11. Declutter

11. Declutter

  1. Decluttering sounds like a big project, but setting aside just 20 minutes a week can have a big impact.
  2. Set a timer on your phone and take 15 minutes to tidy up a specific area of one room — say, your closet or that out-of-control junk drawer.
  3. Put everything in its place and toss or give away any extra clutter that’s not serving you anymore.
  4. Keep a designated box for giveaways.
  5. Use the remaining 5 minutes to do a quick walk through, putting away whatever stray items that end up in your path.

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How to Be Happy: 25 Habits to Help You Live a Happier Life

healthline.com

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6. Give a Compliment
  1. Research shows that performing acts of kindness can help you feel more satisfied.
  2. Giving a sincere compliment is a quick, easy way to brighten someone’s day while giving your own happiness a boost.
  3. Catch the person’s eye and say it with a smile so they know you mean it. You might be surprised by how good it makes you feel.

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4. Eat with Mood in Mind
  1. Food choices have an impact on your overall physical health and can also affect your state of mind.
  2. Carbohydrates release serotonin, a “feel good” hormone. Just keep simple carbs — foods high in sugar and starch — to a minimum, because that energy surge is short and you’ll crash.
  3. Complex carbs , such as vegetables, beans, and whole grains, are better.
  4. High protein food releases dopamine and norepinephrine, which boost energy and concentration.
  5. Highly processed or deep-fried food tend to leave you feeling down.
  6. Start by making one better food choice each day.

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9. Keep a Journal
  1. A journal is a good way to organize your thoughts, analyze your feelings, and make plans.
  2. You don’t have to be a literary genius or write volumes to benefit.
  3. It can be as simple as jotting down a few thoughts before you go to bed.
  4. If putting certain things in writing makes you nervous, you can always shred it when you’ve finished.
  5. It’s the process that counts.

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12. See Friends
  1. Humans are social beings, and having close friends can make us happier.
  2. It’s not about how many friends you have. It’s about having meaningful relationships — even if it’s just with one or two people.
  3. Try getting involved in a local volunteer group or taking a class. Both can help to connect you with like-minded people. And chances are, they’re looking for friends, too.
  4. Companionship doesn’t have to be limited to other humans. Pets can offer similar benefits, according to multiple studies.

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10. Face Stress Head On
  1. There’s no need to avoid stress. Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal says that stress isn’t always harmful, and we can even change our attitudes about stress. Learn more about the upside of stress.
  2. For those stressors you can’t avoid, remind yourself that everyone has stress — there’s no reason to think it’s all on you.
  3. You’re stronger than you think you are.
  4. Instead of letting yourself get overwhelmed, tackle the stressor head-on.
  5. This might mean initiating an uncomfortable conversation or putting in some extra work, but the sooner you tackle it, the sooner the pit in your stomach will start to shrink.

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19. Give Back
  1. If you find that giving daily compliments provides a needed boost to your mood, consider making a monthly routine of giving back on a larger scale.
  2. Maybe that’s helping out at a food bank on the third weekend of every month, or offering to watch your friend’s kids one night per month.
  3. Giving back to others essentially is giving back to yourself.

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8. Acknowledge the Unhappy Moments
  1. A positive attitude is generally a good thing, but bad things happen to everyone. It’s just part of life.
  2. If you get some bad news, make a mistake, or just feel like you’re in a funk, don’t try to pretend you’re happy.
  3. Acknowledge the feeling of unhappiness, letting yourself experience it for a moment.
  4. Then, shift your focus towards what made you feel this way and what it might take to recover.
  5. Let the moment pass and TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Remember, no one’s happy all the time.

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20. Take Yourself Out
  1. No one to go out with? Well, what rule says you can’t go out alone?
  2. Go to your favorite restaurant, take in a movie, or go on that trip you’ve always dreamed of.
  3. Even if you’re a social butterfly, spending some deliberate time alone can help you reconnect with the activities that truly make you happy.
  4. Spend quality time with your best of best friend, ie. Yourself. Yup, be your own best friend!

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14. Ditch Your Phone

UNPLUG. REALLY.

  1. Turn off all the electronics and put those ear buds away for at least one hour once a week. They’ll still be there for you later. If you still want them, that is.
  2. If you haven’t unplugged in a while, you might be surprised at the difference it makes.
  3. Let your mind wander free for a change. Read. Meditate. Take a walk and pay attention to your surroundings. Be sociable. Or be alone. Just be.

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18. Find a Self-Care Ritual

It’s easy to neglect self-care in a fast-paced world. But your body carries your thoughts, passions, and spirit through this world, hence your body deserves a little TLC. Examples :

  • Unwinding your workweek with a long, hot bath.
  • Or adopting a skin care routine that makes you feel indulgent.
  • Or simply setting aside a night to put on your softest jammies and watch a movie from start to finish.

Whatever it is, make time for it. Put it in your planner if you must, but do it.

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23. Reevaluate Your Goals
  1. People change, so think about where you’re heading and consider if that’s still where you want to go.
  2. There’s no shame in changing your game.
  3. Let go of any goals that no longer serve you, even if they sound nice on paper.

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21. Create a Thought List
  1. Take control of your thoughts.
  2. At the start of each month, make a short list of happy memories or things you’re looking forward to on a small piece of paper or on your phone.
  3. When you find yourself waiting for a ride, standing in line at the grocery store, or just with a few minutes to kill, break out the list.
  4. You can even use it when you’re just generally feeling down and need to change or charge up your thoughts.

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Happiness is a result of Habits
  1. Happiness looks different for everyone. For you, maybe it’s being at peace with who you are. Or having a secure network of friends who accept you unconditionally. Or the freedom to pursue your deepest dreams.
  2. Regardless of your version of true happiness, living a happier, more satisfied life is within reach.
  3. A few tweaks to your regular habits can help you get there.
  4. Habits matter. Make positive habits part of your routine to instil happiness daily.

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22. Take Time to Reflect

The start of a new year is a good time to stop and take inventory of your life.

Set aside some time to catch up with yourself the way you would with an old friend:

  • How are you doing?
  • What have you been up to?
  • Are you happier than you were a year ago?

Avoid the pitfall of judging yourself too harshly for your answers. You’ve made it to another year, and that’s plenty.

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17. Consider Therapy
  1. If you feel like you’re hitting a brick wall, consider speaking with a therapist on a weekly basis. You don’t need to have a diagnosed mental health condition or overwhelming crisis to seek therapy.
  2. Therapists are trained to help people improve coping skills. Plus, there’s no obligation to continue once you start.
  3. Even just a few sessions can help you add some new goodies to your emotional toolbox.
  4. It can be an art therapy too!

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5. Be Grateful
  1. Simply being grateful can be a big mood booster.
  2. Practicing gratitude can have a significant impact on feelings of hope and happiness.
  3. Start each day by acknowledging one thing you’re grateful for. You can do this while you’re brushing your teeth or just waiting for that snoozed alarm to go off.
  4. As you go about your day, try to keep an eye out for pleasant things in your life - may be big or small things such as :
  • knowing that someone loves you
  • getting a well-deserved promotion
  • co-worker offered you a cup of coffee
  • neighbor waved at you
  • the warmth of the sun on your skin.

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24. Take Care of Your Body

You hear it all the time, including several times in this article, but your physical and mental health are closely intertwined.

As you build habits to improve your happiness, make sure to follow up with routine appointments to take care your body:

  • see your primary care physician for an annual physical check up.
  • take care of any chronic health conditions and see specialists as recommended.
  • see your dentist for an oral exam and follow up as recommended.
  • get your vision checked.

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25. Let Go of Grudges
  1. This is often easier said than done. But you don’t have to do it for the other person. Do it FOR YOURSELF.
  2. Sometimes, offering forgiveness or dropping a grudge is more about self-care for ourselves than compassion for others.
  3. Take stock of your relationships with others. Are you harboring any resentment or ill will toward someone?
  4. You may consider reconciliation or you may just need to end the relationship and move on.
  5. You can also write a letter with your feelings but don't send out the letter.
  6. Burn or shred the letter when you're done writing.
  7. This is a symbolic act of letting go and freeing yourself from that ill-feeling.

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13. Plan Your Week
  1. Feel like you’re flailing about? Try sitting down at the end of every week and make a basic list for the following week.
  2. Even if you don’t stick to the plan, blocking out time where you can do laundry, go grocery shopping, or tackle projects at work can help to quiet your mind.
  3. You can get a fancy planner, but even a sticky note on your computer or piece of scrap paper in your pocket can do the job.

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3. Get Plenty of Sleep
  1. No matter how much modern society steers us toward less sleep, we know that adequate sleep is vital to good health, brain function, and emotional well-being.
  2. Most adults need about 7 or 8 hours of sleep every night. If you find yourself fighting the urge to nap during the day or just generally feel like you’re in a fog, your body may be telling you it needs more rest.
  3. Build a better sleep routine.

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15. Get into Nature
  1. Spending 30 minutes or more a week in green spaces can help lower blood pressure and depression, according to a 2016 study.
  2. Your green space could be anything from your neighborhood park, your own backyard, or a rooftop garden — anywhere you can appreciate some nature and fresh air.
  3. Better yet, add some outdoor exercise into the mix for extra benefit.

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2. Exercise
  1. Exercise isn’t just for your body.
  2. Regular exercise can help to reduce stress, feelings of anxiety, and symptoms of depression while boosting self-esteem and happiness.
  3. Even a small amount of physical activity can make a difference.
  4. Remind yourself of any fun activities you once enjoyed, but that have fallen by the wayside. Or activities you always wanted to try, such as golf, bowling, yoga or dancing.

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1. Smile :)
  1. You tend to smile when you’re happy. But it’s actually a two-way street.
  2. We smile because we’re happy, and smiling causes the brain to release dopamine, which makes us happier.
  3. That doesn’t mean you have to go around with a fake smile plastered on your face all the time.
  4. But the next time you find yourself feeling low, crack a smile and see what happens.
  5. Or try starting each morning by smiling at yourself in the mirror.

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16. Explore Meditation
  1. There are many methods of meditation to explore.
  2. They can involve movement, focus, spirituality, or a combination of all three.
  3. Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as sitting quietly with your own thoughts for 5 minutes.
  4. Even the deep breathing exercises mentioned earlier can serve as a form of meditation.

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7. Breathe Deeply
  1. Take a long, deep breath to calm yourself down.
  2. According to Harvard Health, deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress.
  3. Close your eyes. Try to envision a happy memory or beautiful place.
  4. Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose.
  5. Slowly breathe out through your mouth or nose.
  6. Repeat this process several times, until you start to feel yourself calming down.
  7. If you’re having a hard time taking slow deep breath, try counting to 5 in your head with each inhale and exhale.

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So maybe every morning you get up, go to the bathroom, then make your bed. Link a moment in that routine (say, the bed making) to the habit you want to cultivate (maybe it’s reading 10 pages in a book). By tacking it on to something you already do, you’re much more likely to actually stick with it. And consistency really is the key to boosting happiness over time, Zucker said.

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5 Things You Should Do First Thing In The Morning To Be Happier All Day

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Incorporate gratitude

The most powerful habit that helps boost happiness in the morning is the practice of gratitude. The people who journaled about the things they're thankful for during the week scored much higher on measures of happiness than people who noted the things they're irritated by.

A daily gratitude practice may contribute to improved physical health - which, in turn, contributes to overall feelings of happiness.

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5 Things You Should Do First Thing In The Morning To Be Happier All Day

huffpost.com

  • They don't hold on to grudges. Forgiving and forgetting is absolutely necessary.
  • They don't make excuses. They use failure as an opportunity to change for the better.

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25 Habits of Successful and Extremely Happy People

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