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Easy Ways to Be Happier

11 Easy Steps to Help You Feel Happier Each Day

It can all too often feel like true happiness is out of our reach. We can feel like we don't have the time, finances, or ability to experience that emotion fully. But if you go back to basics, there are plenty of easy ways to be happier. From using your phone less to focusing on experiences rather than possessions, here are 11 simple steps you can take every day.

  1. Eat more serotonin-filled foods: The saying goes "you are what you eat," and that's definitely worth bearing in mind when it comes to mental health. The "happy hormone" serotonin helps to improve our moods. Try eating foods foods rich in serotonin, like walnuts, pineapple, bananas, and tomatoes, to boost your happiness.
  2. Travel and experience more: When you think back to things that have made you happy in the past, the likelihood is they'll be things you've done, rather than things you've owned. A beautiful pair of shoes probably hasn't given you as many happy memories as visiting a different place or a new activity. And if those shoes have been part of happy times, it's more likely it's the people you were with rather than the objects themselves. Try out fresh experiences and take trips to unknown destinations. It can be as low-key as a unvisited part of your home town.
  3. Use your tech devices less: Although our devices keep us connected, they can easily take up way too much of our time. You don't have to go on a full-on digital detox, but set aside time every day to raise your head from your screen. Get out into the real world, breathe in the fresh air, and feel your happiness levels rise.
  4. Spend time with people IRL: One of the many useful features of a smartphone is its ability to connect you with so many people through social media networks and messaging services. But you really can't beat a face-to-face meet up. You can't hug a friend through a screen (more on that next). Chilling out with loved ones in real life is a great way to relax, let go of stress, and forget about the things that might be making you feel unhappy. And it's possible to fit it in regularly, even if you've got a busy schedule. Go for a drink after work, set a lunch date, or hang out at home.
  5. Hug a loved one: Actual physical contact with someone you care about can physiologically lift your mood. There are many health benefits to hugging, and these include boosting oxytocin and serotonin levels, balancing out the nervous system, and relaxing the muscles. Your hugging partner will feel better too, so it's a win-win.
  6. Let go of toxic people: Time is precious, so don't fill yours with people who aren't helping you feel good. Identify who are the most toxic people in your life. Spend time with those who support you, rather than those who are jealous, negative, dramatic, judgemental, or mean. You really don't need them pulling you down.
  7. Focus on gratitude: Replace all that negativity with positivity. There will be things that you're grateful for, whether that's a particular person or pet, where you live, or something to do with your work. Give your attention to those positives and remind yourself how lucky you are. Feeling gratitude for what you do have will fill you with more happiness than concentrating on what you don't have.
  8. Be in the moment: When you really consider what are barriers to experiencing happiness, are many of them worries about something in the future, or dwelling on things that have happened in the past? Living in the moment is an incredibly difficult thing to do, but it can make a huge difference to how you're feeling. Start off small. If you're eating something delicious, really notice how good that makes you feel. You can experience happiness from moment to moment in this way.
  9. Do a good deed: Feeling happy can come from feeling good about yourself. What better way to do that than by doing something for someone else? It could be a random act of kindness, a favour for a friend, or paying a loved one a compliment. They'll feel good, you'll feel good, and the happiness will increase twofold.
  10. Treat yourself: If you're following an eating plan, exercise routine, or particular approach to life, you might find the restrictions get you down a bit sometimes. Let yourself indulge in something you'd really enjoy now and then, whatever that may be — a lie in on a Sunday morning instead of a five mile run, a milkshake instead of a green smoothie — and give your happiness a boost.
  11. Smile, even if it's not real: You know that phrase "fake it 'til you make it"? There's evidence that smiling, even when it's not genuine, will increase your feelings of happiness — just one of the health benefits of smiling. You'll make others feel better when you smile too, as humans are engineered to mimic smiles.
Image Source: Bruce Mars / Pexels
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