consciously acknowledge, and express gratitude for, all the many wonderful people, things, and places in their lives already have a jump start on everyone else when it comes to happiness. It is essential for everyone to get into the habit of expressing gratitude and listing blessings often. One easy and efficient way to do this is to keep a gratitude journal. At a certain time that you’ve designated, such as at bedtime, write in the journal examples of people or get you excited.
“If you want to find happiness, find gratitude.” – Steve Maraboli
Hobbies and Fun Pursuits
Life is not just about work, work, work with no time for play. Work quickly and efficiently, and once your job for the day is done, it’s time to relax and enjoy. Spend time in hobbies you feel truly passionate about, whether that is a sport, artistic endeavor, or simply reading. People who make fun and hobbies a daily part of their lives tend to live longer.
Relaxation Strategies and Techniques
If you’re frequently feeling stressful and tense, it can feel impossible to ever unwind, kick back, and relax, yet this is something you must do. Getting relaxed not only makes you a more positive person, it also makes you happier! Practice even simple strategies like deep breathing and basic stretches. Listening to certain styles of music such as soft instrumental and classical can be great tension reducers. If you have the time and money, getting a professional massage can be an excellent boost to your overall mood and specifically happiness.
Laughter and Silliness
You are never too old or too serious to enjoy various things that you did when you were younger, such as acting silly and laughing hysterically. So what are you waiting for? Grab some funny movies and relax while watching them. The laughing and joking with surely make you feel more happy than you were before starting the laugh session. If you don’t have any or many funny friends, see if you can meet some. These people will frequently say and do funny things, and cracking jokes with them is much less time-consuming and expensive than watching a movie.
There’s a popular song title and lyric from years ago that says “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” That might seem to be easier said than done, and it’s true that achieving the breezy lifestyle depicted in the song does require some commitment and dedication. By incorporating the strategies outlined here, you’ll set your race to happiness on full speed!
Matthew Snider is a writer, a personal development junkie and a regular blogger at Self Development Secrets. Matt, with his one quarter Asian descent, did not start out as a writer, but he says, “the love for a subject is the most important aspect of writing. The readers want to read something written by someone who understands them.”
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.