The Joy of Simple Living: Tips for Maximizing Happiness
You aren’t born with happiness, rather it’s something you harness and create. By performing small actions and building healthy habits, you improve your overall satisfaction in life. As we age, our list of responsibilities and stressors quickly grows, making investing in your mental and physical health to live an overall happier life critical. If you’re looking for areas to improve your general happiness, here are a few ideas to get you started.
Humans are creatures of habit. Routines provide structure, offering a sense of purpose as we go about our day. Routines help you feel in control and more productive because it keeps you motivated and dedicates time to your many responsibilities and activities. By keeping up with a healthy routine, you strengthen your mental health, leading to improved life satisfaction.
While a routine is essential, any old routine will not do. Your routine should incorporate physical activity, time for socializing, and your work and life responsibilities. By scheduling time to do the things you enjoy and spending time with people you love, your relationships improve, contributing to an overall happier life. In addition, a routine can aid you in becoming more self-aware because you become more aware of your habits and behaviors. Improving self-awareness assists in identifying negative patterns impacting your happiness and life satisfaction.
Be sure to incorporate things that are important to you into your day-to-day routine. For example, if you have trouble sleeping, incorporating a bedtime routine may be just what you need to improve your sleep health. Or if there’s something about your appearance impacting your mental health, such as hair loss, incorporating products like spironolactone into your getting ready morning routine can help you feel more confident.
As mentioned earlier, physical activity is essential to our health and overall happiness. When you engage in physical activity, your brain releases hormones such as endorphins, which help us feel happy. This is the reasoning behind the ‘runner’s high’ you may have heard of. In addition to making us happy, exercise reduces stress and tension while promoting relaxation and better cortisol management. Staying physically active also keeps your brain sharp. Studies show exercise leads to the growth of neurons within the hippocampus, which play a crucial role in mood regulation and memory. In addition to the many physical benefits of staying active, it also leaves people feeling more confident in their skin. While regular exercise can result in changes in the body and weight loss, it can also bring a sense of accomplishment to those consistently engaging.
Get a hobby
Hobbies are important because they allow us to learn new skills and activate the mind. Not only do hobbies offer a greater sense of purpose, but they can also bring about feelings of accomplishment as you watch your skills grow. Hobbies are healthy activities to incorporate into your routine, allowing you greater control of your interests and promoting autonomy within your life. Hobbies are also a great way to form new social connections by meeting people with like-minded interests. Hobbies allow you to express yourself, and doing so helps reduce stress and anxiety in your life.
Reduce social media use
Many studies show the impact social media has on its users. Social media can negatively impact our happiness in several ways. For one, social media leads to comparing your life to what you see on your screen, making people feel inadequate or lowering their self-esteem. Social media can also be addictive, leading us to favor our online lives more than our real lives. Social media addiction can cause relationships to degrade, leaving people feeling isolated. Through prolonged and excessive use, social media can lead to feeling depressed or anxious, either through these social comparisons or a constant stream of negative global news.
If you think excessive use of social media is contributing to a less happy life, consider deleting all or most of your social media apps. If quitting cold turkey sounds overwhelming, start by limiting your use, and only allowing yourself to consume social media for a brief window of time. You can start limiting your use by replacing phone-based apps with physical objects. For example, instead of using a phone calendar, you can personalize a desk calendar with photos of your loved ones. Not only will this help you avoid your phone, but it’ll also put you face-to-face with your friends and family daily.
Get a financial grip
Finances have a significant impact on happiness. We need money to meet our basic needs of food, shelter, and healthcare, and having the financial power to do so provides you with a sense of security and reduced stress. In our culture, overworking to achieve financial health and status is common, but doing so can do more harm than good. Studies show that money does contribute to happiness, but only up to a certain point. Funds for your basic living needs and being able to participate in things you enjoy will lead to a happier life, but beyond that, money won’t further your happiness. On the other hand, too much debt can make it extremely difficult to maintain life satisfaction.
If a better grip on your finances can help bring more happiness into your life, consider working with a financial advisor to help you budget. A financial advisor can create a plan to meet your financial needs and pay off debt.
Incorporate mental health breaks
Life comes with lots of responsibility and stress, and our mental health can take a hit. Mental health breaks are vital to your daily routine. Mental health breaks give your mind and body the chance to rest and restore. The key to a good mental health break is doing something you enjoy. Mental health breaks can look like going on a 15-minute walk outside, meditating, reading a relaxing book, or whatever it is you can do to rest your brain and break up the monotony of the day. However, mental health breaks can’t work miracles. If you struggle with your mental health, working with a mental health professional will help you develop coping strategies to reduce your mental symptoms.
By investing in yourself through a few small, but positive changes, you can watch your life change for the better. Happiness is a mindset and a habit you have to learn to exercise, and through some of the changes we’ve mentioned in this article, you’ll be on your way to improving your life and mindset for the better.
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