1. Make Time For Meaningful Connection
The happiest people are the ones who give priority in life to strengthening and nurturing their relationships with family and friends. Studies have shown that people in committed, healthy marriages or relationships have a higher life satisfaction. Make it a goal to connect every day- whether it's in person, facetime, or chatting on the telephone on your commute home. David Myers, a Psychologist says, “Intimacy, commitment, and support do, for most people, pay emotional dividends."
2. Gratitude Practice
I know I've written about the importance of a daily gratitude practice before. Surprise! It's such a great, healthy thing to do each day! It doesn't matter how you do it- write things down on paper, meditate, or talk about what you're grateful for around the dinner table each night--- just figure out how practicing gratitude works best for you, and do it! You'll start noticing the little things, be more appreciative, and become a better person for it.
Meditation and mindfulness are all the rage lately. Everyone is doing it! Praying to a higher power and working on strengthening your spirituality can be beneficial for everyoe, whether you are religious or not.
According to Shawn Anchor, “research even shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness”. Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical school, also found in his research that meditation had a positive effect in treating anxiety, depression, obsessive thinking, and hostility. (via https://liveanddare.com/happy-life-habits/)
4. Spend Time in Nature
Studies have linked spending time in the great outdoors with better overall health, higher levels of vitality and well being, and less anxiety and depression. So breathe in the fresh air and make it a habit to get ouside for at least twenty minutes a day!
5. Write In a Journal
Did you know that writing in a journal has so many more benefits than just keeping a record for your posterity? It turns out, it's actually very good for your brain! And soul! Some of the benefits include: aids in the healing process, sparks creativity, improves memory and comprehension, evokes mindfulness, helps you set and achieve goals, improves your writing and communication skills, and scientists are even thinking it can strengthen your IQ!
6. Serve Others
It's no surprise that when you take time to look outside of yourself, there comes a level of fulfilment and happiness that is unmatched. According to Psychology Today, "When we help others we feel happy. There appears to be a direct correlation with overall well-being and giving our time, money or other resources to a cause that we are passionate about. Studies suggest that people who volunteer report better health and more happiness than people who do not volunteer."
7. Be Present
In this world full of technology and distractions, one of our biggest obstacles can simply be learning how to put down the phone so that we can pay attention. Being all there and fully present in our own lives can be truly challenging, but choosing to be deliberate in the way we manage ourselves can make all the difference when it comes to our overall happiness.
In "Hands Free Life", Rachel Macy Stafford says, "Making it a daily practice to be fully present while in the company of loved ones meant the difference between intimately knowing and superficially knowing the people I love. It meant the difference between living each day catching glimpses of joy or just barely survivinhg each day without even a smile."
8. Learn Something New Once a Month
Never stop learning! Challenge yourself to learn or try something new at least once a month. This will not only keep you sharp mentally, but you could pick up some new hobbies that bring a lot of joy and satisfaction to your life.