Being happy usually identifies with finding contentment, satisfaction, a feeling of joy, or a silver lining indicating that your life has meaning. But lately, it seems as if everywhere we look, people are overwhelmed by the handful of problems associated with life. Many reach a breaking point and sink into depression — a mental health issue few of our grandparents experienced, yet is so common today.
We should be in control of our own happiness, and to an extent, there are ways to combat the negative voices that try to bring us down.
1. Take a break from social media and go out with a friend
Gaining more likes on social media doesn’t necessarily add up to more happiness. According to the University of Michigan, the more time a person spends on social media, the more likely for their life satisfaction levels to decline. In contrast, the university also found that direct interactions with others, whether it be over the phone or face-to-face, contributes to feeling happier over time.
2. Get a good night’s sleep
An exhausted person is not a happy person. We assume that losing a few hours of sleep is no big deal, but it actually is and the cumulative effects are apparent in our actions and appearance. Emotional outbursts in the shower and dark undereye circles don’t occur without reason.
3. Make an effort to exercise
They say exercise is the cure for nearly everything in life — from depression to memory loss, to Parkinson’s and obesity. Exercising releases a chemical substance called endorphins. These substances interact with the receptors in our brain, reducing our perception of pain and triggering a positive feeling in the body.
With hectic schedules that consume our lives, it can be impossible to squeeze in a proper workout. But don’t count out everyday tasks such as walking and cleaning. Every movement our bodies make, the more sweat our bodies release — the better we feel on the inside.
4. Maintain a well-balanced diet
Long-term exposure to an unhealthy diet is a risk factor for depression. One of the many symptoms used to diagnose depression is a change in appetite, so there is undoubtedly a link between diet and depression. Always make a conscious effort to think twice before having take-out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner since it could be responsible for unexplainable sadness.
5. Fall in love
Love makes us feel invincible. It alters our negative outlook to something brighter and happier. Having strong feelings about another person can shake us to the core. It allows us to reevaluate our beliefs and focus on another person’s needs instead of our own. Everything that had us worried or sad could suddenly disappear. Love allows a whole new world to open up, which is why it’s deemed as the best medicine for sadness.
There will always be days when we feel like the entire world is against us. Maybe it’s a matter of perspective, or perhaps sadness has a knack for creeping into our subconscious — telling us that we can’t be happy today. The thing is, if we allow those voices to speak any louder, they might just consume our thoughts and let negative emotions become our default mood. It may be easier said than done, but try to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel, and you may just save yourself from falling into a pit of despair.