Inside Scoop: Incorporate these 7 happiness habits into your daily lifestyle for less stress, more calm and a healthier body & mind.
This post was submitted by Jenny Travens, a creative blog writer who has many passions and interests.
“Happiness is the highest form of health”
…these are the words of Dalai Lama, and rightfully so, because health is a combination of what we feed our bodies and minds with.
While happiness is an achievable goal for everyone, very few people report that they are very happy. In fact, the 2017 Harris Poll Survey of American Happiness revealed that only 33 percent of people in the US reported that they are very happy, which is a 2 percent increase from 2016, when a similar survey was done.
We all want to live our happiest life, but there are situations in our lives that keep us from living a fuller and satisfying life, despite the many experiences and activities that can make us happy. Perhaps what distinguishes healthy and cheerful people from the rest is their daily habits such as feeling less stress, optimism, and they tend to enjoy their lives more.
Happiness isn’t easy to maintain though, but, practically engaging in and investing in the right happiness habits always pays off.
What makes people happy, and what difference do happy people have from the rest of the crowd?
Simple. They act and think differently by engaging in more happiness-boosting habits. Not that we are totally ignorant of these habits and their benefits, it’s just that our priorities and lifestyles are different.
Here are just 7 happiness habits from healthy and cheerful people we all love to imbibe.
1. THEY EXPRESS GRATITUDE
According to a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, people who write about their gratitude over a period of time displayed greater signs of emotional wellbeing compared to those who wrote negative or neutral life events.
Expressing gratitude increases happiness as it gives one a positive mindset, by staying grateful for the little things that happen every day, without taking them for granted.
These things can be loved ones, health, your job, an enriching hobby, routine things like a good meal or restful sleep, a roof over your head and much more.
Focusing on the positive things in life and consciously generating gratitude thoughts and feelings helps improve moods and energy, and reduces anxiety.
2. THEY ARE ACTIVE
Happy people have different ways of getting active, starting with morning rituals which soothe them and set the stage for how their day will play out.
Such rituals include reading an inspirational book, writing a gratitude list, or eating a healthy breakfast. The trick is to create one and stick to it.
Ignoring an active lifestyle means getting prone to medical conditions like weight gain, cardiovascular problems and obesity. According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, nearly 38% of adults in the US are obese. Another 8% were said to be extremely obese.
Healthy and cheerful people stay active. Activities like aerobics or cardio, walking, going camping in the outdoors, playing tennis, jogging, or running, are a great way to stay agile and boost your mood and energy. The idea is to increase the brain chemicals – serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and endorphin – all of which deliver feelings of pleasure and happiness, while increasing contentment each day.
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3. THEY TAKE TIME TO REST
Rest is important to our bodies, and getting quality sleep helps us refresh.
Healthy and cheerful people know that sleep deprivation affects health, productivity and ability to cope with stress, so they stick to a sleep schedule to get a good night’s rest.
They also sleep more so they can be more mentally alert, happy, self-controlled, focused and feel great.
A recent survey by Amerisleep, a mattress company, found that ‘perfectly happy’ people get about 7.1 hours of sleep each night on average. Here are some simple tips on how to sleep through the night.
4. THEY EAT HEALTHIER
A healthy diet, more so one that has fruits and vegetables, has been known to make people happier, while improving their health in the long term.
Healthy and cheerful people stick to a healthy diet, they often eat out less, and when they do, they learn how to make healthier choices by focusing on green leafy veggies, healthy protein choices like salmon or beans and dishes loaded with veggies. They skip the gravy, fried foods, sugary desserts and fatty cuts of meat when they can.
A 2016 study revealed that participants who increased fruit and vegetable consumption to up to 8 servings daily, experienced a raise in happiness that’s similar to finding a new job.
You too can do this too by adding more vegetables into your diet.
5. THEY FREE THEIR MINDS
Stress is a constant in our daily lives, but how we manage it makes all the difference.
Healthy and cheerful people know that managing stress properly boosts zest for life while helping them cope with future stresses.
Besides exercise and meditation or breathing exercises, they also set aside time to review their schedules and take out tasks that can free up their time and minds.
Regular meditation, which is one of the most effective ways of embarking on stillness and mindfulness, can increase happiness while providing benefits such as stress reduction and improvement of sleep.
6. THEY GIVE UP BAD HABITS
They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, whether good or bad, but healthy and cheerful people know how to give up bad habits.
It’s definitely hard to give up habits like binge drinking, smoking, not sleeping enough or eating junk food, but there are so many more benefits accrued than disadvantages, of dropping these habits.
Besides being happier, you also save money and your health improves in the process.
Healthy and cheerful people also aren’t materialistic. They spend more on experiences than they do on material stuff, so you won’t find them impulse buying, which can be a bad habit for some.
Letting go of expectations is another thing healthy and cheerful people do as they take positive things as they come – they don’t spend time worrying or predicting.
7. THEY NURTURE RELATIONSHIPS
There is evidence that suggests that most relationships decline over time, but healthy and cheerful people don’t necessarily take the first door out of it. They work to maintain relationships.
How do they do it? By actively listening, checking in on loved ones, and not being narcissistic when it comes to conversations.
They cultivate friendships and relationships because a strong network of loved ones and other people is important for happiness and satisfaction in daily life, besides being mood boosters.
They value close relationships and they cultivate deep relationships characterized by mutual support, understanding, sharing precious moments together, as well as trust.
On the other hand, they shun negative thoughts, small talk and meaningless conversations which breed unfulfilling relationships.
Happiness in the end comes from our own actions, priorities and the lifestyles we choose to lead, therefore, if we are truly serious about imbibing these habits, change has to start from today.
Jenny is a creative blog writer who has many passions and interests. Health and wellness is one area where she likes to contribute as much as she can. She is a currently contributing to Foxxlifesciences besides other top blogs.