3 Simple Ways to Increase Happiness
I consider myself a pretty happy and content person, but life can throw you curve balls when you least expect it. We all have low points in life and during these times it can be difficult to sleep, we feel a lack of energy, and a general fog. Keeping a normal exercise and meditation routine can help with mental clarity, focus, and energy. Also, writing in a gratitude journal, where you can note the things that you are thankful for in life will help to decrease anxiety and help with general appreciation. Below I’ve listed three simple and quick routines that can be applied at any time of day. Doing this regular practice will improve your mood and increase happiness.
1. Get Up and Move
There is an abundance of research that proves exercise is linked to a more positive outlook. A recent study looked at correlations between happiness and movement. Participants recorded their exercise and answered questions about mood randomly throughout the day via an app. Researchers found almost unequivocally that happiness correlated to exercise. Participants who exercised within an hour before recording their mood reported feeling happier compared to those who were idle. The majority of the physical activity reported was gentle, so anyone can try this with positive results.
2. Choose Gratitude
While we may have days that are tough, there are moments within those days we can look to as a highlight. And choosing to look at those moments may make you feel better about the rest of the day. Research has shown that “acting” happy actually stimulates the areas of the brain associated with positive emotions. To do this, you can recall those highlights, keep list of things you’re grateful for, force yourself to smile wide, or if you have a partner, friend, or child you can play a game of “high/low,“ where you both recall the high and low moments of your day. In any case, you are consciously bringing happiness into the forefront of your mind and strengthening those pathways, causing you to feel happier.
3. Meditate on Mindfulness
We live in a very distracting world, so distracting that sometimes we forget to focus on what is right in front of us. The extent to which our minds bring us out of the present moment depends on how much we are focused on past or future. The great thing is that you can practice mindfulness anywhere but it’s a one-pointed practice, which means that to properly meditate you should be focused on one thing at a time. Avoid multitasking, pay attention to your body, and take breaks when your back or neck begins to feel tired (or better before they start to feel tired - set an hourly timer!). Follow this breathing routine once an hour and set the intention to create a day with happiness in it, and you will start to see the positive results.
You can’t avoid those moments of unhappiness in your life, but you can choose to do something about it. Whether it arises from anxiousness, anger or depression, the prescription is still the same - make yourself happier and you WILL be happier. Whether you choose to exercise, practice gratitude, or meditate (and I recommend a combination of the three for the greatest effect), you will see improvements not only on your mood, but your general outlook.
Pain can also affect your happiness. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, schedule your appointment with our office online at core-wellnesschiro.com or by calling (510) 922-1579
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