Many people who struggle with bouts of sadness and even depression have trouble finding the happiness they seek in everyday activities. While therapies and medication are effective tools in helping patients, there are other practices that you can adopt that can help you find your path to happiness.
Here are 7 tips you can begin utilizing, today.
1. Breathing Exercising
Breathing is a natural and effortless process, that can also be used as a powerful tool to keep you calm and present. When you begin to feel agitated or despondent, try taking deep, slow breaths and counting those breaths as you go. By focusing on your breathing, you can take the attention away from your stressor and bring yourself back to the present.
2. Realize Your Stressors
Stressors or triggers are very distinct thoughts that can start a downward spiral into depression or anxiety. Try to be aware of moments where your thoughts trigger these emotions – often times these are feelings of regret or anxiety for the future. When you have found these stressors, write them down. Then you can be more aware as they arise and consciously choose to focus on something more empowering that will bring in more happiness.
3. A Healthy Lifestyle
Diet and exercise not only make your body healthy, but also your mind. While exercise can release chemicals in your brain that decrease stress, the food that you eat will also directly affect how you feel. Start small – add manageable tasks and meals to your daily routine, and gradually build to a healthier lifestyle. Eating 6 small meals a day with a variety of fruits, veggies, lean protein, healthy fats and healthy grains will boost your mood leaving you feeling lighter and happier.
4. Plan Ahead
While living in the now is something that should be practiced, studies are now showing that people who make goals and future plans, are far happier than those who do not. Sit down and put some great and attainable goals for yourself onto paper, even planning a few days in advance can begin to affect and help your levels of happiness.
5. Find a Hobby
We all need a hobby or pastime that is something that we can enjoy alone or with others. Activities like running and yoga are both great, active, and optionally solitary pastimes that you can partake in that will give you the time you need to relax as well as take attention away from your daily worries and tasks.
6. Socially Surround Yourself
It is good to have a balance in your life between solitary pastimes and social events. Reach out and surround yourself with friends, family, and new activities every once and a while. Even something as small as doing a good deed for another can greatly increase your happiness levels.
7. Love Yourself
Above all, you have to learn to love and appreciate who you are in your entirety. Every few hours throughout your day, take a few minutes to listen to yourself and appreciate all that you have done and will do in your life. This will not only increase your happiness, but your self-worth.
What ways do you find happiness in your life?
Live Mentally Healthy,
Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill