A lot of us struggle to find inner peace and happiness. I grapple with this at times myself, but I know that when I practice some of the following daily habits, I am a much more confident, optimistic, and kinder person. Most of these tips come down to self-care so making your personal health and wellness number one will in turn make you a much happier individual.
- Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Getting enough sleep is critical to
having a happy, productive day as the alternative can lead to reduced alertness, logic and general health issues such as obesity and a lesser ability to maintain healthy relationships. Some tips to getting a good night’s sleep are: take a warm bath or shower before going to bed, shut down all electronics and devices 1 hour prior to going to bed, sleep in a completely dark room, make sure your room is cool (ideal temperature is 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit), and don’t drink a lot of fluids prior to bedtime. Ideally, you should aim to go to sleep at night and wake up around the same time every morning. You will notice your energy levels will be much more leveled out if you do! I try for a 10:00 pm bedtime and a 5:45 am wake up. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s a goal I shoot for!
- Meditate. This one is HUGE! Meditating for five to ten minutes upon waking
has immediate benefits including heightened inner clarity and focus for the rest of the day. Starting your day with meditation (guided or self run) also sets positive intention, allowing you to detach from habitual thought barriers and keep you in the moment. Studies also show that meditation helps prevent stress and anxiety, thus squashing frustrations that limit your ability to tackle your goals. Some tools to try (because it’s not easy to quiet your mind!!!): free apps like “Insight Timer” and “Headspace” offer you guided meditations, timers, and reminders. Another really cool, highly recommended device from Mr. Russ Sorrells himself of Now What Academy (High Performance Coach & local entrepreneur) is the “Muse-Brain Sensing Headband” that measures your brain waves when you are in a meditative state and helps draw you back when you are distracted. Check these tools out!
- Exercise.Obviously there are countless benefits to being active in your daily life but research shows that the most successful and productive people make exercise a priority. Reduce your stress, boost your energy, improve your brain health and memory, and more by just getting in 30 minutes of movement every day.
- Declutter. Many of us fill our homes and office spaces with things we think we
need. The truth is accumulating stuff ultimately harms your mental, emotional, and physiological well-being and interrupts our focus. The good news is reversing these effects is as simple as clearing the clutter! By spending a few minutes at a time removing the items collecting dust, your mood and happiness will effectively improve. And it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Simply commit to one area at a time—a closet or pantry is a good place to start.
- Learn a new skill. While taking on new challenges may sound counter intuitive
to creating happiness, learning something new boosts your well-being. Focusing on making progress puts us in a state of flow, which has been shown to foster happiness. Learning also builds your self-confidence and keeps you sharp. Find a specific skill that you want to improve upon and commit to practicing it a few hours each week.
- Go For A Walk. Research shows that 30 minutes of walking a day helps to
adjust your nervous system, thus reducing anger, hostility, and even your appetite! If devoting 30 minutes every day to walking is difficult, you can break it up into small increments spread throughout your day. Take the stairs, park further away from your job, spend half of your lunch walking, take your dog or kids for an evening walk.
- Perform a random act of kindness.There is a range of research linking
generosity to better health. Countless studies have shown that giving activates the same parts of the brain that are stimulated by food and sex. Giving back is truly a win-win. The recipient benefits, and you feel better knowing you’ve positively impacted someone’s life. It doesn’t have to be a huge deal. Call up a friend you haven’t spoken to in some time, donate to a local charity, send a letter to a loved one, or offer to watch your neighbor’s kids for a few hours so she can get a break. The best part? Kindness is contagious.
- Surround yourself with happy people. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously asserted that “you are the average of the top five percent of the people with whom you spend the most time.” So, find the most positive, engaging people with whom to interact. This switch will motivate your level of happiness, sense of achievement, and could even open new doors in your professional or personal life.
- Don’t gossip. How often have you said something nasty about someone and shortly after regretted it or felt bad about yourself? Gossiping only causes stress and unhappiness. Next time you have the urge to complain about a friend or co-worker, pause for ten seconds, and shift that negative dialogue to one of positivity. Search instead for something genuinely nice to say about the person. If that’s not possible, change the topic and you’ll find pride in doing so.
- Show Daily Gratitude. Simply commit to writing down 5 good things that happened in your day or that you are thankful for when you wake up in the morning or go to bed at night. Place a notebook by your bedside table to remind you to do this daily. This practice will effectively increase happiness and reduce feelings of depression. Showing daily gratitude enhances empathy and reduces depression and it only takes 1-2 minutes!