Everyone has a different perspective on happiness. Sometimes we get caught up on the idea of happiness which society has created, but true happiness can only be discovered by oneself. Happiness is having satisfaction and meaning in your life. It’s the ability to feel positive emotions and the capacity to recover from negative emotions quickly. It is not at all related to having a lot of money or privilege.
“If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never be fulfilled. If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the world belongs to you.”- Lao Tzu
Stress is a part of our daily lives and can never be completely avoided. Although useful at times, for keeping our bodies alert and ready to face danger, it is important for us to manage it. Not learning to do so can lead to chronic depression and anxiety and cause many health-related issues.
The following are 5 to get rid of stress and boost your happiness
- Get up and move regularly
Studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D can contribute to mood disorders and depression. While vitamin D can be found in some foods or taken as a supplement, one of the best sources of the vitamin is sunshine. To boost your supplies of vitamin D, try to spend more time outdoors.
- Walk in nature
Spending time outdoors is a great way to feel better and to relieve stress as well. The word “nature” doesn’t limit you to forests or canyons miles away. Any kind of green space like local parks or football fields can improve your mood.
- Use music to lift your mood
Instead of listening to depressing songs that will only beat you up, change the song and choose a song that’s more upbeat and has a positive attitude. Music makes us feel uplifted, whether we’re just listening or performing to it.
- Practice mindfulness
Matthieu Ricard once said, “It is the mind that translates good and bad circumstances into happiness or misery.” We tend to give too much credibility to negative thoughts. Mindfulness can help you see the difference between the story we tell ourselves and how things actually are. To help work mindfulness into your everyday life, apps such as Jinglow app or Stop, Breathe and Think are a great way to ease into a more mindful way of living.
- Put a smile on your face
Happiness makes us smile, but can smiling make us happy? If you don’t feel like it, it’s time to adopt the “fake it ‘til you make it” approach.
Back in 1990, Paul Ekman’s research showed that adopting a “Duchenne smile” – a full smile that involves facial muscles around the eyes – produced a change in brain activity that corresponded with a happier mood.
Smiling can trick your brain into happiness, so there’s actually a good reason to turn that frown upside down. Why not try it?
- Be grateful for what you have
Have you ever heard of the saying “The grass is always greener on the other side”? Most people usually focus on what they don’t have, instead of properly appreciating what is already theirs. It’s incredibly important not to relentlessly want more and to focus on the good aspects of your life rather than on the things we want to change. If it’s easier than saying it out loud, keep a gratitude journal. Set aside time every day to write down the things you are grateful for: people, events, and your own personal characteristics.
Contributed by Marquis Matson