Here’s a sobering statistic for you: only one in three people in the US would describe themselves as “very happy”. Now, of course, that leaves room for those who would describe themselves merely as “happy”, or as neither happy or sad. Still, that’s a fairly negative statistic, wouldn’t you say? If the ultimate goal of life is to be happy, then it’s a shame so many people don’t feel they’re achieving that happiness.
Of course, there are ways you can increase your happiness. There will be lots of things in your life that make you feel sad or angry that can’t be changed or controlled. The rest is completely in your hands, and it’s those things that will tip the balance and contribute to a happier, healthier life for you. Here are just some of the tips and tricks we’ve learned for keeping yourself healthy and happy.
Read your horoscope
If you’ve written off your horoscope, which you can check at Ask Astrology, as something you don’t need or shouldn’t want to pay attention to, it’s time to think again. Whether you believe that horoscopes are the truth or simply think of them as a fun diversion, they can contribute to your happiness in surprising and unexpected ways. Using your horoscope to dictate what you do with your day can be a great way to do something you wouldn’t normally do and live life off the beaten path. Does your horoscope tell you you should go for that new job interview? It might be time for a career change. Are you wondering whether to socialise tonight or not? Check your horoscope; it might have more in store for you than you’d think. Having a guide, no matter what it is, can help you set your life in order.
Do one good thing each day
This doesn’t necessarily have to be for other people; it could be for yourself, too. The scientific benefit of doing good for others (and for you) is well-documented; the fact is that performing good deeds triggers your endorphins, making you feel better about yourself. Keep a diary detailing the good things you’re doing every day and how they’ve benefited the person you’ve done them for. These could be small things – giving a small amount of money to charity, for example, or tipping wait staff more than usual – or they could be large, like a creative or DIY project you complete for someone else. Doing a good thing each day will have an immediate and measurable effect on your happiness and your health.
Eat and drink well
It sounds blindingly obvious, but the route to a healthy diet isn’t necessarily as simple as you might think. Some of the foods you might think are doing you good actually might be harming you, and even if you’re eating and drinking good things, doing so to excess can still be damaging. Maintaining a good diet is absolutely crucial to keeping your mental health above sea level. Stay away from sugary foods and try to eat nutritious things with lots of balanced nutrients. You’ll thank yourself when your body is doing exactly what you want it to; your mental health depends in some part on your physical health, after all. Try to steer clear of things like alcohol, and if you do need to drink, don’t do so excessively. Your body is a temple, and worshipping at it makes you happy.
Treat yourself regularly
Just because you’re eating well doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself from time to time. This doesn’t have to take the form of unhealthy food. Good treats to raise your spirits could include a trip out with friends, a day at the spa, or perhaps buying something you’ve had your eye on for a long time. You could even embark on a DIY project or some sort of home improvement plan. Whatever you do, give yourself treats and rewards simply for being you. There’s no need to perform lengthy or difficult tasks in order to give yourself rewards. That said, a good reward chart could be a great idea if you’re putting off projects or you’re prone to procrastination. Don’t deny yourself good things because you think you don’t deserve them.
This is a very hard thing to do, but one of the best ways you can improve your mental health is to accept yourself as you are. If you don’t feel healthy, you should be taking positive steps to change that. If, however, you’re happy and satisfied with who and where you are at the moment, then you need to stop thinking that others can tell you how to live your life. Don’t let people dictate your weight, your choice of clothing, or your taste in culture. All of that is down to you and you alone. Once you accept yourself, you’d be amazed at the feeling of peace and serenity you’ll experience. This isn’t always a simple task, so don’t be ashamed to speak to a therapist (or even just chat with some friends) if you need help.
Build long-term goals
Stuck in a job you hate? It might be time to start taking some positive action. Not happy in your relationship? Don’t just let it fester – the problems you’re noticing won’t get better over time. Whatever’s bringing you down, you need to work on a long-term way to fix it. The worst thing you can do is simply passively accept what’s happening to you and refuse to act in any way to fix it yourself. The truth is that there’s almost always something you can do to effect positive change in your life. Start making plans now. Be realistic – don’t simply shoot for the moon and think everything will change overnight. Instead, make realistic mini-goals as you plan your way to a new beginning. Having a plan in place will make life feel exciting and help you look to the future.