6 Ways to Lead a Happier, Healthier Life

Life is busy, and old habits are hard to break. However, making commitments to improve your daily life doesn’t have to only be part of your New Year’s resolution. Improving your life can begin any time of the year.  Here are six ways to help you lead a happier and healthier life.

1.      Be Giving: Whether your actions are small or big, dedicate yourself to finding a way to give to others. Volunteer work, whether in a group or as an individual, is incredibly beneficial to your general state of mind.

People who engage in giving opportunities report more satisfaction in their lives. Even if you can’t spare your time for something like a large volunteering project, something as small as listening to someone who just needs to talk and connect with someone, can help you develop a new perspective on your own life and any problems you may be dealing with.

2.      Invest in relationships: Any kind of relationship, whether at work, school, or in your personal life, requires a bit of effort and maintenance. If you neglect a friendship too long, you risk losing a friend. Choosing to not be social with others is detrimental to one’s health. Even the most introverted person benefits from having some close relationships with like-minded people.

Humans are naturally social creatures and require social interaction to thrive. Try to see friends as it fits your schedule. A weekly get-together to watch football or a favorite TV show, or maybe a dinner date, can go a long way in helping you form meaningful connections that will make you happier.

3.      Break the routine: Habits are hard to break. Whether trying to break old ones or start new ones, it takes time and commitment. It’s easy to slip back into old routines, or it might even be so scary to try something new that you’ve convinced yourself that you’re better off just sticking where you are.

However, this is completely false. It doesn’t have to be something crazy, but changing your routine for the better can help fast track you to a healthier and happier life. Something such as going on a walk in the mornings, scheduling in a few minutes to yourself, starting a new book or hobby, or even something like adopting a pet is something to change your routine, and gives you a fresh look at other things you may want to try, or change. Activities to recharge your body and mind don’t have to be expensive to be effective.

4.      Create memories: Although many stores would have us believe differently, science shows that stuff doesn’t make us happy. We can stockpile all we want, but in reality, it’s the experiences that we cherish. Often, we equate things to a fun experience, and while there’s nothing wrong with a souvenir to help jog your memory, it would be better to spend money on going and doing things. Your health will benefit from the lack of stress of overbuying and a cluttered environment, and your happiness will soar because you get to go out and do things.

5.      Move more: In today’s hectic life, many of our jobs have us at desks or in cubicles, in fairly sedentary careers. If you ask anyone, sitting around all day isn’t healthy. People are happier, and often healthier when they get to move around. While you may not be able to type and dance at the same time, a quick walk around the neighborhood at lunch, or even a few minutes of moving around each hour can do wonders for both your physical and mental well being. You can even keep yourself in check with a weight loss coach app, guaranteeing you’re moving around more than you had been before.

6.      Exercise your smile: An especially easy way to become happier, is to fake it. A nicer way of saying this is by tricking your brain into feeling happy just by smiling. It’s easy to let frowns from confusion and stress sit on our faces. However, just by actively smiling, you can reprogram your brain into helping you feel happier. This is due to the neuro-linguistic programming our brains use in communication. Either an anchor or trigger, such as a smile, sends a message to the brain to recall and feel the same feelings it had the last time the same muscles were used.

Major changes can take time, but the first step is always to do something, even if it’s small. Something as simple as a change in routine, creating new friendships and memories, or just training yourself to smile can cause a chain reaction that will greatly improve your health and happiness, and lead to an improved quality of life. 

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