It’s well known that having the right long-term companions in life, such as a loving significant other, trusted friend, family pet, or friendly co-worker, can help make you happier. But what are some other unexpected ways you can increase happiness levels on a daily basis?
Part of the equation deals with your perception and outlook on life. Do you spend most your time comparing your life to others and wishing you had MORE? Or do you generally feel content about the many great things you already have in life?
Both your emotional and physical health depend on happiness. After all, what’s the point of living a life full of anger, regret, revenge, or angst?
Happiness is truly valuable for your soul. Next time you’re feeling blue, remember these quick and easy solutions, which can alleviate stress, enhance overall performance, and boost your mood for the better.
Stick To An Early Bedtime
When was the last time you woke up grumpy and tired, after a poor night’s rest? The majority of patients I’ve seen over the years have one thing in common: they don’t get enough sleep at night! While the human body is quite resilient, getting enough sleep each night plays a critical role in the way your mind and body performs. Lack of sleep can impair cognitive processes and critical thinking such as concentration, problem solving, negotiation, and reasoning.
Persistent lack of sleep over time can even cause depression. Insomnia and depression often go hand in hand. In some cases, depression may lead to sleep loss; or vice versa, insomnia can be the root cause of depression.
In the electronic age of today, I’ve found that many people become “addicted” to their devices; simply unable to put them down and get to bed at a reasonable hour. By just turning off your phone, computer, TV, and WIFI network at least two hours before your scheduled bedtime, you’ll be more likely to start feeling naturally drowsy when the time comes to rest. Electromagnetic radiation, emitted by all of your electronic devices, can actually disrupt your sleep patterns and keep you from achieving a deep sleep.
Take Off On A Random Trip!
Packing your bags for vacation makes most people happy, especially when traveling for leisure as opposed to a business trip. Our daily schedules become so packed, that time just seems to fly by. Every now and then, our bodies need to hit the RESET button, in order to unwind from the mundane, tedious nature of repetitive work schedules.
Spontaneity can be a way to drive happiness levels through the roof. I feel in tune with the mentality of Lifehacker writer Adam Dachis, as he states “Simply concentrating on finding new experiences, rather than the specific ones in your dreams, is a great way to still have a great time without getting caught up in too much planning.”
Something about the explorative experience of just up and leaving for a random road trip will leave most with awesome feelings of excitement before and during the trip. After returning home, we’ve all felt the “Boy, am I glad to be home” feeling after a long trip.
Strike A Match & Light A Fire
Whether you’re out roasting marshmallows over a backyard bonfire, or getting cozy with a good book near a crackling fireplace, it’s in our blood as humans to be attracted to the physical warmth of a fire.
For centuries, our ancestors had used fire to heat their homes, cook nourishing meals, and ultimately keep their families alive year-round. Building a safe, contained bonfire or campfire can provide happiness in many methodical ways. From choosing the right spot, gathering wood, piling tinder/kindling, igniting the flame, and watching the fire grow – fire appeals to most all of your senses.
Enjoy Your Favorite Genre of Music
It’s always fun to sing along to the lyrics and dance to the beat of a familiar tune. However, music can also have a healing or calming effect on your mind, body, and soul. For many years, music has been used effectively for its therapeutic effects! Music therapy has grown in popularity since it’s inception during the early 1800’s.
Studies show that while listening to, or playing music, your brain releases dopamine, a natural chemical that makes you feel good. According to another study conducted by psychologist Daniel J. Levitan, PhD, music has even been shown to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Eat Lots of Fresh, Organic Fruits & Veggies
Not only do freshly sliced oranges and juicy watermelon do wonders for your palette on a hot summer day, but they also help your mind and body perform to the best of their abilities.
Researchers from the University of Warwick, conducted a study to track the eating habits of 80,000 people in Great Britain. They found that “mental wellbeing appeared to rise with the number of daily portions of fruit and vegetables people consumed. Wellbeing peaked at seven portions a day.” Basically, the more fresh fruits and vegetables you eat, the happier you will be. And how about all those other health benefits that come along with eating the right foods!