Sometimes, we can slip into habits that don’t help our overall happiness. They might seem to save time, or we get stuck in a rut and don’t take the first steps to making a change.
However, there are some simple habits we can add to our day, that will make us a lot happier. Not only this, but they also allow us to focus better, get through the day with more energy and increase our confidence in achieving our goals.
The biggest problem we face is, we allow ourselves to get sucked into cycles of non-productivity. It’s relatively simple to break them, but you will need to develop focus and commit to doing it. To get started, here are 3 Simple Habits That Will Boost your Happiness
1. Exercise in the Morning
Numerous studies have shown that exercise greatly improves productivity. The endorphins released can also improve your mood for up to 12 hours after you work out, which means the morning
is a perfect time to exercise to set yourself up for a great day and boost you happiness levels.
A lot of people feel sluggish in the morning – you have been lying down for around 8 hours after all. All though it might seem like torture to get up and get active straight away, you’d be surprised at how quickly you actually get used to this routine.
Regular exercise also increases the amount of energy you have on any given day. Our cells include components called mitochondria, which produce the chemical your body uses for energy called ATP. When you exercise as part of a routine, your cells are able to produce new mitochondria within your cells more frequently. This means that you’ll also produce more ATP over time leading to an increase in your overall energy – including brain power!
On top of the obvious health benefits, working out in the morning means we’ve ticked off an accomplishment first thing, which as an excellent motivation tool. Once you’ve ticked off one achievement, you’ll look forward to getting to the rest and you’re getting yourself in a productive frame of mind, right from the get-go.
Finally, as you age, your body generates fewer and fewer brain cells (neurogenesis). However, early research in mice suggests that exercise slows this process down. This could mean that, by the time you reach your 50s, 60s, or even 70s, if you’ve been exercising regularly – you could have more brain cells than your couch potato competition – giving you a definite edge.
2. Turn Off Your Phone
Be honest, how much of your time is spent on your phone? Probably a lot right? The truth of the matter is that all though our smart phones allow us to stay hyper connected, they’re also massive time sinks and the content we come across is often negative and sensationalist in tone.
Recent research has shown that heightened smartphone use causes our brains to become bored more easily by eroding our ability to focus.
Being bored is ok but having it associated with jumping straight onto your smart phone is not. If you think about it, when we’re bored we’re often looking for some kind of escape. If your answer to that is to constantly ‘fix’ this problem by browsing your smartphone, then you’re not allowing your brain to switch to solving a more productive problem, or use any type of creativity at all.
For people that work in creative sectors, this can be a major problem. Boredom gets creativity and the ability to hone your imagination. By starving your brain of the time to do that you’re setting it up to be much harder when you need to do it.
Do yourself a favor and turn your phone off when you need to be productive. Not only that, but fight the temptation of jumping onto your phone whenever you have a spare moment. It’s ok to do nothing, or just sit and think.
3. Stay Hydrated
Hydration plays a massive part in how our mind functions and our overall emotional state. A 2012 University of Connecticut study found that mild dehydration (just 1 to 2 percent) causes a noticeable decrease in the cognitive function in young men and women.
Young men are more likely to experience difficulty in performing mental tasks, particularly in the areas of vigilance and working memory. Whereas female participants where much more likely to experience an increase in anxiety and mood swings.
We are mostly made of water and every part of us needs an adequate amount to perform to the best of its ability. We substitute water for juices, sodas, teas, coffees etc. not realising that we’re not being adequately hydrated by them.
The amount of water the body needs varies depending on who the person is, but a good guideline is to consume a minimum of 3 litres a day. Add more if you’re exercising or if you’re just in a particularly thirsty mood.
Not only will your brain be able to function at the highest capacity, you’ll find it easier to regulate meals, your body will detox and you’ll generally feel happier.