By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA
Here are five simple ways to help boost your happiness right now.
1. Master the moment with wonderment and enthusiasm.
“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” — Socrates
With mindfulness, relish and enjoy the simple things with wonderment and enthusiasm. Whether it’s laughing with your family and friends, feeling sand on your feet, listening to the rain, running a 5k, walking in the park, cooking your favorite meal, throwing a Frisbee, playing with your puppy (or other favorite pet), reading a new book, hiking a new trail, organizing your photos, visiting a farmer’s market, taking a bath, dancing to your favorite music, singing your favorite song, playing a board game with your kids, appreciating the sunset, gazing at the stars, or sitting quietly by yourself to feel your breath (the list goes on and on), master and appreciate the moment with wonderment and enthusiasm. It’s the simple things in life that bring us pleasure.
2. Savor sleep
Sleep is vital for your health and well-being. If you’re getting the right amount of sleep that is something to smile about. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declares “Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Epidemic.” Lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your health. According to the CDC (reference to Institute of Medicine), “An estimated 50-70 million U.S. adults have sleep or wakefulness disorders.” Sleep helps your brain work properly. If you’re not getting enough sleep you may have difficulty making decisions, trouble controlling your emotions and behavior, and problems coping with change and solving problems. “Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression, suicide and risk-taking behavior.” Sleep can also help repair your heart and blood vessels. According to the National Institutes of Health — National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.” How much sleep is required? For adults, between 7-8 hours is recommended. How many hours of sleep do you get each night?
3. Push positive thoughts
Positive thinking can be as important as getting enough sleep, eating right and moving more. According to the Mayo Clinic, “positive thinking just means that you approach the unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.” Cut out the negative self-talk and focus on positive thoughts. Positive thinking is great for your overall health and well-being. According the Mayo Clinic, health benefits of positive thinking may include:
• Increased life span
• Lower rates of depression
• Lower levels of distress
• Greater resistance to the common cold
• Better psychological and physical well-being
• Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
• Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
4. Show kindness
Random acts of kindness can boost happiness. Think about how you feel when you are kind to others. Recharge now by initiating random acts of kindness without expecting anything in return. These random acts don’t need to be grand to make an impact on someone’s life. A small, simple act is all it takes. Even something as simple as holding the door for the person behind you, complimenting a colleague for a job well done, acknowledging someone when they enter a room, or helping to mentor a student can have an impact.
5. Be grateful
Expressing gratitude can boost your happiness and health, according to Harvard Health Publications, and it is associated with increased levels of optimism and energy. “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” It’s important to express gratitude. Let the people in your lives know how grateful you are for them and that you appreciate them. Simply say, “I am grateful to have you in my life and I appreciate you.” Keeping track of what you are grateful for in a gratitude journal can help you focus on the positive and become more optimistic. I like to call my gratitude journal a bliss journal because by writing down things that I am grateful for, it immediately brings a sense of pleasure, bliss. But whatever you call it, it’s something very easy to do, so why not give it a try?
Keep these tips with you as a simple reminder that it’s the simple things in life that can bring you joy.
______ Master the moment with wonderment and enthusiasm
______ Savor sleep
______ Push positive thoughts
______ Show kindness
______ Be grateful
How do you boost your wellbeing? We would love to hear your thoughts in the conversation section below. As always, thank you for your time.
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The Huffington Post – The Third Metric – 5 Ways to Help Boost Your Happiness Right Now