You can choose to be positive and focus on the things in life that bring you joy. You can also create habits that will make you happier in general. Even a few minor changes to your daily routine can make a major difference in your life.
Here are 14 small changes you can make in your daily routine that can help increase your overall happiness:
At the beginning of each day, go over your goals for that day as well as long-term goals you may have for the week, the month or even the year. I know from experience that lists can be intimidating. However, having a to-do list for the day will actually help you get more done and feel more satisfied at the end of the day. Just be realistic about your goals so you will be more likely to accomplish them. And, you may have something unexpected come up that derails your plans. That’s okay. Simply set new goals for the next day.
Try something new
Sometimes your routine can become, well, routine. Mix it up every once in a while. If you feel like you’re in a rut, try something new. Take a class. Experiment with a new hobby. You may find a new passion and meet new people. It’s good to keep learning and growing as a person.
Value your friends
Take time for your friends. We have written before about the 7 reasons we need friends. Our friends help us relieve stress, try new things and simply give life more meaning. Make sure you are spending time with positive friends rather than friends who tend to be negative, needy or dramatic. Over time, they may wear on your mood and your happiness.
Take a nap
As we have mentioned in past blogs, naps are good for your mind and body. They can help improve your concentration and lift your mood. Taking a 10 – 20 minute nap in the middle of the day can give you all the boost you need to enjoy the day.
Plan for vacations
Give yourself time to plan for vacations. Half the fun of taking a vacation is planning where you’re going and what you’re going to do. Studies have shown that taking a vacation – rather than buying expensive material items – can give you a greater sense of happiness.
Savor your food
It’s unavoidable that some days you will be eating in a hurry or on the go to the next meeting or errand. When you have a chance to sit down and share a meal with friends or family, enjoy your food. Take time to savor the tastes and the time you spend with others. Of course, do your best to eat healthy foods as well.
Make exercise a priority
Exercise should be a non-negotiable habit. Trust me, I know how hard it is to get into and maintain an exercise routine. I struggle with it every day. However, exercising regularly may be the single most important habit to your overall well-being. Exercising helps you control your weight, fight disease and simply increase your happiness. So, get moving and keep moving.
Assume the best of people
We don’t really know why people do or say the things they do. For example, a coworker snaps at you when you ask a question. You may assume they are mad at you for some reason, and then you’re in a bad mood. In reality, maybe the boss just reprimanded them. Maybe they found out a family member is very ill. You should assume the best of people and try not to internalize someone else’s mood or actions.
Turn off the electronics
Take a break from the TV, smartphone, tablet, MP3 player, etc. Go outside and enjoy the sunshine. Talk to a friend. Spend some time on a hobby you love. While our electronic devices serve a purpose, they can also suck away our time and leave us feeling a little sad and dissatisfied.
Take a mental break from time to time. It can be as simple as going for a walk or listening to music. You can also use some relaxation techniques to help you unwind. The important thing is just to allow yourself some time to relax. You will feel more refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on your daily routine.
It’s human nature to make comparisons. We compare ourselves with others. We think about what we have and don’t have. Happy people are happy with what they have and where they are in life. Of course, you need to have goals to continue growing and improving, but remember to appreciate what you have right now.
Sometimes you need to just let loose and be silly. That may mean dancing along with the radio, or trying out your moves on the Wii. Run through the sprinkler with the kids. Blow bubbles or draw with sidewalk chalk. Being carefree and simply living in the moment is a great way to inspire happiness.
Do what you love
I find that I spend all of my time working and taking care of my house, my husband and my kids. I spend very little time doing what I want to do. Figure out what you love doing and make time to do it. I used to enjoy sewing quilts and scrapbooking. I simply stopped making time for those things and made my family’s needs a priority. Yet, to be happy – and be a better wife and mom – I need to take time for myself, too.
Share the happiness
Happiness can be contagious. Greet people with a smile – even strangers. Give a friend or coworker a compliment. Hug your family. Cheer others on and encourage them. You will find that sharing your happiness with others will not only make them happy but lift your mood as well.