Simple Tips To Increase Happiness

Tips To Increase Your Happiness

We want to increase our happiness and improve our health, but find it hard to make the changes necessary. Citing the lack of time and the feeling it will take too much energy are a couple of the reasons we give for not making changes. The feeling that changes must be made quickly and that there must be immediate results is a common belief. It may be easier to go slower with changes to experience lasting results.

Let’s look at some of the things that make us healthier, and how we can slowly make these changes.

EXERCISE

Exercise increases happiness and improves health. Ideas for adding exercise are:

-Take the stairs

-Park farther away to add in more steps

-Join a team sport

-Ask a friend to join you on a walk

-Do something you enjoy

-Take a class

-Walk for 5 minutes today and add a minute every day

-Stretch for 3 minutes today and add a minute every day

SLEEP

Sleeping well, waking up rested and refreshed is important for mental and physical health. It is important to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Some ways to improve sleep are:

-Sleep in total darkness (lights from clocks, phones, televisions, night lights, hall lights can all interfere with your sleep)

-Avoid screen time with phones, tablets, computers, and television 2 hours before going to bed (start slow and keep decreasing screen time until you get to the 2 hour mark.)

-Use scents like lavender

– Start with 5 minutes of meditation and add time every night (remember meditation is a practice and it takes time to be able to not let your thoughts interfere)

-Start going to bed 5 minutes earlier and increase time every night until achieving 8 hours

-Go outside in the morning sun for 20 minutes within the first half hour after waking

SOCIAL CONNECTION

A main key to happiness is having a good social network. Spending time with friends and family who support us is important. This is important for increasing the feeling of contentment in our lives. Some ways to increase social contacts are:

-Have a meal with a friend (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

-Take a class

-Volunteer

-Help a friend with a project

-Have coffee with a friend

-Have a game night with your family

-Take a walk with your family

-Make a phone call

SUNSHINE

Sunshine is important to health. The lack of sun is a cause for Seasonal Affective Disorder (a depression that is a result of lack of sun.) Some ways to increase sun exposure are:

-Get outside as much as possible in the winter when the sun is shining

-Take a walk at lunchtime

-Participate in outside winter sports

-Check with your doctor to see if a full spectrum light would be helpful

POSITIVE THINKING

Thoughts can impair our happiness. Negative thoughts can take over. Ways to make our thoughts more positive:

-Recognize negative thought patterns

-Become aware of negative thoughts when they are happening (this takes practice)

-Start a Gratitude Journal

-Volunteer

-Do random acts of kindness

Simply changing your habits slowly can help us have a happier life. Start today!

If you or someone you know could benefit from help in this area and would like to talk confidentially to someone, Perspectives of Troy Counseling Centers can help. Call us at 248-244-8644.