This article is the continuation of part 3, of 52 Ways to Be Happier. I recommend that you read this article from the beginning.
Happiness Habit #14: Maintain High Levels of Self Confidence
Once you have attained a healthy level of self-confidence, it is important to keep it up. Don’t let your healthy body image be a fleeting concept. Appreciate yourself in every way, every day. You can add these positive thoughts about your own body image to your gratitude journal. Learn to accept what you see in the mirror and the compliments you receive. More often than not when we lack confidence, we cannot accept compliments that come our way. Maintaining a high level of self-confidence helps us to feel like we are worthy of any compliments that we receive. Good habits perpetuate good feelings. Running as a daily habit may help us to lose weight and if we go through a body transition, and like what we see in the mirror than we are more likely to keep up the changes that we are making to our everyday routines.
Happiness Habit #15: Accept That You are Not Great at Everything
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” –Albert Einstein
There will always be things in life that we need help with, things we need to improve upon and things we can help others with. No one is great at everything. If you find someone needing help with something you are skilled at, offer to help. Realize that you cannot also be great at everything either. The world is filled with amazing people – artists, scientists, mothers, fathers and everything in between. If we were all the same and were good at all the same things the world would be a boring place.
Know that not everything in life is going to come easy and not every aspect of your life will follow suit in your pursuit to happiness. Generally, when one area of your life – personal, professional and emotional is going well it leaves room for the other areas of your life open to failure. It is learning to balance the things we are skilled at, the things we need help with and the things we wish to improve that allows us to realize that we are not great at everything. This is not a negative aspect of life; it is a universal truth that we all share. Share who you are and what you are good at with others. If we all share our best skills we can help others to improve. Don’t safeguard your talents and be afraid to share them with the world – embrace them and share them freely.
Happiness Habit #16: Try to Improve Little-by-Little
Know that you can change things about yourself. Instead of looking to bash on any negative qualities you should be creating positive plans for change. For example, if your jeans are fitting tighter and you aren’t liking the way you look in the mirror don’t just go on calling yourself overweight or even fat – make a positive plan to exercise – little by little. This does not mean you have to go and run a marathon in order to please yourself and regain your confidence. This means that you should make a plan to, little by little, increase the number of calories you burn on a daily basis and decrease the number of calories you consume. Know that nothing has a quick solution. There is no quick fix to your problems, no magic button to make you feel better about yourself because that comes from within. Make plans for yourself and follow through in order to see improvements and help yourself.
Know that nothing happens overnight and that change is always made in small steps. We cannot go from unhappy to ecstatic overnight but we can work towards it on a daily basis. The more you work towards your goals the more attainable they become.
Happiness Habit #17: Rarely Complain
While it is not wrong to voice our opinions about negative experiences, body images, or worries it is harder to be positive and happy once we do. Voicing negativity gives power to it. We want to spread happiness instead of negativity. Not everything we do in life will be the most fun and rewarding experience – hard work takes dedication – and on your journey from daily grind to happy life you need to realize that there will always be bad days and bad experiences to follow the good ones. It is how we deal with negative experiences that changes who we are. Don’t complain. Don’t give credence to the moments in which we lose happiness. Brush off the negative experiences and instead try to focus on the positive. Make the negative moments have a shorter life span than the positive ones. Forget about the negative past, live positively in the now.
Happiness Habit #18: Have Meaning in Your Life
Surround yourself with caring people who not only want happiness for you but help you to achieve that happiness. The easiest way to have meaning in your life is to establish happiness with yourself. Learning to use that happiness to create some for others is essential as well. Give the happiness that you receive from others and put it right back into the world.
Spend your personal time in a rewarding way. In 10 years will you remember the moments when you binge-watched a season of your favorite show on Netflix? No. You will remember the moments when you lived life to the fullest. Make it a goal to not cheat yourself out of positive experiences. Make it a priority to have meaning in your life generated by positive people and experiences.
Make sure the work that you do is fulfilling and it is making you feel accomplished. If the work is something you do not love, make sure that you are still giving as much effort as you can anyway. You do not want to provide the world an excuse to judge you.
PHYSICAL HAPPINESS HABITS
Happiness Habit #19: Stay Active
Keep your body active. Exercise is important in order to maintain a healthy body weight and in turn a healthy body image. Create physical fitness goals for yourself that you can achieve. Challenge yourself to accomplish these goals and then continue to set the bar higher. The one thing that we have control over is our physical health – eat smarter and exercise in order to live longer. If life is full of happiness, don’t you want to be around longer in order to experience it all for as long as possible? Don’t settle into a life of complacency. Push yourself to try harder in everything you do. The hard work and dedication you show to yourself with your physical health has the ability to transfer to other aspects of your life. For example, it will help you to set goals at work and achieve them in a timely manner, thereby allowing yourself to raise the bar higher even if it is not asked of you and to show your superiors that you are worthy of the job they have hired you for and possibly for even more responsibilities as well.
Happiness Habit #20: Sleep 8-hours
Remember that mental health is just as important as physical health. Sleeping vastly improves our cognitive functions and allows us to perform and think at the best of our capabilities. We need to be able to perform, at work and in our personal lives to the best of our abilities. We want to be able to remember what we did at work instead of just coasting through the day, black coffee in hand, trying to count down the minutes to when we are able to leave for the day. Reward your mind with sleep. Allow yourself 8 hours to reenergize yourself and start fresh the next day.
Make sleep a priority instead of a passing thought. Make your bed your sanctuary instead of a home office or library – a place where you can fully relax and breathe a sigh of relief instead of getting worked up over finances, work or finishing the last chapter of a book. Many times we fill our bedrooms with distractions such as televisions or computers but we need to remember that our bedrooms need to be a place where we forget about the stressors of our daily lives and soak in the moments that make us happy. Creating a safe and stress-free environment will help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. You will look forward to going to sleep when you don’t associate your bed and your bedroom with anything that causes stress. Learn to let go of the day’s worries when you go to sleep – your job, finances and relationships will be there in the morning where you left them the night before. With better sleep you can function better at work, and perform to the best of your abilities. Many of us drudge into work after an unrestful night’s sleep and worry if we are going to get fired. Don’t let anyone question your productivity – improve your work in the easiest way possible by starting out the day in the best possible state you can – a well-rested mind is a better functioning mind.
Happiness Habit #21: Consume with Moderation – Food, Alcohol, etc.
Healthy body weight is ideal for a full life. The healthier you are, the longer you live (barring any complications). Remember to have everything in moderation. You do not have to live your life depriving yourself of things you love- you need to learn to have them in moderation. For example, a glass of red wine is perfectly healthy but consuming a bottle every night is not. You can still enjoy everything life has to offer but enjoying it in moderation ensures that you live longer, and stronger.
Happiness Habit #22: Have a Healthy Body Weight
Along with practicing moderation and exercising a healthy body weight should follow. This isn’t to say that you must fit your body into the mold of societal stereotypes where women are expected to fit into size zero jeans and men into idealistic muscular body types. Make sure you are physically fit to the point where physical activities such as running, biking and walking do not strain you and drain you of all of your energy. The more you exercise, the more feel-good hormones are pumped into your system. Working out can be a stress reliever.
Healthy habits such as eating right, getting a restful night’s sleep and exercising are crucial to maintaining a healthy body. There is no one physical shape that people should be trying to fit into – no cookie cutter for the pinnacle of body health – but there are ways in which all of us can improve our health. We can omit junk foods and replace them with whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains in order to help our bodies perform at their physical best. We can become less sluggish as soon as we put better fuel into our bodies. The best way to remember to respect our bodies is to realize that we only get one in this life. We should want to live longer and respect our bodies. We should want to live to see our children and grandchildren growing up and to spend time with our significant other instead of fading away earlier in life due to preventable health issues.
Happiness Habit #23: Simplify/Remove Clutter – Physical and emotional
Along with removing negative people from your life, remove physical clutter as well. Living life in a space filled with useless junk is a waste. Keep what you need and donate the rest. Do we really need a POGO stick in our garage from ten years ago? Surely there are people who can benefit from mild pack rat tendencies. Keeping your living area simple and clean allows you to focus more.
Follow the same principle when it comes to your personal life – keep what you need and find a better place for that which you don’t need. Evaluate your friendships to make sure they are healthy and mutually rewarding and if you find yourself with a toxic relationship – friendship or otherwise – slough off the dead weight and move on. It seems like a cruel rule but it is the best way to ensure that you are not being emotionally drained in a preventable situation. The best way to keep your clutter in check is to always have an outsider’s perspective on it. Would we want to see our loved ones in the same type of relationship that we are in? If the answer is no, learn to be okay with letting go of toxicity. It is true that nobody likes change and that it is hard to face, especially alone, but it is exactly what we need sometimes in order to maintain our happiest selves.
Happiness Habit #24: Manage stress
Find ways to manage your stress – whether this is through physical exercise, a hobby such as knitting or sailing, or by spending time with friends in order to forget our worries. Understand that we all experience bouts of stress, there will always be moments when life seems overwhelming but it is the way we deal with them that defines our happiness. Pick a way that you know you can relieve stress and use it to your advantage. Create a hobby or space that allows you to release stress and to let go of worries of the day – a space where you can worry about nothing.
Exercise can also help you relieve stress – help yourself feel better in your own skin, your stress diminish and your overall health improving by exercising on a regular basis. We look better, physically, when we exercise and eat right – our hair, nails and skin have a better outward appearance, love handles and muffin tops fade away and our moods are changed for the better. We become shiny, happy and healthy people as a result of physical movement.
Happiness Habit #25: Stay Healthy
Strive to remain healthy. Live longer. Live a happier, longer life with exercise – both mental and physical. Live a life you want to be a part of in order to help motivate you to want to live longer. Who wants to live until they are 90 years old if every day is a struggle to be happy?
- Manage stress levels
- Create healthy habits such as eating healthy and consuming everything in moderation
- Simplify your life
Combine all of these in order to maintain your health levels both physically and on an emotional level. Continue to read part 5 of this article here.