5 Happiness-Boosting Things To Do To Start Your Year Off Right, According to Positive Psychologists - Deepstash

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1. Set short-term goals for yourself

1. Set short-term goals for yourself

Rather than going all-in on resolutions, set snackable goals that you can feel awesome about achieving. When we set realistic goals it helps motivate us to achieve them which in turn boosts our mental health. Give yourself credit for partially meeting the goal and think about how goal setting can impact your job, relationships, and self-care this year. For example, maybe you decide you want to try one week of sustainable cooking, or three straight days of yoga. Whatever you choose, ticking off this small win will offer you a boost of happiness and satisfaction.

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2. Fix broken boundaries

Setting boundaries is no cakewalk. Every day, your family, colleagues, and (gestures widely) the world ask for parts of you. While you may find it fulfilling to help out here and there, setting boundaries is also key to your mental health and well-being. Here’s how to scale back: Observe where you are overextended. Is it related to difficulty saying no, people-pleasing, FOMO, avoidance of something else at home, or in your relationship? You have to protect your free time or it will inevitably get lost in the mayhem of work-life balance issues.

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3. Double down on sleep

3. Double down on sleep

Surprise, surprise: Sleep has a major influence on your mood and well-being. Without adequate sleep, you will forever be stuck in the reactionary patterns that govern your unconscious habits. And one of the first things to atrophy when we are chronically sleep deprived is our mood regulation. To improve it, you need to emphasize quality, quantity, and consistency. All three factors matter in repairing long-held patterns of chronic sleep disruption. As if we all needed one more reason to prioritize shut-eye, consider this it.

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4. Move your body (even just a little)

4. Move your body (even just a little)

Aim for 15 minutes of movement twice a day. For an added boost, do it outside to get sunlight therapy at the same time (two for the price of one). Who doesn’t love a BOGO? It doesn’t require a huge time commitment in order to get the mood boost from movement either. If you do decide to squeeze in your feel-good, endorphin-boosting exercise outside, just make sure you also apply your SPF.

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5. Sit still

5. Sit still

A mindfulness-slash-stillness practice can have revolutionary effects on your happiness levels . The biggest ROI in terms of cost, time, and outcome, by far, is a stillness or meditation practice of some sort. Mindfulness is proven to increase mood, improve sleep, decrease anxiety, and create more sustainable focus and concentration. If you’re struggling to start a meditation practice, think of things you’re grateful for, then extend feelings of kindness out to others. This is sometimes called loving-kindness meditation, and it can be an easy access point for people who struggle to sit still.

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