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9 Simple ways to be happier
a guest post by Abigail Golder
Happiness ruts happen. We’ve all been there… One moment everything feels fine and the next you’re wallowing in a pit of despair. For example, you’re all caught up at work and your boss surprises you with a massive project. Goodbye evening yoga, hello long nights at the office. Try not to stress! Even if nothing is fundamentally wrong, humans are still prone to struggle mentally sometimes. Unfortunately, these lulls also have the potential to negatively impact creative work.
Here’s the good news: bouts of sadness don’t necessarily mean you have to overhaul your life and start from scratch. Normally there are just a few things that are out of rhythm and all it will take to lift your spirits are some minor adjustments. Implement the following strategies into your daily life and watch your positivity and creativity soar!
1. Get Enough Sleep
On average, adults require 7-9 hours of sleep. If your sleep schedule doesn’t fall within this time frame, it’s time to make your rest a priority. Sleep improves energy, alertness, brain function, and can even positively impact our physical health. Be sure to eat and workout hours before bedtime to give your body a chance to properly settle into sleep and set aside enough time to wind down each night to ensure you get a full, deep night’s rest. Put your phone away, take a warm shower, put on comfortable robe, and read a book.
Meditating first thing in the morning has powerful benefits. All it takes is 10 minutes of mindfulness and silence at the start of the day to improve your body and mind. There are many physical and mental benefits of meditation. Not only does meditation allow you the opportunity to set intentions for each day, it also has the ability to lower stress and anxiety, two factors that greatly inhibit happiness. If you find yourself experiencing negative feelings throughout your day, take a timeout and meditate. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it can improve your mood and get ideas flowing!
3. Stay Active
Everyone knows that exercise is important for our bodies, but did you know it also impacts our mental state? Exercise is the perfect outlet for stress and tension, but you don’t need to attend a boot camp class or lift heavy weights to experience these benefits. Just a 30-minute activity each day is enough to reset the nervous system. This can be done through small changes such as taking the stairs, biking instead of driving, going on a daily walk, or parking further from your destination.
4. Limit Social Media
Social media is a great way for us to connect with our friends and family, but it is more often utilized in meaningless ways that may actually increase feelings of loneliness. Instead of reaching for your phone any time you experience a lull in activity, try getting comfortable with being idle. To avoid killing large chunks of time scrolling through your feeds, become engaged in a new book, podcast, or album. Focus on using social media as purely a networking and marketing tool. Then, find another activity that you really love, and your happiness will experience a serious boost!
5. Spend Time with Loved Ones
One key element to happiness is surrounding yourself with happy people. In the modern day, it is easy to fall back on text or social media communication and fail to actually spend physical time with the valuable people in our lives. With a busy schedule, it’s often easier to schedule a phone call than a coffee date. Set an intention to reach out to your loved ones more often. Invite friends to get coffee, host dinner gatherings, or have a classic game night.
Like meditating, journaling is another great way to practice mindfulness. Start small by setting small goals such as writing a few sentences a week or maybe even one sentence a night. Consider starting a gratitude journal in which you write one thing you are grateful for each day. Through the act of establishing this ritual you will find a deeper sense of contentment and improved creativity, two things that greatly contribute to happiness and your craft.
7. Avoid Toxic Relationships
Stepping away from negative people in your life may be the key to maintaining your own happiness. To do this, observe your relationships objectively. Which people do you feel the most inspired and motivated by? Who do you interact with that leaves you feeling discouraged? It is important that we spend our time with those who uplift us, rather than tear us down. This applies to both friends and family. To protect your own joy, it is necessary to create boundaries and stay true to them.
8. Be Generous
A major component to happiness is a feeling of purpose and self-worth. Oftentimes, the key to boosting these feelings is to give back. Each day, try to perform a random act of kindness. This could be something as small as letting another person go in front of you in line or paying someone a compliment. If you can sense those around you could use a moral boost, invite them over for a casual weeknight gathering. Participate in a walk or marathon that raises money for a good cause or perform at a charity event.
9. Stay Organized
Trying to function in a space that is cluttered and disorganized can often lead to mental stress and frustration. Spend a weekend tiding your shelves, cabinets, and drawers. Get rid of any clutter you no longer need, sort through your clothing, and organize your equipment. While this may seem like a daunting task, there’s a reward at the end! Not only will you create a space that will boost your happiness, you will be able to donate that which you don’t need or make some extra cash by hosting a yard sale.
There are many simple ways to be happier and healthier. By taking a simple step every day, there’s a good chance that positivity will surround you. With stresses like technology always knocking, it’s easy to become disconnected from the simple things in life.
How do you detract from these everyday stresses? Share your ideas with us below!
About the Author
Abby is a recent college graduate from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism with a strong passion for travel, film, fashion and wedding planning. She is a Freelance Content Writer who loves to share a great story. Originally from Colorado, Abigail grew up in a small town called Montrose and she still spends much of her free time in the mountains hiking and skiing.