In this day and age, all you need to do is watch 10 minutes of the news and you could very well be sent into a fit of depression. That’s why it’s more important than ever that we take our happiness into our own hands. Of course, it’s very possible that clinical depression requires medication but here are things we can do in our daily lives—habits if you will—that can indeed add to our well-being. Be mindful of them and you can indeed feel physically if not metaphorically lighter. Read on for five ways to be happy and healthy. Who knows? Maybe you could even help someone else incorporate the same lifestyle changes.
We know, we know, this is often easier said than done, especially if you are a late owl. But it’s come to light that the most successful people often have one thing in common—they are early risers. It’s only logical that you will be more productive, but it’s also been shown that those who wake up earlier are healthier, as they don’t skip breakfast and fall victim to unhealthy cravings. Mental health benefits have also been shown, as those who wake up earlier tend to have a more positive outlook. It’s been said that the first hour of our days sets the tone for the next 24 hours, so it’s important to not wake up on the wrong side of the bed, so to speak. If your natural inclination is towards being a night owl, make the transition gradually. Go to bed 20 minutes earlier than you usually do each night and before you know it, this will become a habit. Your to-do list will thank you.
There is something to be said for unplugging from your phone, tablets, and other devices and going for a simple walk outside. If running or jogging is your thing, do that. Whatever you choose, get those steps in. You can even get competitive with yourself by getting a FitBit and trying to increase your steps each day. The key, though, is to get out in nature. It’s just good for the soul. One sure way to increase your happiness is to go to the beach (if you have access to it!) or lay out in the sun a little bit each day. Make sure to bring a round beach towel from Slippa! Of course, you need to be leery of too much sun time due to its link to skin cancer, but it’s important to get your dose of Vitamin D. And the link between exercise and happiness is a no-brainer. You might even consider incorporating a hobby like photography, commemorating all the wonderful things you see on your outdoor walks.
Again, we know, we know, it’s hard to find the time. But the myth about meditation is that you need a half hour to an hour to do get anything positive from it. This isn’t true. Download one of the many meditation apps and you’ll be surprised at how many of them are only five minutes or so. Of course, the more/longer you do it, the more you gain, but squeezing it in here and there will still help you reap plenty of benefits.
This one comes with a contingency—you need to be ready for the commitment! If you travel a lot for work or are simply not in a position to care for another living thing, this might be long-term goal. If you’re ready, however, go the adoption route. Anyone who has adopted a pet will tell you that this pet knows you’ve saved them. We don’t know how but they just do, and they are so grateful. Could there be a better feeling? And there are tried and true health benefits to owning a pet to boot. In fact, many believe they can help those who suffer from depression, which makes sense when one considers the idea of therapy dogs. They also keep us exercising, as they require walking. And of course, we only have one thing to say about the joy of pet kisses: fuhgettaboutit.
This one also comes with a contingency—one must be safe with multiple sex partners! If you are in a committed relationship, however, and sex has gone by the wayside, we urge you to make it a priority once again. Not only does it improve intimacy which improves relationships which improves happiness (duh!), but it has proven health benefits, too. Those who have sex regularly have been shown to have less stress, sleep better, and be heart-healthy. As if you needed a reason, right? Cue the Al Green music…
Follow these tips to health and happiness and you’ll be feeling amazing in no time. And P.S.—consider turning off the news.