We all have different goals in life, but when it comes down to it, we all just want to be happy. While there isn’t a perfect formula for bliss, there are a few habits you can incorporate to have a more positive outlook on life.
From prioritizing experiences and relationships to meditating, here are five things happy people always do.
Choose experience over things
Happy people tend to spend their money on experiences rather than material goods. “These experiences do not have to be extravagant excursions,” says psychologist and happiness coach Dr. Lamees Khorshid. “Creating memories creates lasting effects on happiness levels. Specific experiences have stress-buffering effects, such as time spent in nature, trying new things, or sharing experiences with your loved ones or social networks.”
Maintaining relationships is an important component in fostering happiness, health, longevity, and stress reduction. “Happiness levels increase when one feels connected to others, so spend time with friends and in social engagement,” says Khorshid. “This helps to create feelings of support and positive mood.”
Happy people regularly express gratitude. “We are wired for what is called a negative bias,” says mental health coach Tiffany Toombs. “This negative bias means that our unconscious mind regularly scans the environment for things that are harmful or dangerous to us. Regularly expressing gratitude causes our brain to rewire itself for positivity so that we are able to seek out the good/positive in our environment over the bad/negative.”
Practice good health habits
Daily exercise, sleep, and proper nutrition play a large role in feeling happy. “Exercise releases endorphins and other feel-good hormones, which makes cardiovascular exercise [act] like happy pills,” says Khorshid. “Sleep is another important element for mood, and seven restful hours are optimal for mood benefit. Lastly, eating a low glycemic diet that is low in processed foods helps stabilize moods. Reduce simple carbohydrates like bread, pasta, and white rice, and limit refined sugars to keep blood sugars stable for high energy and positive mood states.”
Meditation has numerous positive benefits including decreasing stress, improving your immune system, and increasing mindfulness to help you stay present during the day. “Studies have also shown that having a regular meditation practice causes the amygdala (the fear center in our brain) to decrease in size,” says Toombs. “When the amygdala kicks, in we are pushed into our ‘fight or flight’ state. The bigger the amygdala, the more often it is triggered. Regular meditation means that we spend less time in a fear or ‘fight or flight’ state.”
xx, The FabFitFun Team