Sometimes, happiness feels as effortless as breathing. Other times, being happy seems like an impossible dream. That’s why learning new ways to be happy is helpful.
As you read these 6 happiness tips, remember that happiness isn’t a destination. It’s a lifelong journey with ebbs and flows.
When you exercise, your brain responds to the physical stress by releasing a protein called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which works as a, “protective and also reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch. That’s why we often feel so at ease and things are clear after exercising and eventually happy.” Endorphins also play a role — they block sensations of pain and lead to feelings of euphoria.
If you’re pressed for time, try this quick 15-minute jump rope workout. For a less sweaty but equally effective workout, grab a stability ball for this 20-minute full-body routine.
Sometimes, when you’re in a funk, you just need to do something to help you feel better. Try one of these 12 quick and easy mood boosters.
A study from Harvard found that people spend nearly half of their waking hours, 46.9 percent, thinking about something other than what they are doing. That’s not all, though: too-frequent mind-wandering also makes people unhappy.
Since wandering thoughts can contribute to unhappiness, try being more mindful and less focused on multitasking. Mindful people have learned how to be present and aware, and they don’t tend to overreact or become overwhelmed when the going gets tough.
To learn more about mindfulness, including how to get started, be sure to read our Mindfulness 101 & Getting Started guide.
Every day, even when you have an awful day, try to think about something that brings you gratitude. Expressing gratitude is a great way to refocus your mind on things that bring you joy, no matter how small.
Greater happiness isn’t the only benefit of gratitude, either. There are a variety of health benefits, including improved sleep health and enhanced psychological well-being.
This last piece of advice might sound counterintuitive, but it’s also the most important suggestion on this list. If you prioritize happiness above anything else, and refuse to accept or acknowledge other emotions, you tend to expect happiness from every moment. Disappointment soon follows, because it’s impossible to be happy 100 percent of the time.
So, never stop choosing happiness, but remain open to feeling all of your emotions. Emotions, even the not-so-happy ones, give us important insights into how we truly feel. Instead of battling your thoughts, accept and embrace them to see what you can learn about yourself.