What is happiness to you? Is it being at peace with who you are? Perhaps it’s having the freedom to pursue your dreams? Whatever your definition of happiness, if you’ve been feeling a bit down lately, your daily, weekly, and monthly routines could use these minor but impactful tweaks.
Get enough sleep
Adequate sleep—about seven or eight hours for adults—is vital to brain function, good health, and emotional well-being. If you’re constantly fighting the urge to nap during the day or feel like you’re in a constant state of mental fog, your body may be telling you that it needs more rest.
So, increase the quality of your sleep by sticking to a sleep hygiene, like going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, winding down at least an hour before bed, investing in high-quality sheets, and keeping your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool.
You can also keep track of your sleep by writing down how many hours you sleep each night and assessing how rested you feel the next day. This should give you a good idea of the quality of your sleep. But if you still have problems sleeping, consult a doctor. You might have a sleep disorder.
Studies have shown that regular exercise can help reduce symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety while elevating happiness and self-esteem. If you’re intimidated by exercise, take heart in knowing that even a tiny amount of physical activity, like a 10-minute stretch in the mornings or a 5-minute walk every night after dinner, can make a difference.
Eat for your mood
The food we eat affects not only our physical health but also our mood. For example, carbohydrates are known to release serotonin, the feel-good hormone. But make sure to eat more complex carbs, like whole grains and vegetables, than simple carbs. The energy surge you get from the latter is short, leading to a sugar crash, which can make you feel tired, irritable, and hungry faster.
If you want to boost energy and concentration, include high-quality proteins in your meals, like poultry, lean meat, dairy, and legumes, which are known to release norepinephrine and dopamine.
If you’ve been feeling down, check your diet for deep-fried or highly processed foods.
Breathing seems like a no-brainer, but it’s one of the first things we forget when we’re stressed. We tend to hold our breath or breathe shallowly and tense up. In times like this, remember to pause and breathe deeply.
According to Harvard Health, deep breathing exercises can help decrease stress. Try the 4-7-8 breathing method, which is also known as the “relaxing breath.” Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds. This breathing pattern aims to help people sleep or lessen anxiety.
Face stress head-on
It’s impossible to avoid all kinds of stressors. So, the best thing we can do is change our attitudes about stress.
Instead of allowing yourself to become overwhelmed, tackle the stressor head-on. This could mean putting in some extra work or initiating an uncomfortable conversation. But the sooner you address it, the faster the uncomfortable feeling dissolves.
Decluttering sounds like a big project, but doing it in small chunks of time can significantly impact the state of your living space and mental clarity.
Start by setting aside 10 minutes every day to tidy up a specific area—like one or two drawers in your closet or your file cabinet. Put things in their places and let go of those that don’t serve you anymore.
You can also dedicate longer decluttering sessions, like 20 minutes weekly or an hour every month. A tidy space can do wonders for your mind and overall disposition.
We are social beings, so having close friends can make us happier. So, set aside some time to see them or talk to them on the phone or through video chat.
If you don’t have close friends and find it hard to make new ones, try getting involved in a volunteer group. You can also take a class. You’ll surely find like-minded people.
However, companionship isn’t limited to humans. Having pets offers similar benefits.
Which of these tips are you going to try soon?