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Are you struggling with being happy? Start implementing these healthy, happy habits and improve your life NOW!
Habits for a Happy, Healthy Life
There are more things you can do than just these (check out the 30-Day Happiness Challenge), but these make a great start.
Implement one habit at a time and you’ll be happier before you know it.
#1. Wake Up Earlier
People with regular 9-5 style jobs, children at home, and many more people pretty much universally agree that they’re most productive in the morning. By the time they get home from work, they’re drained.
So, if that’s you, it might be time to start getting up earlier.
Ready to get started? Check out Sleep Advisor to start getting up earlier (and being happy about it).
#2. Learn When to Say NO
You shouldn’t be saying no (or yes) to everything. There’s a balance to be had.
Make sure that you’re not wearing yourself out or becoming unhappy or unhealthy because of pressure to do things from (and for) other people.
You’re no good to anyone if you’re sick, miserable, or overworked.
Learn more about how to say NO to others and YES to yourself more often.
#3. Smile & Laugh
Smiles and laughter are irresistible.
Smiling real smiles (the kind that use your whole face) actually helps you feel happy. Laughter does the same thing.
So remind yourself regularly to smile. Even if you don’t think there’s anything to smile about. Eventually, you’ll be smiling more without thinking about it and boosting your happiness automatically.
Sign up for a joke service, download a joke app, make a deal with a friend to send each other jokes once a day. Do something (at least once a day) that makes you laugh. Don’t hold it back either, go for a full and deep laugh. Bonus points if you laugh so hard you cry.
#4. Live In the Moment
Stop and smell the roses! Pause and savor what’s happening right now! Worry less about the future and focus more on right now.
This isn’t an excuse not to plan for the future. Instead, it’s advice to focus on what you’re doing when you’re doing it.
It’s so easy to obsess about the past or worry about the future. Try to stop these thoughts and instead focus on the now.
#5. Get Some Exercise
You don’t need a lot of exercise, as little as 15 minutes can be enough to boost your happiness levels.
Regular exercise has a host of other benefits (not just physical).
If you hate exercise, try to change your attitude towards it. Instead of viewing exercise as a punishment, try seeing it as a demonstration of what your body is capable of.
#6. Learn & Practice Meditation
Meditating doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming. You can start your meditation practice with just a couple of minutes a day.
Meditation is a great way to calm yourself when you’re feeling stressed. It’s also a great way to decompress at the end of your day.
Check out Gaiam and A Life of Productivity for more information on meditating.
#7. Get Outside
Getting outside is one of the easiest ways to boost your happiness.
Bonus: you can combine this habit with exercise and get a double whammy of happiness improvement.
The best outdoor space is more natural, think trees, running water, chirping birds, flowers, etc.,
Check out Google Maps (or take a stroll around your neighborhood) and note all the nice places you could go when you have a few minutes to spare. Be prepared and you’re more likely to head outside!
#8. Set Meaningful Goals
Meaningful goals will give your life a sense of purpose and direction. They also will make you happy. The act of pursuing meaningful goals increases your happiness (and you’ll get an extra boost when you achieve them).
However, not all goals are meaningful. Make sure you set at least one big life-changing goal.
Make sure you keep track of your goals somewhere. Review them regularly.
Check out How to Set SMARTER Goals and SMARTER Goals Examples for more information about goal setting.
#9. See Your Friends & Family
Make sure that you’re spending time with friends and family. Your relationships with others are important.
Even the most introverted amongst us (I’m talking about me) need some social contact.
Work on developing a few strong and deep relationships over a hundred surface-level friendships.
#10. Cut Negative People from Your Life
This is hard for many people to understand but: YOU AREN’T OBLIGATED TO SPEND TIME WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE HARMFUL TO YOUR HEALTH (mental or physical).
I don’t normally condone writing in all capitals, but I think it’s so important that people realize this.
It can be hard to cut people out of your life especially if they’re people you feel you should love (family comes to mind). But if a person is bad for your mental health, you shouldn’t spend time with them.
Surround yourself with positive, supporting, caring people who want you to be happy. The rest? Not worth the time, effort, or misery.
#11. Buy Less Stuff
Things aren’t going to make you happy.
This doesn’t mean you can’t spend money, but you’re more likely to gain happiness spending money on experiences rather than things.
You can also spend your money on others.
#12. Be Grateful
Be grateful. Not just for the things you have, but also for the people in your life and the things they do for you.
Take it further and express your gratitude to others. Be sincere but take it further than the automatic “thanks” that everyone mindlessly uses.
#13. Be Reasonable & Positive
Look on the bright side of things and then expect a reasonable version of that.
Also remember good enough is usually good enough. You don’t need to aim for perfection with everything (or anything really). Be reasonable about your expectations without falling into negativity.
#14. Just Do It
Stop overthinking every aspect of your life and start doing the things you think will make you a happy, healthy, productive person.
It’s unlikely that there will ever be a “perfect” time to do something. Don’t let opportunities pass you by, take action!
#15. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
You are unique. I don’t mean that in a “you’re so unique and special” way, I mean it in a “you aren’t exactly like anyone else” way.
Your life experiences, beliefs, personality, likes, dislikes and so much more is never going to be 100% the same as another person. You will have some (several, many) things in common with another, but never EVERYTHING. Hence, you are unique.
This uniqueness means that comparisons with another person are futile. You can’t compare one aspect and pretend like every other aspect of your life doesn’t matter (or exist).
Comparing yourself to another is never going to make you truly happy. So don’t do it.
How to Implement Happy Habits
Now that you have some ideas for habits to implement, it’s time to learn HOW to implement them. Get to it!
Step 1: Choose a Habit
You should really focus on one (or two) habits at a time. If you try to do too much, you’re likely to overwhelm yourself and give up on everything.
Step 2: Prepare a Plan
What will you need to practice & implement your habit? When will be a good time to practice & implement? Do you need to be somewhere or have something specific or can it be done anywhere and anytime?
Much like setting a schedule, figure out what, when, and how you’ll work on your habit.
Set small goals that you can achieve over time.
Step 3: Implement Your Plan (from Step 2)
This means it’s time to start doing the habit. Practice and implement it. Don’t rush or overwhelm yourself.
What’s your first goal? Work on that and then move on to the next one.
Step 4: Check-Ins & Celebrations
Check-in on your progress regularly. When you realize that you’re doing something without conscious thought, it’s a habit.
Congratulations! Celebrate your new habit and choose the next one to work on.
A Happier You Begins Now!
Your happiness affects all aspects of your life.
Stop waiting and starting building happy habits today!
Ready for more? Check out the 30-Day Happiness Challenge next!
Which of these habits do you have? Did I miss any great ones? Let me know in the comments below!