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8 Secrets For A Happier, Healthier Life
While cynics may scoff at the idea, the fact is that your mental and emotional state can affect your health in significant ways. Chronic stress and unhappiness can strain your immune system, and take a toll on your health over time. People who have a positive, optimistic outlook on life generally live longer and healthier. We’ve compiled the list of 8 traits, attitudes, and behaviors of happy people so you can apply them to your own life. Keep reading!
1. Choose to be happy
This might seem hard to understand, but it really is true. Your mindset is a choice. You choose your friends, the type of media you consume, and your overall outlook on life. Your mind is the only thing in life that is ever totally in your control. Don’t relinquish this power. When you do, you are effectively drifting through life on autopilot, simply reacting to the world instead of being proactive and contributing to it. People who take ownership of their emotions understand that this is a key part of maintaining a positive outlook on life. This is the bedrock that the other steps are built on.
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2. Show Gratitude
People who are happy are grateful for what they have. Giving thanks for what you do have takes your mind off of what you don’t, and helps you realize, your situation is probably not as bad as you think it is. Truth be told, there are probably a million people throughout the world that would trade places with you at any given moment.
3. Understand the Difference between what you Do and Don’t Control
You don’t control the weather. You don’t control traffic suggestions, delayed flights, the economy, or other people’s emotions, for that matter. Happy people understand this, so they don’t stress about it. When you feel unhappy, focus on what you CAN do about the problem, and just accept what you cannot change. Focusing on what you can’t do instills feelings of powerlessness and sadness. Taking the opposite approach helps you retake the steering wheel of your life and begin to feel optimistic and empowered again.
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4. Don’t Watch the News
Happy people do not allow themselves to be barraged with negative media. Take a look at what’s on the news these days. Non-stop, relentless fear, violence and negativity. People who wish to maintain a positive and upbeat outlook on life understand that the types of media they consume will affect their worldview, consciously or unconsciously. Expose yourself to uplifting and inspiring content and reduce the negative material for a few weeks, and see what a difference it makes.
5. The “It could be worse” Approach
Let’s face it. Sometimes bad and inconvenient things are going to happen. That’s just life. When these inevitable setbacks do occur, you can chose to view it as an injustice or take a different approach. When a train gets delayed, they catch a cold, or they get fender-bender, they don’t dwell on how horrible it is. The simply say “Oh well, it could have been worse”. And if you think about it, yes it probably could be worse. You could be living in a conflict zone right now. You could be trapped a car sinking underwater. Take a moment and you’ll realize that whatever is happening, it’s probably not as bad as it could be.
Happy people also don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on negative events of the past. This has the simultaneous effect of stopping you from dwelling on negative situations and memories, while also being grateful that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
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6. Surround Yourself with Positive People
There’s an old idea from the self-help world: You are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time around. There’s a lot of truth to this concept. You will adopt aspects of the mindsets and belief systems of the people you spend the most time with. Happy people surround themselves with other people who are friendly, generous and optimistic. Conversely, if you always associate with negative, pessimistic people, this will influence your philosophy on life as well. Take an inventory of the people you spend the most time with, and determine if your social life is conducive to a positive, healthy worldview.
7. Adopt an Abundance Mindset.
Happy people tend to have an abundant worldview. It’s a belief that the world is place of endless opportunity, there is more than enough to go around. They don’t stress when a given option or path is no longer available. When one door closes, another opens. This may sound hokey, but it really does make a difference in how people see the world. Negative people tend to have a scarcity mindset. It’s hard to turn this off, since the human brain is wired to view things as scarce (a survival mechanism from prehistoric times). But happy people understand value in letting go of the scarcity mindset and choosing to view life through the lens of abundance.
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8. Exercise and Eat Clean
It is a biological fact that diet and physical activity can improve your mood and brain function. Exercise, whether cardiovascular or resistance-based, causes the body to release endorphins, promoting feeling of energy and elation (there’s a reason the term “runner’s high” exists- it’s not a myth!). Diet plays a key role too. Eating a diet rich in greens and lean proteins will leave you feeling much happier and more energetic than one filled with fast food and soft drinks. Imagine a life free of sugar highs and crashes and food comas. Try it out for a week and see if you don’t feel a difference.
Try adopting these steps toward a happier life today. The important thing to keep in mind as that these steps work synergistically with one another; each will amplify the effects of the others and leads you to a happier, healthier, and more satisfying life. Happiness is a choice, we hope you’ll chose to pursue it.