Tag Archives: happy

14 habits that will make you happier

Habits that will make you happierAs I’ve gotten older, I have come to realize that I am in charge of my own happiness. I decide how I react to the people and events in my life.

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:

Make lists
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.

Meditate
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.

Stop comparing
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.

Let loose
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.

Advertisements

The secrets to happiness

The Secrets to HappinessUnless you’re Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, you probably want to be happy. We all strive to be happy but sometimes happiness can seem hard to find. In today’s world, we have never-ending responsibilities and so much stress.

As a society, we have become more materialistic and focused on collecting “things” to make us happy. But as the saying goes, “money can’t buy happiness.” Although, I’ll be the first to admit that I enjoy retail therapy. Buying a new pair of shoes, a fun outfit – or practically anything – certainly does boost my mood.

However, material happiness is usually fleeting. What is the secret to lifelong happiness? What makes us truly happy? Is it something you either have or you don’t have?

Research shows that we all have the potential to be happy. It seems that there are certain characteristics that lead to a sense of well-being. You can create your own happiness by focusing on these traits:

Optimism
Happy people are filled with hope. Optimistic people embrace all of life’s experiences even if that means making mistakes. They don’t feel like mistakes are a personal failure. Rather, when things go wrong or life gives them a setback, optimists see it as a fluke or something out of their control and an opportunity to try a new approach.

Optimists who see the glass as “half-full” also tend to be healthier which can contribute to greater happiness. Check out our blog, The Power of Positive Thinking, to learn more about the health benefits of a positive outlook.

Self esteem
Happy people have learned to like themselves. Studies have shown it’s not about having friends, close family relationships, or material things. If you can accept yourself with all your flaws, you are more likely to find happiness.

I tend to repeat myself over and over when I’m having a conversation to the point that my friends and family will say, “Okay, I’ve got it!” Or, I blurt out things I wish I hadn’t said and then stew about it later. You have to love your physical traits, too. I am so pale that when I visit someone in the hospital, nurses ask me if I need to sit down. I am learning to accept these things I don’t like about myself, even find humor in them,  and then let them go.

Proactivity
Happy people search out new experiences that will make them happy. They don’t wait around to find joy in life. They have a curious nature and make their own happiness. Think of all the things you’ve discovered that you like or enjoy doing just by trying them, especially when you were younger. As we get older we get more cynical about new experiences. Take a chance and try something new!

A sense of control
People who believe they are in control of their own destiny tend to be more happy. Feeling like you are in charge of how you live your life leads to a greater sense of well-being. Of course, there are things that are out of your control. You can’t control the weather, traffic or other people who annoy you. However, you can control what you wear, how you drive and how you react to annoying people. The more you make your own decisions and manage your own time, the happier you will be.

Extroversion
Outgoing people are happy people and have a greater satisfaction in life. Being extroverted also ties into being self assured. If you are confident and like who you are, you can walk into a room of strangers and start up a conversation. Extroverts also tend to be more content and have a larger circle of friends.

I am more introverted my nature and spend a lot of time “in my own head.” I have had to work at being more outgoing and trying new experiences. I do feel it has built my confidence and made me a happier person.

Love
Having a sense of compassion for others and knowing you are loved is one of the biggest predictors of happiness. We need relationships – whether they are romantic love, the bond we have with our children, or the acceptance of friends. Spending time with others strengthens these connections and contributes to our sense of happiness.

Friendship
Our friends help us accept ourselves for who we really are. When they accept us, flaws and all, we are better able to be more comfortable in own skin. We find happiness from spending time with other people, and from supporting others when they need us. Read more about the power of friendships in our blog, 7 Reasons We Need Friends.

A contented feeling
A feeling of security or contentedness comes from feeling good about where you are in life. It’s recognizing that you can be happy without being rich, having the biggest house on the block or being the most popular. Happy people are simply content with their current situation. It’s okay to have goals, wishes and dreams but your happiness doesn’t have to hinge on them. You can be happy right now.

Spirtuality
People who are spiritual tend to have greater life satisfaction. Life may have a bigger meaning beyond our knowing, so it’s not worth worrying so much about the little things. Religion can have a positive affect on both your mental and physical health. Studies show that those who pray or attend religious services regularly are less likely to have hypertension, anxiety disorders or depression.

Altruism
Giving without expecting anything in return is one of the truest ways to find happiness. Because even though your reasons for giving are altruistic, you can get so much in return. Having a positive impact on someone else’s life can help you feel better about what is going on in your own life. For more details about the rewards of giving, read our blog 5 Surprising Benefits of Giving Back.

A purpose
Happy people enjoy what they do. They don’t do it for money or glory. They do it because they love it. Your purpose should be your passion. It may be the work you do for a living. It could be your purpose is being the best mother and wife. You may enjoy teaching kids or mentoring others. Your purpose makes you excited to get out of bed every morning. Simply put, it makes you happy.

We all have the potential to be happy. By focusing on these traits and characteristics you can create your own happiness. What makes you happy?