11 Ways You Can Be A Happier Person This Year

With all of today’s doom and gloom, it can be hard to weed through all the heavy. The good stuff is still there, we promise. It just might take a little bit of digging to get there.

The good news is, while the circumstances around us aren’t necessarily within our control, we are still in control of ourselves, the way we react, and our outlook on life.

So throw on your gardening gloves and your comfiest pair of pants, and let’s get digging.

Let's talk about 11 ways we can make this year a happier one.

1. Buy Yourself Flowers

You didn’t expect us to miss this one, did you? 

It’s scientifically proven that being around flowers has a big impact on your mood—flower power is REAL, guys and gals.

Studies have shown that attraction to flowers may be directly related to positive emotion, which leads to a positive mood (which also serves as a buffer against stress). People who are in a positive state of mind tend to recover more quickly from the stressors in their life.

Giving the gift of flowers is giving the gift of joy, peace, and stress relief—what better gift is there?  

2. Jump Around

Not literally—unless you want to, of course. 

Moving your body is an effective and super-easy way to crank up those endorphins. 

We’re not talking about anything crazy here; something as simple as a walk in the sunshine can do wonders for the mind and body.

When we exercise, the body releases chemicals that boost our sense of well-being and suppress hormones that cause stress and anxiety.

Among the chemicals released are endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine neurotransmitters.

Exercise also reduces the activity of hormones adrenalin and cortisol, which promote feelings of anxiety and tension. 

3. Eat Nuritious Foods

This can be a hard one—especially after the holidays, i.e., cookies, cakes, and pies galore.

We all know that fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins are great for our physical health, but it’s good to keep in mind that what we eat not only affects our physical health but our mental health as well. 

Eating food that tastes good makes us happy! So finding that balance is super important. 

4. Get Outside

Name a better feeling than the warm sun kissing your skin…we’ll wait.

But seriously, that first warm spring day after a long harsh winter just really hits different.

According to Erica Price, a certified therapeutic recreational specialist at Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital, being outdoors can improve your health and well-being in the following five ways:

  1. Lowers your blood pressure and reduces stress
  2. Improves mood
  3. Improves focus
  4. Speeds up healing
  5. Supports graceful aging

Be right back, sprinting outside. 

5. Do things you love

A no-brainer, we know, but doing things you enjoy,

  • Reading a book 
  • Cooking
  • Baking 
  • Gardening, 
  • Watching Netflix

all increase happiness. So do them!

Cut out some time, whether it’s once a week or every day to do at least one thing you truly love

6. Learn how to cook

We’re not just talking about the day-to-day, mundane “I have to cook dinner, again!?” kind of cooking. 

Cooking can be fun! 

Find a few yummy recipes that you’ve never tried before, purchase a new trendy cookbook, and get creative with it!

The key to making cooking fun is to take the pressure off! Who cares if it doesn’t turn out amazing. All the more reason to try again!

study in the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science looked at the therapeutic qualities of cooking as a hobby, including its reported ability to cause a dimmed sense of time and an altered sense of consciousness.

Basically, spending time in the kitchen can ease stress and restlessness, and enhance mindfulness. 

Time to make your cake, and eat it too. 

7. Take a break

Taking breaks in life is essential to our happiness, and let’s be honest, our sanity. 

Not only does it help us avoid burnout and reduce stress levels, but it also helps get our creative juices flowing! 

8. Think Thankful Thoughts

Practicing gratitude is a great way to help you remember all of the positive aspects of your life.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps us feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve our health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. 

Take time in your day to list as many things that you’re grateful for as you can. Whether it’s in the morning before you get out of bed, the car after work, or the shower before bed—release any heavy negativity, and replace your thoughts with everything you love about your life. 

9. Spend Time With Your People

Be intentional about spending time with people who make you feel happy. 

It’s easy to get stuck in our day-to-day routines, and it can be hard to make plans. But making time for our friends and people who make us feel good is so important. 

At the end of the day, people need people.

Friends not only help keep you calm, cool, and collected when life isn’t going the way you planned, but they also help fuel your sense of belonging. 

According to Karyn Hall, Ph.D., director of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Center in Houston, Texas, friends can also be a gateway to feeling a part of something bigger. “A sense of belonging to a greater community improves your motivation, health, and happiness,” says Hall. 

Our friends make us feel understood and accepted—which does a world of good for our confidence and happiness levels.

10. Change Up Your Space

Whether it’s your office, living room, bedroom, or even your bathroom—redecorating an area you spend a lot of time in can help increase positive energy, inspire creativity, and give you a fresh outlook on your life.

Your space should be a haven, and you deserve to be happy in it!

Try adding some color, a new lamp, some fun and funky throw pillows, or a fresh plant to spice up your space.

Or try switching some furniture around. Something as simple as moving the couch from one wall to the other can really help make your living space feel brand new.

11. Houseplants = Happiness

Don’t underestimate the power of the plant. 

Adding a plant or two to your space can make a huge difference, not only in how it looks but how it makes you feel. 

Just like with fresh flowers, houseplants make us happy, it’s just natural. 

Plus, there are tons of health benefits.

Indoor air quality also is much better due to their ability to pull in stale air and breath out fresh oxygen. 

Some other awesome health benefits are:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces stress
  • Boosts immune system
  • Creates a positive mood
  • Improves sleep
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