10 Easy Habits That Make You Feel Amazing

Start applying them for a happier life.

Photo by Stephan Seeber on Pexels

Raise your hand if you want to be happy.

It’s up in the air, right?

We all want to be happy, yet many of us don’t understand what happiness is. We tend to think of it as something we will achieve when… when we get that job, when we buy that house, when we marry that person.

We think of it as a destination. As if one day we will knock on the door of happiness and it will open. On the other side, a smiley guardian of the happy place greeting us: “Welcome, you have finally arrived. Now you are happy”.

This concept of happiness as a place you get to implies something even worse: that once you enter, you will stay forever.

But happiness is fleeting.

It’s there and then it’s gone, only to return again. Happiness exists in little moments: the sun on your face, the smell of fresh coffee, the laughter of someone you love.

Moments like these happen in everyone’s lives. But instead of waiting for them to come, you can create them. You can instill small, easy habits into your days that will make room for happiness to sneak through.

1. Step outside

In “Lost Connections”, Johann Hari sets out to discover the real reasons why we feel depressed. He comes to the conclusion that we live disconnected lives. Disconnected from other people, meaningful work, meaningful values but also from nature.

The cure: to reconnect. To other people, to meaningful work and values, and to Mother Nature.

What you can do today

You don’t need to go live in a cabin in the woods or hike every weekend. If you want to start small, just get outside the house every day. Go for a 12-minute walk in the morning before you sit down in front of your computer. If you can’t find the motivation, consider getting a dog (responsibly!). It will force you to get outside more.

With time, try to integrate nature into your daily activities. Reading a book? Do it in the park instead of on the couch. Want to hit the 10k daily steps? Go to the woods near the city. Slowly, you will build back that connection to nature that boosts your happiness.

2. Feel the sun on your face

This is not a hippie recommendation but rather a scientific-based fact. Exposure to sunlight stimulates the release of serotonin, which helps to boost your mood and makes you feel calm and focused.

Plus, sun exposure has a range of benefits that can’t be felt immediately but help with your well-being. It strengthens your bones, reduces your risk of cancer, and improves the quality of your sleep.

What you can do today

The same advice as in point #1: step outside! Even 5–15 minutes a day make a huge difference.

If you live in a country with low levels of sunlight, get a sun lamp, a device that mimics natural sunlight and provides you with similar benefits.

3. Listen to upbeat music

You know the feeling when your favorite song comes on and you dance along like nobody’s watching!

Studies show that listening to 13 minutes of upbeat music is enough to kick away the sadness and make you feel happy and uplifted.

What you can do today

Create a playlist with some of your favorite songs. Or you can curate relaxing classical music, which is also proven to fight anxiety and depression.

Whenever you feel yourself getting low, press “Play”!

4. Take care of your environment

“Tidying can transform your life”.

While you might not want to Marie Kondo your life, there are reasons why living in a tidy, organized environment improves your happiness.

Studies show that clutter can make it harder for you to fall asleep. Another study shows that mothers living in messy houses have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Clutter can even make our relationships harder. As this study shows that people are less able to interpret emotions from faces if there is a lot of background noise.

What you can do today

Have a look around your house and see what you can get rid of. If you want to be conservative, anything that you haven’t used in 3 years should go.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, spend time cleaning and organizing your home. The process is soothing, and the result makes you feel better, providing you with a deep sense of peace and well-being.

5. Take care of yourself

Self-care is a buzzword these days and for a good reason: it can help you drastically improve your life.

What counts as self-help is up to you, but some ideas include taking a bath, going for a massage, getting a haircut, spending some alone time, or meditating.

What you can do today

Include little self-care rituals in your life. Set aside 10 minutes a day to sit with yourself. Schedule a monthly massage at your favorite place. And if you feel the need for a quick boost, go to a spa and feel it improve both your physical and mental health.

6. Practice gratitude

Practicing gratitude might be the easiest thing you can do to improve your happiness. The simple fact of making a conscious effort to be grateful helps you lower stress, reduce pain, and improve your immune system.

What you can do today

Every day, set aside 3 minutes and write down 3 things you are grateful for. The moment you stop and realize that you have a roof over your head, food on the table, and people to count your blessings on, there is no way you can avoid feeling content.

7. Serve others

Give and you shall receive” — this line from the Bible is replicated in the ideas of many great thinkers and proved by several studies.

Giving — your time, your help, your assets — is a powerful way to increase your sense of belonging and purpose. It will also boost your self-esteem and help you keep things in perspective.

What you can do today

The next time someone asks for your help, say yes, even if you don’t have much time or energy. You might find that giving doesn’t take away from you, but rather adds to who you are.

If you want to make this a recurring event in your life, find a place to volunteer in your area.

8. Get out of your comfort zone

“Often we’re happier, we feel more energetic, more productive, more creative when we try something new, when we challenge ourselves a little bit when we kind of go out of that comfort zone” — Gretchen Rubin

Getting out of your comfort zone is a powerful happiness booster because of “hedonic adaptation”. Over time, we tend to get used to everything in our lives, both the bad and the good. Trying something new regenerates the excitement that we miss when everything stays the same for long.

What you can do today

You have opportunities to try something new every day. Take a different route to work, order a different dish from your favorite restaurant, go to a social meet-up, visit a new place… The list is endless. Try incorporating one small new thing in your life every day. By exercising the discomfort muscle, you’ll strengthen it and naturally invite novelty and excitement into your life without even realizing it.

9. Do breathwork

Breathwork exercises provide super quick relief from stress because they lower the levels of cortisol in the body, also known as the stress hormone.

This TED Talk shows how powerful just 10 to 20 minutes of breath work per day can be.

What you can do today

Breathwork costs nothing and has an immediate effect on how you feel. If this is an entirely new concept for you, check Amardeep Parmar’s article with 5 simple breathing techniques to deal with everyday stress.

10. Take care of your body

This one comes last because it’s so well known but it is also the foundation to most of the other suggestions on the list.

Even as little as 10 minutes of exercise per day can help improve your happiness levels. On the other hand, eating healthily also contributes to making you happy, as it keeps your body balanced, providing it with all the nutrients it needs for normal functioning.

What you can do today

Treat your body nicely. Move it often, through walks or heavier exercise. Feed it the right nutrients to keep it balanced and energized. Stay away from junk food that robs you of your energy and mental clarity.

Takeaway

The suggestions mentioned here are easy, simple habits that most people can apply to their lives.

They work better if you make them part of your routine, but they also provide immediate relief for moments when you feel stressed and overwhelmed.

If you are feeling like that at this exact moment, it might be time to start applying these habits. Start now.

Categories Articles, Lifestyle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close