Life can feel like an uphill battle at times. You may feel frustrated and stifled as you trudge through the motions. The good news is humans have the capacity for self-empowerment and change, which means you have the ability to alter your state of mind and reprogram your habits to find a healthier, happier life than you thought possible. Isn’t this what life is all about? Forget about making six figures or buying your dream home — if you can manage to find and maintain health and happiness, you’re one step above the rest. Read on for tips to create your best life.
1. Learn to say no
It’s easy to become wrapped up in making others happy at the expense of your own happiness. Maybe you were anticipating a much-needed night in but then your friend begged you to be his wingman. It can be hard to say no when you know it’s important to someone you care about, but what about your obligation to your own well-being? Practice saying no when something doesn’t appeal to you. When you establish boundaries, you’re respecting yourself and making your happiness and health a priority. Bonus: You won’t have to deal with the resentment that comes along with being a people-pleaser and disregarding your own needs.
2. Find your passion and pursue it
Between work, family, and friends, it can be difficult to find time to pursue things you love. Take an hour each week to do something you’re passionate about. Maybe it’s something you used to do before life got too busy or maybe it’s an item you want to cross off your bucket list. Recognize your passion and dedicate a small amount of uninterrupted time to it. Taking a moment for yourself will help you recharge, decompress, and be more productive and happy.
3. Nix negativity
To live your ultimate healthy, happy life, you’ll need to limit your interactions with negative people. Everyone has that friend that sucks the positive energy and replaces it with complaints, unhappiness, and doom. When you’re always helping talk other people off the ledge, you succumb to their level. You can recognize these people by their lack of interest in you, your life, and your challenges; it’s all about them. Detach from these people and focus your time and energy on building relationships with people who encourage you and build you up.
4. Bust stress
Stress is the antithesis of a healthy, happy life. Whether it comes from work, relationships, or personal issues, it’s always sitting in the shadows waiting to pounce. Even though stress will never completely go away, you have the power to manage it. Practice meditation or go for a walk when your stress level elevates. When you take a deep breath and realize the big picture, everything you’re stressed about will seem more manageable.
5. Sleep more
It’s been said before and we say it again — without enough sleep it is impossible to be your best self. Resist late-night TV or Facebook binges and go to sleep early. Adequate sleep helps you avoid irritability, decrease anxiety, and find emotional stability. Other benefits include weight loss and productivity.
6. Start a morning routine
It isn’t always fun to wake up earlier than absolutely necessary, but having a regular morning routine sets your entire day up for success. Your morning routine is what you make it, so take charge and create an ideal picture of how you’d like to start each day. Be kind to yourself and ensure your plan for every day is something you feel is realistic and achievable. Meditation, exercise, goal setting, and visualization are all great ways to get you started.
7. Skip stuff, splurge on experiences
You may think buying the latest Ray-Bans or upgrading your car will make you happy, and it will … for a minute. The thrill and happiness that comes from buying stuff is short-lived. For ongoing contentment, spend your money on experiential purchases like a dinner out with friends, a vacation, or skydiving. Experiences provide a higher sense of well-being than material possessions.