10 Ways to Lower Stress and Boost Happiness
How do we remain calm and happy when the world around us is ever-changing and uncertainty lingers at our doorstep? It seems harder than ever to be stress free and happy in our everyday lives. These 11 tips may not be the holy grail to happiness, but they are a great start.
1. "Today Will Be a Great Day."
Every morning when you wake up, say this to yourself: "Today Will Be a Great Day". This is important for your mental wellbeing because you want to start the day off in a positive way.
2. Write Down 3-5 Things You Are Grateful For
When we get caught up in our everyday routines, it's hard to remember what we do have and instead tend to focus on the things that we don't have. Writing down what you're grateful for gives you a sense of appreciation for your life. Research shows that doing this increases your happiness in just 3 weeks.
3. Limit Screen Time
Try to drastically reduce your television, computer, and cellphone usage. Higher amounts of technology use is correlated to higher levels of obesity and depression. When you wake up, resist the urge to check your phone and try deep breathing instead. We may all be more addicted to our cellphones than we think. Let's break this habit.
I've mentioned the benefits of journaling in previous posts and it does wonders for your mental health. Simply jotting down your concerns, ideas, future-self, etc. is great for your happiness and for reducing stress.
This is a given and does not require much detail as to why. However, exercise can also count as simply walking 20 minutes a day outside or on the treadmill. It's okay if your exercises are not 45-60 minutes long. Start somewhere and be proud that you are being active.
6. Eat Dark Chocolate
Who says sweets aren't good for you? Eating dark chocolate (in moderation) has shown to increase blood flow to the brain and improve mood. Be sure to eat no more than 1 ounce per day.
7. Listen to Music
Put on your favorite playlist and relax. When you listen to music you enjoy, your brain releases dopamine which makes you happier. Listening to music also reduces the stress hormone (cortisol) in the body.
Walking or standing 20 minutes a day barefoot outside whether it's soil, grass or concrete has shown to reduce anxiety and depression.
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9. Spend Time With Positive People
You are who you spend time with so make sure your time is spent with people that will make you better. Surround yourself with positive people who share the same goals.
"Show me your friends and I'll show you your future."
The practice of meditation has been used and proven for hundreds of years. Here are a few reasons as to why:
Lengthens attention span
Help reduce memory loss
Start by meditating 10 minutes a day and work your way up to 20 minutes a day. Guided meditation is great for beginners.
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