It’s easy to get bogged down by the things that bother you, but when they become too consuming it hurts you and the people in your life. Nobody likes the bitter person who never has anything good or positive to say.
Happiness is one of those things everyone could use a little more of. It not only feels good, but it’s good for your health, too. Positive outlooks and emotions are associated with reduced stress, improved life satisfaction, lower blood pressure, a reduced risk of mental illness, lower rates of inflammation, and a lower risk of heart disease.
Feeling better may take some practice. Adjusting your reactions or thought patterns isn’t particularly simple, but if you know what bothers you and why, you can get a good start.
Here are a few things you can do to increase your overall happiness.
Setting Yourself Free
- You Don’t Always Have to Be Right: Have you ever found yourself in an argument that just simply wasn’t worth it? I’ll bet my bank account that you have. And although at the time arguing whether or not the food options at your cousin Angela’s wedding were chicken and beef or chicken and salmon seemed like a logical idea, it wasn’t. It’s unneeded stress and a conversation that will accomplish nothing. You don’t have to be right, your spouse doesn’t have to be wrong, and not every conversation or argument needs a winner and a loser.
- Relinquish Control: Another key to happiness and reducing stress is to stop worrying about the things you can’t control. People, situations, and events are not going to run at your pace, fit your idea of perfection, or unfold as you would have liked—and accepting this lack of control can free your mind to focus on the things you actually have power over.
- Keep an Open Mind: Having a fixed set of beliefs can be detrimental. It can lead to a self-defeating mindset and may stunt personal growth and happiness while isolating the people around you. Accepting the fact that there are other ideas or endless possibilities and that life is fluid can help improve mood and relationships.
- Move Forward: Getting stuck in the past can also make it hard to experience true happiness. You might be influenced by the past in different ways—a part of it might represent the highlight of your life, or it might hold you back by trapping you in a miserable experience. But in reality, fond memories of the past are often romanticized, and bad ones prevent you from looking at the present and future with a clear view. The reality is that you can’t change the past, and understanding this can open you up to a number of new opportunities. The takeaway is to live in the moment and enjoy what’s happening right before your eyes!
Mental health is just as important as physical health, and good moods, happiness, and life satisfaction all play a role in how you feel every day.