Happiness is a positive state of mind and body we all treasure, and seek to have. For without it, no matter what a person achieves in life it still feels like nothing. Vocabulary.com states that “Happiness is a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. When people are successful, or safe, or lucky, they feel happiness.” Have you ever found out the things that truly make you happy? Or those things that result in the other side of happiness? Attempting to define happiness may be a bit tricky, as the true meaning of happiness may vary from one person to another. Nevertheless, you need to ask yourself – what daily habits can help me sustain a happier life? Regardless of the prevailing situation?
A vast majority of people probably do not consider the things that bring them happiness until sad moments set in. Which suggests that happiness is a conscious state, the result of daily habits you must actively cultivate. Additionally, cultivating such daily habits has a strong positive effect on your overall health – spirit, mind and body. A happier life is a reflection of a present or ongoing state of better all-round health. As such you need to identify life-boosting, happiness-inducing habits. And of course indulge in them daily. We will explore together simple actions you can practice on a daily basis to live a happier life in this article. And emphasize the top 5 daily habits you should not ignore,
Spontaneous Happiness – The Happiness You are Familiar with!
What typical events of your life would naturally make you happy? When you have enough money to spend, or go to fun places you wish to visit when you want. You enjoy spending exciting times with friends and family, and no one is harassing you. When you achieve something spectacular in your education, career, business venture or personal life. Or even when you receive a special gift. Naturally such events would spur you into happiness.
But when situations turn the tide and circumstances are not working to your advantage – HOW DO YOU MAKE YOURSELF HAPPY? Here is another further pointer to support the notion that you must cultivate happiness through conscious habits. There will be challenging periods in one’s life when indulging in meaningful, life-boosting habits will take you out of the dark zone. Such habits will restore strength, calmness and focus to your mind and body. And help you to see a better future in the “nowness” of time.
Also Read- 60+ Good Morning Messages For a Loved One
Types and Levels of Happiness: Do such Exist?
Way back in time, the Greek philosopher Aristotle attempted to classify states or levels of happiness. That in the first instance, happiness is the ultimate goal or desire of man. And that every other human desire is as a result of seeking that happiness. According to him,
“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence ….Happiness depends upon ourselves.”
Aristotle identifies here that to be truly happy is the conscious responsibility of every human being. Furthermore, he outlined what he opined as the four levels of happiness which are:
- Laetus: Happiness from (obtaining) material objects or physical pleasure
- Felix: Ego gratification. Happiness from comparing oneself to others; being better or more admired than others
- Beatitudo: Happiness from service to others, or doing good for others.
- Sublime beatitudo: The ultimate and perfect happiness which comes from striking a balance between the first three levels, and even going further. It could be striving towards a connectivity to the greater beyond, the larger universe.
Aristotle believed that to obtain true happiness, one must strike a balance between “deficiency” and “excess”; or in his own words, attain “ a golden mean”.
The author Kendra Cherry in her article on “What is Happiness?” (on verywellmind website) went further to state that psychologists view happiness as a “subjective well-being”. That this subjective well-being comprises two major components. These are:
- Balance of emotions, in which one experiences more of positive emotions than negative ones; and
- Life satisfaction, a feeling of satisfaction with several aspects of your life (career, achievements, relationships) that are important to you.
Other authors and mental health specialists have offered their opinions over time. They concluded that happiness is a composite state of mind resulting from a number of uplifting emotions. Far and wide, these emotions have been condensed into 7 positive emotions which are: Joy, Gratitude, Excitement, Pride, Contentment, Optimism and Love.
In Pursuit of Happiness: Daily Habits You Need to Sustain a Healthier Life
You can practice these daily habits to boost your happiness, and perhaps note the reason they are so effective. The list may not be exhaustive but we will briefly explore them nonetheless, focusing more on the top 5.
- Move your Body. It is important to get your body to be active during the day. It could be by way of regular exercise – a simple routine such as walking, yoga, swimming, dancing, or a 15-minute warm-up exercise will suffice, without over-exerting yourself. Exercise, no matter how simple, can boost your mood and keep away feelings of depression or anxiety.
- Learn to be Grateful. Look out for those things in your life you are grateful for, both big and small. That habit can give you hope and significantly improve your mood. Try to focus on happy times or events around you – like a gift from a friend, a bright day, or an act of kindness.
- Mindful/Wholesome Eating is Important. Pay more attention to the quality of foods you eat everyday, and consciously eat the most nutritious ones. Take your time to eat food, don’t merely rush through it; savor every moment, every spoonful. Furthermore, there are special foods that actually boost your mental health. Bananas and plantains can improve sleep and relaxation, for instance. There are a whole lot of healing foods and herbs you can investigate that contribute to a better mental state. Also note that:
> protein-rich foods help to release the hormones norepinephrine and dopamine. Both of them contribute to increased energy levels. Even more, include foods also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids (which also often contain plenty of protein) such as oily fish and nuts.
> carbohydrates, especially the complex types, help the body to release the happy hormone called serotonin. So eat your carbohydrates but reduce the quantity.
> very fatty foods (particularly fried foods) can make your body feel tired and heavy. They also increase the risk of blockage in the arteries because of too much unsaturated fat deposits. You risk having heart problems and diabetes.
> taking enough veggies, fruits, juices and salads is necessary. Target including super-nutritious additives to foods – such as yogurt, nuts, seeds and the like. So that you can get ample supply of multivitamins regularly in your diet.
- Get Enough Good sleep. It is important to give yourself adequate sleep of at least 6 to 8 hours at night. And if you feel drowsy during the day, indulge yourself while you can. Quality sleep rejuvenates your body – it is the much-needed ‘down-time’ to heal from stress. It goes a long way to support heart, brain and overall body health.
- Have a Morning Ritual. Or some other regular self-care ritual. A hot cup of coffee every morning. A warm bath. Watching a movie or listening to relaxing music. Do something to appreciate yourself especially while indoors, and do it everyday.
Some other feel-good practices you can indulge in regularly on a daily basis include the following ideas.
- Self-Forgiveness: Appreciate Your Mistakes. Learn not to condemn yourself when you err, rather learn from the experience and celebrate your flaws while working to overcome them.
- Reduce Indulgence in Your Phone: Being attached to your phone, particularly because of social media can cause serious emotional and mental stress for you (as research studies have shown). You should abandon that phone from time to time to pay more attention to yourself and your surroundings.
- Choose to be Happy: No matter what comes through to you, make up your mind not to be controlled by happenings or events around you. Stand up for yourself, and be your own greatest fan.
- Meditate: Practice moments of mind exercise such as deep breathing, thinking by yourself, calculated movements, focus on positive images or objects, pray, or even fresh scents around the house (aromatherapy).
- Get Close to Nature: Nature can be therapeutic. Try indulging in some plant life around you regularly, where you can get more oxygen and release stress. It could be your personal garden, potted plants around the house, lawns and parks within the neighborhood.
- Deep Breathing: Deliberate, slow, deep breathing when you feel tense or anxious is a good therapy. Close your eyes, and deeply, slowly breathe in and out in short 5-second cycles again and again until you can relax.
- Celebrate others as well: Be kind to others, and compliment them from time to time. Rejoice with them in their good times.
- Acknowledge those Sad Moments: You will not always be happy, so accept the sad moments of your life. Think of steps to overcome it and gradually put them to work.
- Maintain a Diary/Journal: Write down your thoughts in a diary or journal from time to time. It helps you to organize your thoughts and plan ahead, or even check your feelings to sort them out later.
- Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: Learn to appreciate yourself more. Forget the way other people hype themselves or over-celebrate their achievements, looks, possessions, whatever. They may just be covering up. After all, no one is without challenges, and no one is perfect. It is simply human nature.
- Take yourself out: Plan going on a vacation, eat out at a restaurant, visit a fun place or the beach to unwind. In short, learn to spend time with yourself and relax.
- Build Meaningful Relationships: Learn to connect with one or two friends that truly add value to your life. Join local groups, visit and chat with friends, do volunteer work, attend classes, keep a beloved pet. Such connections can strengthen and renew you.
- Let Go of Grudges: For the sake of your mental health, find ways to let go of hard feelings. You could write a letter to express yourself (you don’t have to post it). Or put an end to that stressful relationship. Forgive and let go if need be (without returning to the source of the stress).
- Learn to Smile: You can smile to feel happy, just as being happy can make you smile. Your smile actually stimulates the brain to produce the happiness hormone called dopamine.
- Learn to Keep Your Environment Neat: An untidy and cluttered environment can contribute to a bad mood. Your mind reacts unfavorably to signs of disorder in the environment. So consciously learn to put things in order.
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