The article is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.
Little changes in our day-to-day life can impact our mood. For example, simply getting enough sleep can reduce the risk of depression and anxiety. If you’ve found yourself in somewhat of a rut with your daily agenda and schedule, changing it up a little bit in small ways can increase the amount of happiness you feel during any given day.
Below, we’ve come up with several ways you can increase happiness in your life just by making some small changes.
Sleep More (or Less!)
Sleeping more might sound like a recipe for depression, but that isn’t always the case. Many adults actually get less sleep than they need due to factors such as social life, work, and university classes.
Being able to set a scheduled hour to lay down in bed and try to sleep can help you get seven to eight hours of sleep per night, which is much better for you than going to bed at 1 am after a raging party and waking up at 9 am for work.
If you do find yourself sleeping over eight hours a night, you may be struggling with depression or chronic illness. In that case, you’re going to want to try to push yourself to get up at the same hour each day and sleep at night. You should aim for eight or nine hours of sleep but should try to deal with fatigue in the daytime by not pushing yourself too hard.
To help you fall asleep at night, follow these sleep hygiene tips:
- Don’t use your phone or computer at least one hour before bedtime
- Turn off your lights (if you need one, use a lamp or dim nightlight)
- Use comfortable clothing to sleep, and clean sheets
- Don’t work or do things in your bed during the day, so it’s a place for sleeping only
- Try to close your eyes and think of something complex until you fall asleep
Eating healthier is subjective. However, it can make you feel happier if you change your diet. Some foods are full of substances that make you feel sleepy or unwell, which can make you feel sad, anxious, or generally off.
Foods to avoid include:
- Processed foods
- Ice cream
- Coffee (anxiety)
You want to try to increase your intake of foods like beef, fish, natural yogurts, fruits, and vegetables. Of course, speak to a nutritionist before making huge diet changes.
Spend Time in Nature
Nature is where we all initially come from, and it’s also one of the largest mood changers out there. Being in nature can help relieve symptoms of severe mental health conditions, as well as chronic pain.
If you have been feeling more sad than usual lately, maybe it’s time for a walk in your local forest. Or perhaps you just want to go out in the backyard and have a beer. Even just sitting in the grass on a sunny day can increase dopamine levels in the brain.
Work Around Your Body’s Natural Clock
Our bodies have a natural clock that they run by. It’s the time of day that we feel most awake, ready to go, and happiest. For some people, this is early in the morning, and for others, it is in the evening. Depending on if you’re a morning or night person, you may want to set your work schedule around your body’s internal clock.
If you’re a night owl and have an early morning job, you’re most likely going to be less productive, more frustrated, and more stressed. Working an evening (or even overnight) job will help you feel more productive and in your element.
Drink Lots of Water
Water is the magic juice of life, and you need it to survive. Unfortunately, most adults do not drink the daily recommended amount of water. You should be drinking at least a gallon of water each day, if not a little less or more.
If you don’t like the taste of water, add sugar-free flavoring to your water. There are tons of options at the store, and you can pretend it’s one of your favorite juices.
Try To Do One New Thing a Day
Shaking things up a little in life is a good way to increase happiness. Try to incorporate one new thing into your life each day. These things don’t need to be huge. It could be something as small as saying hi to the mailman or writing in your journal. You could even cross the street from your house to smell the roses growing on the other side. It’s up to you.
Making small changes can help you appreciate the little things in life and feel more content.
Foster Healthy Relationships
Healthy relationships are one of the most important aspects of your life. Being able to trust someone to be loyal and kind to you is essential for your mental health.
Even if you don’t have many healthy relationships currently, no time is ever too late to meet new people. You can meet people at:
- University clubs
- Dance clubs
- Blind dating events
Even online friendships are beneficial to your mental health. Any form of connection that brings you happiness and peace is one you should keep in your life.
Go to Therapy
Therapy is beneficial for everyone! You don’t even have to have a mental health condition to see a therapist. Therapists can also offer advice on regular life problems like relationship conflicts, worries about work, and the stress that comes with life experience.
If you’re finding yourself unable to find happiness like you once were, a therapist can help you figure out why. There’s nothing wrong or weak about seeing one, and it has become so common today that therapy is even possible online or over chat if you don’t want to see someone in person.
Now you know some of the best ways to increase happiness in your life by changing your schedule and daily plans around. Work around your sleep schedule, diet, and daily tasks to make your life something that works for you instead of against you. If you want to learn more about what causes happiness, check out this site.