It’s hard to remain positive every day and we all have days where we feel down. Events can happen in life that are just sometimes out of your control and this makes it difficult to be happy 24/7. However, if you feel like this more often than not, it might be time to make some changes. This isn’t meant to be a blog about coping with depression, but rather small changes you can incorporate into your daily routine that will help you to feel happier and have a better attitude towards life. Keeping a positive outlook not only helps you mentally, but can also have a positive effect on those around you. People generally want to be around others who make them feel good, and when you bring a positive light to situations, people are attracted to that. They will want to be around your uplifting energy, and hopefully your optimism will rub off on them, too.
These 5 simple actions are scientifically proven to boost your mood by incorporating them into your daily routine so that they become healthy habits to improve your mental health.
1. Write down what you’re grateful for. Every day, take the time to write down three things you feel lucky to have in your life. This gives you time to stop and reflect to figure out what exactly makes you happy. You realize what you’re thankful for and knowing you have things in your life to be grateful for gives you the sense of luck, and studies show that having this feeling generally makes you a more optimist person.
2. Get outside. Go for a walk somewhere you don’t usually go, or go on a hike and find an incredible view that takes your breath away. Feeling in awe of something is shown to reduce stress and heighten the feeling of satisfaction. Allow yourself to stop and take a moment to capture the world around you and step away from the hectic reality for a little while.
3. Try meditation. The word “meditate” tends to scare people off, but meditation is actually one of the best ways to boost your mood and overall mental health. You don’t need to get crazy with it, but allowing yourself to decompress alone in silence for just ten minutes a day is shown to really help clear your mind. When you’re focusing on the here and now it can help to reduce anxiety and allows you to think better.
4. Set personal goals. When you give yourself a specific goal to reach, you’re not only motivated to keep going, but competing the goal gives you something to look forward to. Having a task to aim for and complete keeps people moving from day to day and makes them feel productive and gives them a reason to wake up in the morning.
5. Make time for loved ones. Finding the time to see your family and friends is just as important as making time for yourself. Take the time to enjoy your loved ones company, as this will allow you to make new memories, laugh, and surround yourself with positive energy. A recent study shows that people who spent time with their friends had an 8% increase in their happiness.
6. Smile. Studies show that when someone smiles they can actually feel happier. You can actually trick your brain into thinking you’re happy when you’re smiling! It also doesn’t hurt to put on a smile just to be friendly towards those around you. If you smile at strangers more, you’re essentially leading by example and spreading positive energy! A smile really is contagious and the more you do it, the more people you make happy along the way 🙂