Seven Steps to Happiness
Stay Organized: It is one of the golden rules of happiness. A busy schedule is hardly fulfilling if it’s scattered, stressful, and leaves you constantly feeling like you’re “catching up.” Keeping your appointments and your personal time in a planner can help to alleviate the stress of a busy day.
Eat Well: Leafy greens and proteins are brain foods that promote healthy energy levels and long-term happiness. Greasy foods and sugars are short-term happiness that leave you feeling bloated and tired after just a few hours. Eating healthy can sometimes be the most significantly helpful lifestyle change to promote a happier you (and the side-effects include clear skin and more energy)!
Keep a Journal: Writing is one of the best ways to navigate the emotional ebb and flow of a busy life. Spending even five minutes before bed writing a list of the things that made you happy during your day can improve your sense of gratitude and optimism and your overall happiness. If you need to, take a moment to write about things that frustrate you and why; break down your struggles and figure out how to overcome them so you can get them off of your chest.
Exercise: Set aside time to take a walk and get your heart rate up. You don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to make time for a workout. Create a playlist of your favorite music and walk for 30 minutes after work -- you’ll sleep better too (which will help you stay on your schedule).
Spend Time with Nature: Even early New Yorkers understood the tremendous value of spending time in Nature -- hence the birth of Central Park. Allow yourself some time to sit and be quiet with nature, whether that be in your own backyard or neighborhood park, or a full-on weekend camping trip, there is no comparison to the sense of inner peace and rejuvenation that comes from spending time around earth’s natural beauties.
Set Goals: Start small and build up -- set a goal that you want to accomplish by the end of the week. Do this for a few weeks until you can set a bigger goal to accomplish by the end of the month, and larger goals for the end of the year. Remember, there is never a bad time to pick up a new instrument, pursue a hobby, or set aside funds for the dream trip you’ve always wanted to take.
Take Personal Time: Light a candle, take a bath, and indulge in something you love. Set aside designated time to reconnect, go on a hike, watch your favorite movie or spend some time preparing a hearty meal for yourself. Make an at-home spa day and cherish your beautiful self, because you deserve to feel good and be happy (remind yourself of this every day).