{ 5 Habits of a Happy Person to Cultivate Right Now }

5 Habits of a Happy Person to Cultivate Right Now

If I told you that your habits can make you happy, would you be more disciplined with maintaining them? My guess is yes.

The foundation of a healthy mind and body are positive habits that you practice on a daily basis. The more consistently you take better care of yourself, the easier it will be not to get bothered by daily occurrences that you don’t have control over. It can take some time to develop these habit but after a while, they become so engrained in your day-to-day routine that you don’t even think about it consciously anymore and you just do it.

The foundation of a healthy mind and body are positive habits that you practice on a daily basis Click To Tweet

You want to think about habits as rituals that make you feel better, stronger, happier, more relaxed and more in control of your emotions and life. Habits are particularly important when you are going through a stressful time because they will make you feel grounded and will bring you back to moments where you felt happier and less stressed.

After going through an intense period in my life where I felt constant and extreme levels of stress, I felt emotionally and physically drained all the time. One of the most effective strategies that I used to get myself out of a really unhealthy and negative cycle was to incorporate daily habits that helped me shift my mental focus. Instead of focusing on what was NOT going well in my life, I focused on repeating the habits over and over again, day in and day out, as a way to distract myself. Little did I know that this became a subconscious coping mechanism that gave me short-term and long-term benefits.

It was challenging at the beginning to remember to implement these habits but with consistent efforts, these habits have become part of my day-to-day and have a big impact on how I feel. I know this because when I don’t practice these habits, I can feel it in how my body feels and how I’m doing emotionally (i.e. I’ll be impatient and/or grumpy – sorry babe!).

These are the habits that I’ve cultivated in the last couple of years that have had the biggest impact on my life. These are the daily self-care tools that help me feel grounded, in better control over my emotions and help me focus on things that I do have control over in my life.

{ Habit #1 | Gratitude }

If there’s one habit you should implement on a daily basis RIGHT NOW, it’s gratitude. Practicing gratitude has had the biggest impact on my life. The minute that I feel down about something or frustrated with a situation, I start thinking about the things that I’m grateful for in my life and it instantly helps my mood.

I can’t emphasize enough how important gratitude is. And you can start small – be grateful for having a home, for your family, for a friend, for having a meal, for the clothes you have, for having access to clean water, for a comfortable bed to sleep in at night… it might sound ridiculous but trust me, once you start thinking about everything you’re grateful for in your life, you wont be able to stop. There are so many things that we take for granted (like running water and electricity!! Trust me, growing up in Africa, you quickly learn that having clean running water and electricity at night at luxuries that many around the world don’t have access to).

The minute you start being mindful and grateful for the blessings in your life, it will help you put the things that are bothering you in perspective.

Practicing gratitude will put everything in your life in perspective Click To Tweet

** Bonus tip : Start a gratitude journal where you write down what you’re grateful for and you can keep on adding to it as time go by. When you’re having a rough day, you can go back to your gratitude journal and read your previous entries to remind yourself of happier moments.

{ Habit # 2 | Not taking things too seriously }

This is a habit that I’ve been developing in the last few years and it’s been AMAZING! There’s always a time and a place for jokes, but being able to laugh about everything and anything is one of the best habits you can develop. At work, I spend half my time laughing with my colleagues and it makes our days so much more pleasant.

Because of the positive physical effects that laughing has, it can give you an instant boost of energy and stress relief. This can help you cope with a stressful or frustrating situation. The more you laugh, the more relaxed and happier you’ll be.

Don't take yourself too seriously - laugh it off! Click To Tweet

And not taking things too seriously goes beyond being able to laugh throughout the day. I also mean not getting so worked up when something doesn’t go as planned. Is the bus late? Why get worked up and stressed out and create negative energy inside you? Is there a long line-up at the grocery store? Oh well! Will huffing and puffing help you? It certainly wont make the line go faster. Do you have a pile of laundry to fold and dishes to wash? AMAZING! Put on some music and have fun with it instead of getting grumpy and doing it in a bad mood (I’m guilty of that sometimes…).

Life has mundane moments and situations that you have no control over. Realizing that and being able to not take it so seriously and accepting it for what it is will drastically reduce your stress levels. This is a habit that will help you get through your days and chores a lot easier without increasing your levels of frustration and annoyance. It is what it is, but how you react to it will determine how you feel about it and whether the process will be more enjoyable or not.

{ Habit #3 | Go with the flow }

Another habit that I’m still working on. I’m a big planner (my hubby might even say I’m an over-planner, but I beg to differ) and God knows I love my to-do lists. I have a general ‘life’ list of things that I want to do (i.e. de-clutter my home, the household cleaning schedule, recipes I want to try etc.). Then I have weekly list of things that I want to do. I break that list down into daily tasks so that by the end of the week, I can be sure that I’ve done everything. So I end up having lists of lists…of lists. I know I might sound like a crazy person, but it works for me!

Even as a little girl, when my parents would pick me up after school, the first question I would ask when I got in the car was : “What’s for dinner? What are we doing tonight?”. On Fridays, the question would instead be : “What are we doing this weekend?” Knowing what to expect has always given me a sense of comfort (and to my hubby’s dismay, this hasn’t change one bit).

However, my hubby is quite the opposite. He loves going with the flow, planning things last minute, changing up the plans. It doesn’t bother him not knowing what’s coming next. He likes the spontaneity of not planning ahead.

This was initially quite challenging for someone who needed to know at the beginning of the week what to expect on what evenings and what the plans would be the following weekend. Until I realized that I was being way too rigid. So now I’m learning to find a balance between planning my week and having objectives that I want to reach, but being flexible enough to go with the flow and adjust the schedule if need be.

This habit has helped me not be so hard on myself, to be able to allow myself a night off the gym if I need it because I’m able to change the schedule and go another day, while also giving myself the opportunity to make last minute plans. This has helped me feel less stressed about planning every single day and to be able to enjoy the spontaneity that life brings sometimes, while also allowing myself to plan to a certain extent so that I can stay on track with my goals and still feel in a control.

Going with the flow is a great habit to cultivate in your life so that you are open to alternative possibilities that you would not have thought of at the beginning.

Be open to possibilities - develop the habit of going with the flow! Click To Tweet

{ Habit #4 | Be mindful of yourself & surroundings }

When’s the last time that you looked at sky to look at the clouds? Do you ever stop and take a deep breath to enjoy the fresh air? Are you conscious of your surrounding environment?

Without looking around, what are 5 things around you right now that you could describe with a bit of detail? Are you neck muscles tense right now? Or is your jaw clenched? When’s the last time you took a deep, cleansing and calming breath?

Stop and smell the roses - don't let life pass you by Click To Tweet

Life goes by too quickly. We really need to develop our habit of stopping and enjoying the small moments otherwise our life will zoom by and we will not have stopped and enjoyed the moments that mattered.

Being mindful of your surroundings will help you bring yourself back in the moment. It will slow down time a little because you will start noticing things you haven’t noticed before. You will begin to appreciate things in your day-to-day that you haven’t noticed before. And if you notice something new, maybe this will be something that you will add to your gratitude journal!

Being mindful of your physical state will also help you notice the cues your body is giving you about how you’re doing. If you’re holding your breath, take a few deep breaths and calm your nerves.  If your jaw clenched, release it. If you have too much tension all over your body or you’re feeling very tired and reacting negatively to a situation, maybe that’s an indication that you need to practice some self-care and do something for yourself.

Try as much as possible to be mindful throughout the day to ground yourself back into the moment and into the day so that you can start enjoying the crazy roller-coster that is life.

{ Habit #5 | Move your body }

I never thought I would love going the gym so much. Exercising releases endorphins in your body, which are your natural ‘happy’ hormones, so it only makes sense that when you start moving your body, you feel better!

When I’m having a bad week at work, my favourite thing to do is go to the gym and have a good sweat session. It resets my emotions so that I can be clear-minded and walk into the weekend feeling better and more empowered to work on my goals and my dreams.

Getting into the habit of moving and being active is probably the most basic health habit that we should all be cultivating We spend too much time sitting in front of our computer, then in front of the tv, then sitting in bed reading. I don’t know about you but when I don’t move enough, I feel sluggish and tired. I CRAVE feeling the blood flowing through my body. I can feel the small veins all over my body being fed oxygen. I know it sounds crazy but I’m telling you, I instantly feel the physical effect of exercising.

Get into the habit of moving as often as you can. Start with walking more whenever you can, walking up the stairs instead of the escalator, doing stretches at night, practicing yoga in the morning, going to the gym, going for a walk outside. All these efforts will add up and are important for your physical and mental health.

After a while, moving and getting physical activity will become a habit because your body will be screaming for it. It might feel uncomfortable at the beginning, but trust me, continue pushing yourself and once it becomes a habit, it feels SO good to have a sweat session where you leave all your stress and negative emotions.

{ Self-Love Lesson }

Cultivate daily habits that will help you feel grounded, centred and happy. Habits that support your health and well-being are a way to show yourself self-love because you are taking care of yourself so that you can have the energy, drive and passion to work on your goals.

Practice self-love and cultivate habits that make you feel better and happier Click To Tweet

How can you include one of these habits in your day-to-day routine? What’s one daily habit that you practice that helps you feel better?

5 Habits of a Happy Person to Cultivate Right Now

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22 Comments

Lisa

Starting a gratitude journal a number of years back has totally changed my life. I went from feeling like I needed more to the
realization that I have so much. I am happier and love to give of my time and what I have to help others. I am truly blessed to share with others, and encourage them to take care of themselves, so they can be a better person!

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Sepideh

That’s so inspiring to hear Lisa! And it’s amazing how practicing gratitude can transform so many areas in our lives, thank you for sharing that with us!

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Sepideh

Thanks Liz! I would really encourage everyone to have a gratitude journal, and it can be something very simple so that you just have a place where you can start recording what your grateful for!

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Kim

I write 3 things I’m grateful for every day. I do yoga to learn to go with the flow and to be mindful. I go to barre class to get moving:)

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Alexis

I’ve been really focusing on self-love/self-care and it has seriously made a huge change in my mood. Taking time out to refresh makes for such a happier mood.

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Sepideh

That’s great to hear Alexis! I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself! I need to remember to do it more consistently but when I do, I’m definitely more pleasant to be around haha

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Yolanda

Really good ideas and a reminder to go with the flow is definitely a great suggestion! Just this past week I started a 5 minute journal session first thing in the morning. First I write about how I feel – both physically and mentally. Then I write about what I am grateful for. Once I have done this I feel like a weight has been lifted and I also feel really creative and come up with good ideas too!

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Sepideh

I love that Yolanda!!! Have you noticed a difference at all?? I need to get back to my morning routine with journaling too, it helped a lot with setting positive intentions for the day. I like that you are being mindful with how you’re doing physically and mentally, what a great way to be in touch with yourself!!

Thank you so much for sharing!

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Viktoria

I loved this post – every single point is a perfect tip. I especially agree with the put everything into perspective thing, it often really helps me to stop for a minute and evaluate the seriousness of my problems and really be grateful for everything I have.
Also, I’m the exact same when it comes to planning – I MUST know everything in advance, otherwise I get really anxious. And my fiance, like your husband, is a lot more easy-going, so I’m trying to practice this go with the flow mentality a little. Not exactly easy, but balance is good:)
xx,
Viktoria
http://www.thelifestyle-files.com

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Sepideh

Your comment made me smile Viktoria, thank you!! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one struggling with being overly organized haha Good lucky to your fiancé!! I think it comes down to a balance between your need to organize and his to not organize….

And taking a moment to evaluate a situation helps a lot in making sure that we are not overreacting because most of the time, it’s not THAT bad!!

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Jhumki Nag

All the habits you mentioned are so nice and just reading them made me happy!!!. Really nice post, thanks for sharing!!

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Nicole

I started a gratitude journal a few months ago and I absolutely love it! I also write one thing I love about my husband each day. It ends my day on a positive note.

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Sepideh

That’s such a great idea Nicole!!!! I love that you’re consciously thinking about what you love about your husband every day, I know that will be a positive habit that will help you in the long-term. Good for you! I think I’m going to add that to my gratitude too!

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Britt K

You’ve got some great tips here. I feel like so much of the stress and unhappiness that we experience come from our own minds and the way that we choose to perceive and react to the things that happen around us. Better understanding that and learning to change those thought patterns can be so empowering!
Britt | http://alternativelyspeaking.ca

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Sepideh

Thank you so much Britt!!! It often comes down to what goes on in our brain. I’ve been listening to some really interesting podcasts about how we need to learn to not react to our thoughts rather than ignoring them or trying to control them. That speaks so loudly to me!

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