Don’t worry, be happy! It’s much easier said than done. But since happiness is a mindset influenced by our way of perceiving our daily lives, there are certain ways to alleviate sadness. Here are 30 ways to be happier in 2020 AND a bonus idea at the end!
How to try and be happier this year?
Of course, there is no permanent remedy, apart from the consistent consumption of antidepressants. But there are many ways that can help you overcome the gloom and melancholy on a difficult day.
1, The Importance of Petting Animals
Petting your cat or dog is a calming experience, that expresses love and care. According to research done by Webmd, it can lower your blood pressure to help your body release a relaxation hormone, and cuts down on levels of a stress hormone. Having a pet animal is perhaps the first way to be happier.
2, Establishing Gratitude
Focusing on the small things that we have can be blinded by our desire of wanting more. But this desire, built by envy and jealousy usually leads to great levels of dissatisfaction. Instead, just taking a break from the daily hustle and appreciating the little we have, the friends and family. Our health or well-being or simply a cup of tea/coffee can boost one’s mindset for the better.
3, Defeating Anxiety is key to find new ways to be happier
There is some wisdom in a Buddhist approach to emotions. Psychology Today tells us that Buddhist-based mindfulness approach to overcoming anxiety is basically working with it. There’s unfortunately, no easy way to relieve one’s anxiety in a way that doesn’t involve masking it or just distracting oneself-that should be used. The second approach is to bringing mindfulness to the actual experience.
Sometimes, overcoming worry and nervousness is simply a matter of modifying your behavior, thoughts creating a lifestyle that leads to new ways to be happier. Keep moving with your day-to-day routine, be open about your concerns, and cut caffeinated products.
4, Listen to Music
Goo music we love is one of the best antidotes to mental pain or heartbreak. There’s nothing quite like a cool riff and jam. And apparently, science agrees with this. By trying to boost your mood while listening to music actually can help.
We didn’t get to where we are without a little help, so why not extend that same generosity to someone else? There is science behind according to Huffpost – our mental state of happiness is associated with giving. After all, we all know the saying: “it is better to give than to receive.
6, Hanging out with Someone Happy
Having positive people around you can greatly influence your mindset. Joy is truly contagious. So go and meet or seek out those who radiate positive energies and get infected by them.
7, Create a Sleep Schedule that Works for you
Getting a consistent good night’s sleep is vital. Chronic sleep deprivation is a huge problem nowadays, especially for those who work late or are keeping a busy schedule. It’s not just a lack of 6 to 8 hours of daily sleep that can be detrimental to your psychological health.
If you’re constantly shaving off an hour here or there, changes must be made. So how can we improve this?
Start with small steps. Give yourself a sensible and realistic bedtime. Try to go to bed half an hour before your usual bedtime and stick to it. Evaluate this new habit every day by having a journal and writing down your progress.
According to an article in the Huffington Post, this new routine will improve your memory, reduce anxiety, and “transport toxins out of the brain” to potentially prevent chronic illnesses.
8, Find one Small Self-care Act that Works for you and Prioritize it
The most impactful mental health goal a person can set is the commitment to work-life balance. When there is an imbalance in what we’re giving out to the world that’s when our psychological resources get depleted.
The suggestion? Try beginning each day with a five-minute mindfulness meditation session. This can be broken down into specific and concrete goals. Of course, it depends on your personal preferences, but it all comes down to making self-care a priority and prioritizing your time.
9, Spend Time Outside Every Day
Go for a walk during your lunch break. Go to work and back, taking a walk from one station to another. Spend a few minutes drinking your morning coffee or tea outside. Pick up running or walking in the green outdoors. It doesn’t even have to be for a long period of time.
10, Practice Mindfulness for Happiness
Increasing your sense of well-being, promotes vitality, heightens our awareness, helps train our attention, improves the quality of our work, and enhances interpersonal relationships. Sounds pretty nice and simple? But how do we can get started?
Each day, spend at least a few minutes noticing your surroundings and how you feel. Do this by naming five to 10 things you see, things you can physically feel, different sounds you hear, things you can smell, and what you can taste. Then take a second to label how you’re feeling at that very moment. This is known as a grounding exercise, which experts at URMC say helps with anxiety.
11, Say Nice Things about Yourself
Roseann Capanna-Hodge, a pediatric mental health expert and psychologist made this suggestion. An adjustment to your everyday vocabulary, both in your thoughts and out loud.
According to him, one should flip his dialogue to only positive outcomes. For example, instead of saying, ‘If I get that job,’ switch it to, ‘When I get that job.’ Those subtle changes in using positive language help to change your mindset to a glass half full instead of a glass half empty.”
You can also increase your positive thoughts by stating one thing you like about yourself when you look in the mirror each morning.
12, Look for Funny Videos
Take a few moments and help yourself with some fun and relaxing videos from Youtube.
13, Cut back on some Unhealthy Habits
We know when and which things are bad for us. You can curb that by reducing them, but not giving them up entirely. Reducing something within your own means can save you the stress of immediate change. Only when you are completely ready, stay away from harmful food, smoking, or things that cause procrastination.
14, Plan a Vacation
The anticipation and planning of a trip are almost as good as the trip itself. Prepping for a vacation or a journey has been shown to increase our happiness levels, according to the New York Times.
15, Try Meditation
The practice of meditation will have a tremendously positive effect in the long term. Why? Research has shown that the regular practice of meditation can actually improve your health as mentioned in Healthline. This is because it lowers the negative effects of not only high cortisol but also high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Other great benefits include mental clarity and focus, improvement of memory, and an overall higher level of mental performance.
16, Stop Negative Thoughts
You’re probably thinking, “duh?” But negative thoughts are the reason for self-sabotage. And we need to get into the routine of challenging them and changing our relationships to our thoughts.
How? Well, you can do this by asking yourself a simple question when you’re beating yourself up. Next time you have a negative thought, ask yourself: “Does this completely and accurately capture what’s going on?”
Try mentally recognizing or acknowledging that the thought you’re having is toxic and it is far from the truth. This really takes the wind out of the sails of negative thoughts and reminds one that a thought is just a mental event, and nothing more.
17. Invest in a Quality Relationship
If you want to have good long-term mental and physical health, you need to first see if you have meaningful, loving relationships. Picking one or more people close to you, and start planning to spend quality time together. Study after study finds that loving meaningful relationships are good for our mental and physical health.
Avoid toxic people and find ways to be happier by yourself if you are lonely.
18, Find ways to be happier through daily challenges
Long-term consistency can lead to monotony. Make sure to do things differently once in a while. We are humans, after all, not machines, and adapting to small changes is in our nature. Long-term consistency can lead to depression and displeasure when every day, everything seems the same.
19, Fake a Smile and it will Stick
This might sound like a piece of weird advice. Because smiling may be the last thing you want to do when you’re in a sour mood. But it could help to turn that frown upside-down. By dedicating yourself to make a slight grin, people around you will perceive your optimism and will return the favor. Research shows faking a smile can help elevate our mood as explained by Scientific American. This even has an effect when we’re not genuinely into it right away.
20, Read Self-improvement Books
You can pick up many tips and find a lot of inspiration in these motivational books, whether they’re memoirs or expert-backed advice. Need a specific suggestion?
Here is our personal list to help you get started with Developgoodhabits.com. We would also suggest download audiobooks while taking a stroll or jog.
21, Cut back on Social Media
So often we view people’s highlight reels on social media. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction in our own lives. Spending too much time online is linked to poor mental health as told by CNN.
“External validation is temporary; it’s difficult to maintain the pressure to chase ‘likes,’” said therapist Jennifer Musselman. “Build your self-esteem from the competence of something important to you.”
22, Spend Money on Experiences
Building memories can be a better investment in happiness than building wealth. Even though new materials tend to give some degree of joy, they are short-lived. So make sure you spend time building your list of things to do rather than things to have. This is my personal tip to find ways to be happier.
23, Meet New People
Get out of your circle of friends. In order to find new companions and to expand your world, you need to go out there and meet new people. Everyone has an interesting history or story to tell. We might not like everyone but by hurdling in the corner, avoiding eye contact is a sure way to a depressing and solitary day.
So move out of your comfort zone, cast a smile, and have fun when meeting others. Don’t need to overthink it. A new person you might find interesting is one of the best ways to be happier. Start introducing yourself and the rest will come.
24, Give Compliments
Generosity will make someone’s day and yours. Looking for a way to give praise that isn’t superficial? Give compliments, but do limit them otherwise it will be too superficial.
25, Limit your Boundaries
Did you find yourself feeling chronically overwhelmed and stretched thin in 2019? We all want to do a lot. But our time and energy make it impossible. So it is time to reel that in and make more space by setting boundaries. Otherwise, we would be overwhelmed.
26, Accept Flaws
Expecting perfection guarantees you’ll feel like a failure at least part of the time, and can lead to serious anxiety. By accepting the fact that as humans, we make several mistakes, is fundamental to avoid living in judgment.
“Learn the art of progress, not perfection,” Musselman said. “We are setting ourselves up for failure from the when we expect to ‘have it all’ perfectly balanced. In other words, we will always feel like we are failing.”
From “doing it all” as a mom to building your entrepreneurial business to perfecting your talent, it’s time to let go of that expectation that things are always going to be perfect. Instead, try writing down the incremental improvements you made each week. Celebrate small successes that eventually will lead to big ones and finding new ways to be happier.
27, See a Therapist – They can Help
If you were trying to get in physical shape and had no idea where to start, you might turn to a coach or personal trainer. Mental health works the same way.
There are so, so many benefits to seeing a therapist. And there are affordable options too: Attend group therapy at a local mental health center, seek free options in your community, opt for a sliding-scale psychologist, find a provider through your health insurance or try an app like Talkspace to get started.
“Getting a therapist in 2020 would be a good goal if you need a therapist and have been putting it off,” Talley said.
28, Skip Small-talk and Go Deep
This is especially important with family and friends, and people who can relate on a personal level. Anyone can talk about the weather. Let yourself get a little more connected and have a substantial conversation with someone.
29, Write in a Journal or Diary
List some small dreams and thoughts you might have. Express your emotions in writing and read them later to yourself. Instead of allowing your brain to go to a place of anxiety and stress, arm yourself with grateful thoughts. Writing them down helps. If you write down that which you have to be grateful for, your brain becomes better at finding even more gratitude.
30, Turn your Phone Off
Every night or weekend, try and become less available via text and email so you don’t feel emotionally tethered to your phone. Opt for screen-free activities that help you disconnect from certain social and work stressors.