In daily life, we each have our ‘happiness reference point’. Think of the contentment spectrum as a city skyscraper: The closer your elevator is to the penthouse office, the happier you are. Depending upon our personality types, some of us find it easy to keep our elevator needle set at ecstatic, while others are hovering near the lobby of depression.
Regardless of our current location on this spectrum, we always operate within a standard deviation of our set point. But when we put great habits into practice, we tend to operate well above that set point. Allow me to share with you 10 tiny but effective habits that push my happiness through the roof. Be inspired by them to reach deep within yourself, and before you know it, you’ll discover which of these healthy habits can work for you too. Enjoy your ride to the top!
1. Morning Gratitude
When you open your eyes in the morning, before you get out of bed, take 15 seconds and recite in your head what you’re grateful for. When we express gratitude, we feel even more positive than when we vent.
2. Block Your Time
Take 15 minutes to prioritize and block out your schedule each morning. Prioritizing can use up much of the brain’s energy, so do this shortly after you rise, while your brain is still fresh. Once you’ve figured out what’s most important, determine the optimal time to attack this chore, project, or activity. Putting yourself onto autopilot will make you feel more in control of your day.
3. Get Your Exercise
We all know the physical health benefits of exercise, but we often forget that it also improves your mood. Consider performing part of your exercise routine early in the day, and note how much more energized and balanced you feel later.
Of all the many benefits of meditation, one of the greatest is that it reduces stress and anxiety. If you meditate already, choose the optimal time in order to reap the benefits. If you don’t meditate, here’s a great place to start.
5. Learn to Laugh at Yourself
Laughing at yourself will not only teach you not to take yourself so seriously (leading to self-compassion), but it also improves mood by releasing essential reparatory stress hormones. Keep good humor in your life daily, and more will follow!
6. Inspire Yourself
Look within, and discover what inspires you the most. Then, fill your day with related inspirational moments. Listening to inspirational podcasts (particularly related to successful product development) and reading profound quotes change my mood effectively every time.
7. Think About the “Why”
It’s good for your well-being to be intentional with all you do. Always acknowledge the reasons why you’ve engaged in something, and what you want to learn from it. When that “something” comes to pass, the satisfaction you derive from it will tip the scales!
8. Be In Touch with Your Gremlins
Don’t be hesitant about leaning into discomfort. But before you push through your stress points, understand and acknowledge them. If you go in knowing your limits, you’re more likely to emerge unscathed, and you’ll be less bothered by those stressors on the next round.
9. Look at Things with Perspective
Necessary tasks and endeavors seem grimmer when you’re not at the top of your game. Step back and determine if the undertaking will be a short-term issue or a long-term project. In the greater scheme of things, will it matter in a year from now? How will you remember it? This all contributes to your overall satisfaction with the project, and ensures optimal outcomes.
10. Eat Nutrient-Dense Foods and Drink Water Often
It’s the simplest and most achievable way to find happiness. A healthy body directly contributes to a healthy mindset. Be vigilant about what you do and don’t put into your body! Along the way, you might even discover what a fun and rewarding hobby it is to explore cuisine and tweak your diet!