Whether happiness means accepting who you are or having a close group of friends you can rely on, achieving a more fulfilling life is possible. Here are five changes you can make to your daily life to feel happier.
If you’re wondering how to work on yourself to improve your well-being, consider exercising. Research has shown that exercising regularly can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, while also increasing happiness and self-esteem. The good news is that you don’t have to push yourself too hard. In fact, exercising for just 30 minutes has been shown to have many benefits for well-being. One study even found that people who exercised consistently felt more confident about their bodies even when they didn’t see any physical changes. This shows that exercising can change your state of mind, making you feel happier and more self-assured.
If you’re having trouble motivating yourself to exercise, try recruiting a friend or family member to join you. Not only can they make the experience more enjoyable, but they can also hold you accountable for keeping up a consistent routine.
2. Eat Healthy
While you already know that your diet has a large impact on your physical health, you may not know that it can impact your mental health as well. Eating a nutritious diet rich in fruits, vegetables, protein and whole grains can cause your brain to release norepinephrine and dopamine, hormones that are responsible for regulating pleasure, increasing energy and improving concentration.
Be sure to stay away from refined sugars, saturated fats and fried foods, as these can promote inflammation, mood swings and feelings of depression. In particular, sugar has been shown to feed harmful bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, which can cause uncomfortable digestive symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea or bloating. If you’re finding it difficult to change your diet, start small by swapping out one unhealthy food per week. For example, try switching your unhealthy breakfast pastry with Greek yogurt or oatmeal.
3. Write in a Journal
Although journaling may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about boosting happiness, it can actually be a great way to analyze your emotions and organize your thoughts. If you’re feeling particularly stressed after a long day, writing in a journal can help you process what you’re feeling and let go of any negative thoughts that are occupying your mind. Science has shown that journaling can help people overcome emotional distress and have a greater sense of happiness.
Fortunately, there are no rules when it comes to journaling. Simply taking 10 to 15 minutes out of your day to write down what’s been weighing on your mind recently is enough to benefit your emotional well-being.
4. Help Others
Although it may seem counterintuitive, one of the most effective ways to make yourself feel happier is to help others. Studies have shown that helping others promotes physiological changes in the brain that are associated with happiness and well-being, and they’ve also found that people who volunteer report higher self-esteem. In addition, helping others can give you a sense of purpose, which can make you feel happier due to the increased sense of fulfillment.
5. Consider Therapy
If you’ve tried making changes to your lifestyle but aren’t seeing any improvements, you may be suffering from depression. Depression is a common mental health condition that affects over 264 million people globally. If you think you’re experiencing depression, don’t be afraid to reach out to your doctor to discuss various treatment options, such as medication or cognitive behavioral therapy. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness, and it can help you live a happier life.
Happiness looks different for each person, but the good news is that there are many ways to achieve a more fulfilling lifestyle. Making these five changes can help you to create healthy new habits that’ll boost your mood and well-being.