10 Happiness Habits for 2020
There is no silver bullet to be happier that works for everyone. Each person's current situation and previous life experiences make up their unique perspective and station in life. With that in mind, I have selected ten scientifically proven habits you can experiment within your daily routine to see what works best for you.
The simple act of expressing love for someone triggers your brain's release of Oxytocin, which is one of the three chemicals (along with Serotonin and Dopamine) that control our happiness. By telling someone that you love them, it will have a positive impact on you and the person receiving love. Check out Mike Simonson's talk on Hacking Happiness to learn more about this technique. http://hackinghappiness.io/
It Starts in Your Gut
So much of our how we feel in our head start with our stomach. How can you expect to have clarity and be happy when the fuel your body has is fast food, caffeine, and sugar. Happiness starts inside. Your body tells you what it needs; all you have to do is start listening. How do you feel after that cheeseburger? Lethargic and bloated probably. What about after a piece of fruit? Energized and satisfied. Your mental happiness is directly connected to your diet.
Grateful people are happy. I know some people that have more money than any one person should have that are miserable humans, and I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the happiest people in remote 3rd world counties that live every day with joy and wonder. When we express or receive gratitude, our brain releases serotonin and dopamine the two essential neurotransmitters accountable for our emotions, and they make us feel 'good.' They improve our mood instantly, making us feel happy from the inside
Feed Your Mind
Continuous growth requires ongoing education. The second part of our 10/10/10 Morning Routine is reading every day. Reading stimulates creative thought, helping expand your vocabulary, improves memory, and is proven to reduce stress. You don't always need to be reading a business or self-help book either, take the time to read for the pure enjoyment of reading. You will be amazed at how this simple act will improve your mental state.
If you say "I don't have time to meditate" you need meditation more then anyone. Taking time for mindfulness will give you back the time that is currently lost to nonproductive or self-sabotaging activities. With free apps like Calm and Headspace, it's easy to jump into mediation without needing a guide or guru. Meditation is proven to reduce stress, fight age-related memory loss, increase your attention span, and have even been successful in fighting addiction.
Be in Nature
Get outside. Take a hike, go for a walk or bike ride to get out of the house. We are connected to nature and our happiness is increased when we can reconnect with mother earth.
Make Your Bed
A clean and organized home will promote happiness and productivity in your life. Start by making your bed every morning. Give yourself this small win to start the day while building your willpower with this healthy habit. You will be astounded by the impact that a tidy home makes on your overall happiness.
Move Your Body
Go for a jog, do yoga, or simply take a walk around your neighborhood to start your day. You don't have to do 90 minutes on a stationary bike, just the blood circulating to get your heart rate up a little to see the positive effects of physical activity
Stop Starting and Start Finishing
Why do some people seem to get so much more done in the same amount of time? Most people are busy but not productive. Instead of trying to multitask several things at the same time, start with the most important thing that needs to happen and work on it until it's completed and then give yourself a 5-minute break. You will benefit from the dopamine when you check off the most important to do for your day and the built-in break intentionally gives your mind and body a quick rest to recharge.
Get Enough Sleep
This is the easiest to say and hardest to do but it makes the biggest difference in our happiness, physical health, and even how gracefully we age. In our society, people talk about overworking as a badge of honor when we really need to be focused on our self-care so we can do better work in less time. Our body needs a minimum of 6 hours but it really wants 8. If you can have a consistent time that you go to sleep and rise it will help and please leave your cell phone and tablet outside the bedroom at night. The blue light from these devices prohibits the brain's ability to produce melatonin, a hormone that tells our body it's time to fall asleep.