Is happiness a choice? This question has sparked many debates. People disagree on whether you can train your mind to be happy or if it's totally out of your control.
On the one hand, from a scientific point of view, many variables can affect the levels of serotonin and dopamine–the 'happy' hormones– in your body. For example, obesity, stress, and sleep deprivation can vastly reduce dopamine levels.
So, if you control these variables or at least try to, you can increase your happiness. But does the human mind ever abide by science rules?
On the other hand, there's a belief that happiness is uncontrollable because of the unexpected life circumstances that force gloomy clouds over our heads.
Since we like to meet our readers on a middle ground, we'll give you advice that will both raise your happy hormone levels and make you stronger against life's surprising inconveniences. So, read on to find out how to maintain a healthy routine for a happy life.
1. Stop Overthinking About Things You Can't Control
We understand that it's easier said than done, but one of the most mentally damaging habits is overthinking about uncontrollable events. What if I get a life-threatening disease? What if the company I'm working for goes bankrupt? If your mind constantly gravitates to these pessimistic thoughts, ask yourself one more question: "can I control it?"
Most of the time, you'll find that the obvious answer is no. Unfortunately, you can't control most of the aspects of your life. So, it'd help if you focused on the things you can control instead of wallowing over the stuff you can't control.
For example, work hard to avoid losing your job because of any mishaps. Stop smoking, and start a healthy diet to keep diseases at bay. If you combat every negative thought with a new healthy habit, you'll gain a new positive perspective on life and move a step closer to being happy.
2. Keep the Negative People Away
Happiness is contagious; it can spread from person to person through an air of laughter, support, and confidence. As a result, the people you surround yourself with affect how you think more than you can imagine. If all you hear when you go out with your friends is complaining and whining, you'll start thinking that this is all that life has to offer you.
This isn't true; the world always has music for those willing to listen. It's up to you to enjoy it or put in your earplugs. For that reason, you should always try to surround yourself with positive people. You'll be astonished by how drastically they can change your view of life, as they'll avert your attention to the favorable aspects of life.
Also, a positive community will increase your self-confidence because they'll point out the good qualities in you, not the flaws.
3. Appreciate the Little Pleasures in Life
Never underestimate the power of an inspiring book or a good song amidst a chaotic day. Unfortunately, life often takes us down a never-ending lane of routines and habits. So, we forget how much the little things matter.
You don't have to break your routine entirely to appreciate what life has to offer. Instead, you can incorporate positive habits into your schedule to give you a fresh breath of air. For instance, instead of rushing to work every morning, try to wake up a little early. Then, you can go for a refreshing walk with that extra time and even stop and smell flowers on the way!
Additionally, don't just eat any meal to keep you full for a tough workday. Instead, try to prepare a meal that's rich with flavours and revel in each one of them. If you maintain these simple habits, you'll feel more inspired and ready to face life's misdemeanours.
4. Help Other People
Statistics show that people who spend time and money on charitable actions are happier than people who don't. This is because volunteering and doing completely selfless things often stimulates a reward system in your brain that increases dopamine release. Hence, you'll have an instant rush of happiness.
Firstly, you'll feel more connected to your community as you contribute to its well-being. These actions will make you feel good about yourself. Thus, they'll boost your mood and shift your mind a little towards positive thinking. Start by paying a visit to a nearby orphanage or a charity, and notice how you'll feel afterward.
Secondly, charity gives you a glimpse into people's challenging lives. Seeing how others live may put your problems into perspective. As a result, you might feel that your problem can be solved, and you'll work on it.
5. Gear Your Mind Towards Having an Optimistic Mindset
You may agree that anticipating a bad event and thinking about its occurrence is much worse than it happening. First of all, Fixating on a negative possibility won't rule out the fact that it may happen. Instead, it just keeps you on edge most of the time.
Second of all, positive outcomes have the same chance of happening as negative ones. Consequently, why don't you think of them as often? Just let go of Murphy's law way of thinking. Instead of wasting time believing that anything that can go wrong will go wrong, you can take a moment to count the things you're grateful for today.
Additionally, you can train your mind to think positively. For example, when it's raining, you can think about how you will get wet on your way to work. Alternatively, you can think of the many plants that will come back to life because of a few drops of water.
6. Get Enough Sleep and Eat Healthily
Sleep deprivation is one of the leading reasons for depression worldwide. It stimulates the release of stress hormones that will make you feel anxious and worrisome. And the same can be said about having an unhealthy diet. Thus, it's essential to keep your sleeping and eating habits balanced.
If you sleep well, your body releases enough endorphins to keep you relaxed and happy. Moreover, sleeping recharges your brain and prepares you to face another day because it makes you feel more alert and active.
A healthy daily diet will further enhance this. Research shows that people who have an unhealthy diet full of processed meats and sugary food are more miserable than those who eat balanced, healthy meals.
To stimulate the release of happy hormones, sleep well, eat more fruits and vegetables, and cut off fast food. You'll notice the difference after maintaining a healthy routine for a while.
7. Do Something Besides Work
If you aren't careful enough, you might find that your life revolves around work. This is wrong on so many levels because if something goes wrong in your job, your life will go in smoke, along with your mental health.
Ideally, it would be best if you kept a healthy social life outside of work so that you can find someone to vent to after a long, chaotic day in the office. Moreover, it's often the healthier option to maintain a balance between your personal life and career life. If both are so intertwined, you'll never be able to catch a break.
Unfortunately, it isn't easy to achieve this balance now because of the pandemic that has made many companies go online. When you work from home, you lose the comfort zone where your tasks don't haunt you.
Therefore, you should prepare a workspace in your house in one room and spend your break time in another room. This habit is vital if you want to prevent work from monopolising your life.
8. Be Flexible
If you want to be happy, you need to be flexible and open to change. Having a fixed mindset will get you nowhere. It'll cause you to form limiting beliefs, and whenever any challenge threatens those lines, you might go into a state of overwhelming defeat.
On the contrary, being flexible allows you to challenge yourself. Those challenges will push you to learn new things every day. Accordingly, this will increase your self-confidence and will make you feel happier.
It isn't easy to change the way you think about yourself, but you'll notice a significant shift in your life when you do it. Just take it one step at a time, and scale up the challenges every day.
9. Set Goals for Yourself
Living without a purpose is like having food with no spices. It's manageable but tasteless. And you should have something to wake up and work for every day. It doesn't have to be a huge lifetime goal; you can set simple goals for yourself.
For example, challenge yourself to keep a houseplant alive for a month or to learn something new about your country's history every day. You'll feel rewarded every time you reach your objective, and you'll gain information about different topics daily.
10. Make an Effort
You can't achieve anything in life without making a little effort, and the same goes for happiness. To rewire your life and think positively, you must be ready for a long journey. You may have mishaps, but you must get back on track. It's going to take many tries to get it right, but in the end, you'll achieve it.
Moreover, You may feel comfortable with the routine you have in your life, but comfort doesn't always lead to happiness. To grow mentally, you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. So, try to incorporate little changes into your day after work. So, unmute that WhatsApp group, and go to the friends' reunion you've been ignoring.
To Wrap up
Happiness is like any other task you take on in your life. If you design a plan and make enough effort, you'll achieve it. We won't fool you and tell you it'll be an easy journey. It requires a whole lot of willpower with a splash of discipline.
When you start following the habits we've listed for you, you'll find that training your mind to think differently is so satisfying. When you begin to think positively, you'll find the bright side in every situation in your life.
Otherwise, the easiest part will be performing charitable actions and appreciating the small things in life. Just make a tight plan for the week, and work those tasks into your schedule. You'll note an indescribable mood boost every time you achieve something you aren't used to. So, are you ready to start practicing the ten habits of happy people now? We sure are!