by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner
August is designated Happiness Happens Month (seriously). Let’s consider the month still “half-full” rather than “half-empty,” and increase positivity …
Well-being is defined as a state of being happy, healthy, and successful. These codependent elements work together to create an existence where peacefulness usually can overcome stress.
By making your emotional health a priority, you’ll notice gains in other areas of your life. Unlike brushing your teeth, eating healthful foods, and working out, your emotional health is rather subjective. There aren’t specific steps to take with corresponding results. You have to do a little work, some self-discovery, to determine your unique happiness-boosters. Here are quick ways to increase everyday joy. Use them to get started!
- Avoid habituation. Happiness happens when new pleasures are continuously added to daily life. Keep your favorites, but always make room to expand to new pleasures.
Focus on three aspects of pleasure: intellectual, goal-oriented, and physical. Some activities may involve all three. For example, a new fitness program can include unfamiliar exercises (intellectual), an intense cardio session (physical), and an accomplishment (weight loss).
- Learn something new. Intellectual pursuits broaden your ability to relate to self and others. They also increase self-confidence. Study a new culture. Get certified in a subject area. Learn an instrument. Take a new Group Fitness class.
Complement your fitness routine with frequent nature walks. Studies have proven those who walk among nature experience relief from depression and stress, and improve memory retention and overall well-being. Sunshine is an added bonus.
- Commit to a frequent and varied fitness routine. Try everything and see what becomes a favorite. Be sure to include strengthening, flexibility, cardio, and balance work. Burn off calories and tension for a happier body and mind.
- Schedule downtime. Being in a cyclical state of movement–work, home, chores, appointments, events– does not allow time for a replenishing breath. Today’s lifestyle requires you to add relaxation time to your calendar. Just 20 minutes of leafing through a catalog can recharge your battery. Do something completely unproductive, and then get back in action with a vengeance!
- Sleep enough. Poor sleep hygiene leads to low mood and productivity. Skimp on sleep time and you’ll find yourself skimping in other areas of life as well. Don’t rob yourself of the pleasure of sleep itself. Snooze and soothe.
Smile more. Make your best facial feature happen more naturally. Fill your life with happiness-inducers. Take time for gratitude, dwell on warm memories, read good books, watch funny movies, treat yourself to a good meal or favorite tea, visit with friends and family. Make someone else smile. Do what makes you happiest and radiate joy.
“Pleasures in Life That Help Relieve Stress,” by Elizabeth Scott at about.com.
“The Calming Power of Nature,” by Kathleen Doheny at everydayhealth.com.
Water play (introductory photo): pixabay.com/en/water-fight-children-water-play-442257/
Hiking trail: http://www.flickr.com/photos/calliope/35458350/
Girl giving flower: pixabay.com/en/girl-flowers-yellow-young-youth-485959/