Some people would argue that your well-being is often just a state of mind. However, research has shown that is largely untrue. It turns out, your well-being and happiness can be a lot like losing weight. What do we mean by that? Keep reading and we’ll explain plus give you tips on how to be happier and improve your well-being.
We Have to Practice to be Happier
If we continue with our scenario above, let’s think about trying to lose weight for a moment. When you work at it, such as with exercise, you’ll lose some weight. When you stop working at it, you’ll either stay where you are or put on more weight. If you’re not working toward your well-being and happiness, it’s likely either hit a standstill or, even worse, trending downward.
Dr. Ronald D. Siegel, an assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, explains it a little further, “It turns out that, just like for weight, we have genetically determined happiness set-points. So, if we’re not taking steps to improve our sense of well-being, we tend to gravitate back to the same level. Depending on your genes, that level may be pretty happy or pretty unhappy.”
It is said that about 40% of what determines our happiness is under our control. While 10% or less is determined by good or bad luck. “It’s not mostly events, but our responses to events, that determines our level of well-being,” adds Dr. Siegel.
Dr. Ryan Howes, a clinical psychologist from California agrees. “Well-being is associated with balance, understanding, acceptance, and constant growth,” he explains.
How to Be Happier and Improve Your Well-Being
It might sound like a bit of a fantasy but it is true, making small changes can lead to sustainable happiness. Just because genetically you might not be as happy or well off as those around you, that’s okay. That just means you have to work a little bit harder and we think you’re definitely worth that. We promise it’s nothing too hard and you really just need to make small consistent changes over time.
Is it really that simple? Dr. Edward Phillips, a director at Harvard Medical School, seems to think so. “People can make reasonable changes and achieve them. And then improved behavior begets improved behavior,” he explains.
Follow the recommended tips below to begin seeing improvement in both your health, well-being, and happiness.
1. Nourish Your Body and Practice Yoga
One of the best ways to start improving well-being and be happier is by simply taking care of yourself. By this, we mean eating better and exercising. It’s important to nourish your body with the nutrients it needs by eating healthy food. It’s also just as important to get some sort of exercise. Yoga has proven physical and mental health benefits. It is easy to start and can be done quickly each day. However, it adds many positives to how you feel and your overall outlook on life.
Eating better and adding in just a bit of exercise will make you feel better. This will, in turn, make you feel better about yourself and the things around you.
2. Find Moments of Introspection
It’s important to have time to ourselves; quiet moments of introspection. A lot of people practice meditation during this time. Research has shown meditation can reduce stress, decrease depression and anxiety, and enhance self-awareness. It can also improve your sleep, too. It has been shown to help you fall asleep sooner and sleep for longer. It’s probably not much of a surprise either that a better night’s sleep can also help with improving your overall mood.
3. Become More Mindful
While becoming more mindful can be found in meditation and even yoga, there is also more to it. Being more mindful involves being alert and living in the present. It means paying attention to what you eat or staying engaged with those around you. It can go even deeper than that but these are the values you want to hold on to. You should always try to stay in the present and not dwell on the past or worry about the future. While it is important to reminisce and recall fond memories, we often let our minds trail into more negative territories. We can get hung up on the past or things we wish we would have done. That’s why it’s important to live in the present where you do have control and can change things, unlike what’s in the past.
4. Practice Gratitude
This might seem like a simple suggestion but it’s one that often gets ignored. It’s not easy to see the good when you feel like you’re surrounded in darkness. When you try to practice gratitude every day, you’ll notice that your mindset, or attitude, begins to change. There are different ways to achieve this and various books on the topic. However, it really comes down to just finding things to be thankful for and seeing the silver lining of the dark clouds, so to speak. You go over three things your grateful for every morning. You could also make a point to genuinely thank those around you for what they do.
5. Surround Yourself with Positive Things and Positive People
Is someone or something getting you down? It may be time to change it. Your happiness and well-being can be determined by the people you keep around you. If there is someone in your life that is constantly negative or making you feel bad in some way, it’s likely time to move on. Sometimes, for various reasons, this cannot be done completely. That’s okay! Keep your distance from that person and when they do begin to speak let it roll off of you like water off a duck’s back.
Likewise, if there is something you dread doing, maybe it’s time to find something else to replace it. For example, if you absolutely hate your job and it makes you miserable to go to every day, maybe now is the time to start looking for different work. One that might make you happier.
We hope we’ve helped you learn how to improve your well-being and be happier. With these simple set of tips, anyone can start pruning at their life to reveal a beautiful piece of art underneath. Share your thoughts on happiness down below, we would love to hear from you !