5 Ways to Boost Happiness

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If there is anything that everyone undoubtedly wants in their life, it is that often elusive feeling of happiness.  There are key small things that most of us can reasonably achieve so that we may improve our mental and physical well-being.

What can you do to ensure that 2018 will be a truly happy year?

Here are my 5 Top Tips: 

 

1. Get Up & Move

This year, many studies have focused on the role of physical exercise not only in keeping us fit, but also in improving other aspects of our physical and mental health.

Studies show that our perception of our own bodies improves after we exercise and that it can counteract, even prevent depression (which affects 40 million adults in the US). It doesn't have to be hours and hours of high intensity at the gym. A little as 1 hour of working out each week affects depression and mood disorders accordingly to researchers at Black Dog Institute.

And, if you're struggling to keep up the motivation to go out for a jog or ride your bike, then there's a simple fix: just focus on doing the kind of exercise that makes you HAPPY :) Any movement is better than nothing! Don’t feel guilty about not reaching a set target or intensity. Find the fitness routine that you like best, so you can follow it more easily. 

Why not just try yoga and meditation?

Practices such as yoga and meditation have been found to boost quality of life and increase our sense of well-being. Studies show yoga is effective in combating depression, lowering anxiety and stress levels. Effects can even last up to FOUR MONTHS afterwards!

According to a study from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, both yoga and meditation can improve psychological and physiological resistance to stress factors. For r example, these practices help you to not be as affected by negative events during the day but also bumping your immune system to be better prepared to handle anything. 

2. Get Your Zzzzzs

Don't underestimate the impact that sleep can have on your well-being. Holy cow have I learned this first hand having an infant. The first few months of his life he would pop up every hour after I laid him down. This led me to read about every book available about healthy sleep for babies but I also learned a lot about sleep for adults. Those with insomnia are twice as likely to develop depression! It comes as no surprise that a good nights sleep should be a priority in our quest for happiness and wellness.

Check out my next blog for interesting tips for a good nights sleep!

3. Eat Your Way to Happy

What you eat DOES influence your mood. Research published in PLOS Online earlier this year argued that eating a fruit- and veggie-happy diet may improve mental health within 2 weeks making you feel more motivated and boosting your energy level. 

The best news? Keep consuming cocoa! Studies show that cocoa can work miracles for your confirmed that cocoa can work miracles for your psychological well-being, mood, and potentially even cognitive abilities, too.

4. Get Outside

To really, truly feel happier, spend more time in nature. This is certainly challenging if you're living somewhere like I am and it's freezing outside! Bundle up and get out there, it's worth it. Green spaces make us happy and naturally when we don't get outside it's easier to feel symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress. So a simple step is to simply STEP OUTSIDE :) 

5. Self Love

We hear this phrase all the time but it's really true. Most importantly, be kind to YOURSELF to feel a stronger sense of fulfillment and well-being. Be kind to yourself and to others. Kindness and gratefulness to others affects our level of happiness. 

Interestingly, although self-acceptance is a habit that can lead to greater happiness, it is one that very few people have formed.