Making it through life’s tough times is never easy, but it’s particularly challenging if you’re feeling alone and aimless about how to move forward. Many people who are struggling with addiction, depression, the loss of a job, or a myriad of other difficulties think it’s impossible to ever achieve happiness again. In reality, however, the darkest times in your life are when you need to be working the hardest towards a bright future, so don’t allow pessimism to inhibit your ability to develop as a person.

Here’s how to choose happiness in the tough times, and what you need to remember if you’re struggling to look on the bright side of things.

Happiness starts with healthy habits

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, or what you do; happiness starts with healthy habits, so you need to focus on increasing your living standards if you’re feeling down in the dumps. Maintaining a healthy diet, regularly enjoying vigorous exercise, and putting yourself into an environment where you can physically flourish is an essential part of choosing happiness in the tough times of your life. This isn’t always easy, as comfort food and sitting on the couch binge-watching television can seem appealing when life has you down. It’s nevertheless imperative to shrug off this laziness and maintain an active lifestyle if you want to find happiness.

This isn’t mere speculation, either; it’s a proven matter of fact that spending time in nature makes you happier. Students who spend time wandering in parks before taking a quiz or exam academically outperform their peers who were cooped up inside all day. Furthermore, workers who are exposed to green, natural environments generally report more positive moods and greater productivity. Knowing how nature can make you happier, kinder, and more creative is the first step towards choosing happiness in the tough times. Whatever you do, get some fresh air and take in the green sights.  

Besides getting plenty of sunshine, you’ll also want to slowly but surely develop the habits of healthy, successful people, most of whom exercise and eat well. Given that millions of Americans struggle with obesity, it should be of little surprise that eating healthy can be a challenge; after all, sometimes fast food is the cheapest and most accessible option after a long day of work. Those who want to claw themselves out of misery and into happiness should understand that healthy eating for a healthy weight is essential towards maintaining your physical longevity and mental wellbeing.

Eating well isn’t the only thing you need to take into consideration if you want to get better, however, as building muscle mass and losing weight can do wonders for your overall mood.

Don’t forget about exercise

Have you ever heard of a runner’s high? Most people are aware of the fact that exercise is good for them, yet few of us appreciate the extent to which daily physical activities bolster our mental wellbeing. Running, partaking in sports, or merely heading to the local gym to pump some iron can all work miracles on your mood, and you’ll also enjoy a more positive self-image as you slowly but surely develop muscle mass and slim down on your fat deposits.

Like eating well, exercise being good for you isn’t mere speculation but is instead concrete fact that’s been proven by decades of research. If you’re really in in the tough times, choosing happiness isn’t always easy because you often feel alone. This is where the wonders of exercise can really pay off, as you’ll soon find yourself bonding with like-minded athletes at the gym or on the nature trails you’re hiking. Finding partners to exercise with you won’t just lead to a healthier lifestyle, but will help you cultivate close friends and allies who can help you choose happiness when the going gets tough.

Finally, sometimes choosing happiness in the tough times necessitates making some challenging decisions which will nonetheless pay off for you in the long-run. Those struggling with addiction or depression, for instance, may need to find professional help on the road to recovery, which is long yet always worth travelling. Whether you’re in need of a California drug rehab or professional counselling services, those who are suffering in the midst of tough times should never hesitate to reach out to professionals for assistance.

Choosing happiness isn’t as easy as flipping the light switch from off to on, but it’s very achievable if you know what you’re doing. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential, as those who are physically unhealthy can seldom achieve a calm mental state that brings them happiness. Furthermore, your professional and academic success will be impacted by your physical health, so focusing on getting into nature more will help you boost your grades or work performance if that’s the reason you’re down in the dumps. Before long, you’ll have made the right life choices that help lead you towards happiness.