Happiness is a state of mind that we all aim to achieve, but modern life has led us to be in crisis about what will make us happy. We are relentlessly bombarded with messages that imply that our lives are not happy and are lacking ?advertisers promise us products and services that will instantly improve our lives, the media portrays images of happiness based on often unachievable beauty, wealth and fame, and politicians reduce our happiness to a scale of economics.
Research has shown that happiness or “subjective wellbeing” can influence physical health; happier people tend to adopt healthier habits, but also there have been other benefits noted, increased cardiovascular performance, better wound healing and reduced inflammation levels to name but a few. So, what can you do in your own life to be happy?
Here are 5 realistic tips to help you achieve the elusive happiness that you deserve.
- Be Kind to Others
It is part of the human condition that we thrive on being kind to others. Not only do you help another person out in their time of need, but you also benefit from undertaking kind acts. Being generous and cooperating with others stimulates the same part of the brain called the striatum that is activated by reward cues good food, financial success and even addictive drugs. The striatum gives us a “warm glow” when we are kind to others.
- Connect with Others
We are social beings, and we need social interaction with others to be happy. People who have strong connections with others are notably happier than those who lack deep relationships. Loneliness and social isolation are harmful to health. Lonely people experience heightened stress hormones that impact on the body systems and can have a serious detrimental impact on its functions. Relationships with others help us to navigate through the challenges that life throws at us, so it is important that you invest time and energy in nurturing relationships.
Note: connecting with others does not mean solely through social media. You need real life authentic relationships that add meaning.
- Fuel for Happiness
Our bodies are a collection of cells that have very particular nutritional requirements in order to function at its optimum. In the busy modern life we lead, it can be easy to get complacent about how we fuel our bodies. When your diet is lacking the nutrients you need, your mind and body feel sluggish, and feelings of happiness can plummet. Convenience foods and poor-quality ingredients united with an increasingly sedentary lifestyle leads to weight gain, diabetes and can damage your self-esteem.
Rather than starting an extreme diet to combat your extra weight, it is better to adopt a healthy eating regimen that will ensure they your weight loss is maintained. A program such as Sane Solution can help transform your eating habits so that you can be happy with your body – click here for more information.
- Smell the Roses
While you are dashing about working, raising your family and building on friendships, it can be easy to focus on the destination rather than enjoying the journey. Appreciate what is around you and seek happiness and joy in the ordinary. Slow down and be alert to your surroundings and enjoy the here and now. Put away your device, turn off the notifications on your cell phone and quit multitasking.
By living in the moment, your attention will be diverted to the finer beauty of your surroundings. Embrace mindfulness techniques to help to focus your mind and enhance your experience of the world. You will find that once you master these techniques, you are able to find happiness in even the mundane.
- Define Goals
To achieve happiness, you also need to feel positive about the future. Choose realistic goals that will give you a positive direction to move in. Think about what you would like to achieve and the steps that you need to take to be able to reach them. Once you have defined your goal, you will be motivated and excited by the prospect of accomplishing it, and great satisfaction when you meet your target.
Happiness does not have to be elusive. By making changes to your lifestyle and thought processes, you can be happy. You need to live in the present and be alert to the prospects of joy that are all around you daily; however, you also need to look to the future, and how today?s choices and options can influence the tomorrow.