Choosing Happiness

Five Habits You Can Do Now to Increase Your Happiness

Have you ever known someone who seems to be perpetually happy? Have you ever wondered what makes them that way? Do they lead a charmed life? Do they have the best of everything? Nothing bad could ever happen to them, right? Wrong. Happy people don’t have fewer challenges than the rest of us; they simply practice happy tricks and habits, which, in turn, allow them to have a brighter outlook on life. 

The good news is that you don’t have to be “special” to reap the benefits. Anyone can practice these simple habits to increase feelings of serenity and wellbeing. Happiness is often a choice, and if you make it a habit to practice these every day, you will get that happiness boost you’ve been seeking.

Simplify your life. Too much of anything can decrease your happiness and create stress. Get rid of clutter and things you don’t need. If you constantly fill up your calendar with activities, scale those back a bit so you can fit in some quiet time to reflect. 

Forget about the Joneses. Don’t believe everything you see on social media. People usually post only their best moments, which makes it easy to compare how we are feeling on the inside with how those people look on the outside. Realize that we all experience suffering, and we all have our joys and sorrowful moments. 

Be realistic. You don’t necessarily have to think positively all of the time to be happy. Healthy skepticism can be your friend, but it’s important to keep it in balance. For example, think to yourself, “What evidence do I have that (insert whatever situation that is causing you to worry or become anxious) will happen?” Think about other things such as, how likely is it that this will happen, what are the ramifications if it does happen and what skills do I have in place to handle this if the worst scenario were to happen?

Enjoy your life. Take time out for fun and laughter. Studies have shown that laughing reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, defends our bodies against respiratory infections, increases alertness, helps improve learning and memory and boosts creativity.

Practice taking care of yourself. Exercising, eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep are all natural mood boosters. It’s also important to develop healthy boundaries; you can be kind without being a doormat. People who are truly happy live meaningful, authentic lives. Be true to who you are and ask yourself, “What do I want in life, and what actions can I take now to move in that direction? WGW

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