We each have different ideas of what makes us happy. Happiness to you could be a successful career and a loving family, but another person’s idea of happiness could be something else entirely. So, rather than the pursuit of happiness, you should really be aiming for is a different route altogether.
The key to happiness and a peaceful state of mind is actually well-being. What is well-being? Well-being is a broad term encompassing the conditions of your physical and mental health, essentially it is just feeling well in mind, body, and spirit. The state of your well-being lays the groundwork for cultivating your happiness.
While establishing a decent sense of well-being might seem daunting amid the chaos of New York City, achieving wellness can boost your levels of happiness and improve your mental health. Here are a few ways how it does just that:
Stay in touch with your emotions
Parts of our culture can condition us to avoid our emotions and sweep our feelings under the rug. Doing drugs or drinking the pain away, watching endless hours of television, bottling up your emotions, or simply “sucking it up” can damage your mental health and deplete your happiness.
Instead, being aware of your feelings can lead to a better sense of happiness and positivity. Journaling and talking openly with a friend can help you work through your feelings and understand what you are going through. One of the most effective ways to keep tabs on your emotions is through counseling. Therapy in NY can help you manage your mood, be more resilient, and deal with your emotions — even the negative ones — in a healthy way.
When you learn how to best accept and process your feelings, your mental health becomes more stable as a result.
Boost your physical health
Getting regular exercise and healthy, nutritious food not only does wonders for your body, but your mind as well. Exercise helps lower anxiety and stress levels and increase energy.
Also, going out for a jog or walk in nature enhances your mood. Recent evidence links being outdoors to greater levels of happiness, reduced stress, and a more positive mindset. Additionally, exercise helps release endorphins — the happiness-boosting chemical in our brains — and even certain foods can lift our spirits.
While some reach for a pint of ice cream or another glass of wine when feeling blue, vegetables might be the better cure for your sadness. Eating leafy greens, fruits, healthy fats, and whole grains can decrease symptoms of depression and risks of suicide. So instead of indulging in “comfort food,” a healthy snack of almonds might be the wiser choice.
Provide a sense of purpose
Giving our lives meaning and a sense of purpose significantly contributes to our happiness and self-worth. When we feel we are serving others and contributing meaningfully to society, we feel valuable and needed. Studies indicate a sense of engagement and belonging contribute to your happiness and overall mental health.
You can find that sense of purpose through your work, but you can also discover it through volunteering, hobbies, local communities, and the friendships you develop. A sense of purpose is deeply rooted in connection with others and is part of the human experience. We need a community and we need to feel part of that network.
Ask yourself, what are your passions? Where do you want to get involved? What is calling you? Feeling worthwhile and following a set of values and principles increases confidence and fulfilment.
To read more on topics like this, check out the life hacks category.