Our society often tells us that happiness comes from outside of ourselves…finding true love, landing the promotion, affording a dream vacation, getting chosen for the lead in the school play or winning the championship.
However, happiness is an INSIDE job–meaning that our level of happiness is more often in direct relationship to how we think about our life rather than our circumstances.
When we take charge of managing both how we think and how we take care of ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually, we have a more positive outlook on life and better overall energy.
Below are nine tips on how to boost your outlook on life!
1. Start with a good night’s sleep.
Practicing good sleep hygiene causes you to awake with a brighter outlook on the day, keeps you healthy and improves your productivity.
2. Take time for yourself.
Me Time is important for your physical health as well as the health of your significant relationships, mental health and self-esteem. If you care for everyone else and fail to care for yourself, you’re headed for burn out. However you define your Me Time, it only works when you are intentional and attentive to the idea of taking time for yourself.
3. Stay connected.
Being a part of a social network provides a sense of belonging. Face-to-face interactions, such as volunteering, participating in church or community groups or getting together with a friend can help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
4. Get moving.
Active exercise can improve your mood and outlook. Go for a walk or jog if you are able. Swing the golf clubs. Play some pickleball. Do whatever activities you enjoy that get you moving.
5. Reframe your day.
At the end of each day, trying asking yourself, “What was the best part of my day?” This forces you to look for the highlights that may otherwise be overlooked. The more we look for positives in our lives, the more we find!
6. Remember that money buys things, not happiness.
Think about your priorities, values and how non-material pursuits such as giving a gift instead of receiving one, volunteering or spending time with a special friend or family member makes you happy.
7. Practice forgiveness.
When we hold on to bitterness and resentments, we are only hurting ourselves. We don’t deny that we’ve been hurt and wronged, but we decide we no longer want to be bound to it. Forgiving frees us.
8. Give to others.
Studies have shown that when we give, the reward circuit of our brains is activated leading to happier and more satisfied feelings. Studies have also shown that altruistic behaviors are associated with our ability to experience positive emotions. In other words, giving is associated with happiness which increases our overall well-being.
9. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect.
Instead of focusing on failed resolutions, pay attention to that wonderful deeper impulse to change. Give yourself the grace to start fresh each day!