Habits for Happiness

We all experience setbacks in life. Maybe your car has officially bitten the dust and you can’t afford a new one. Maybe you’re going through a rough breakup. Every now and then, life will throw you a curve ball, and it can be easy to find yourself lost in the negative emotions that come along with that.

Emphasize the Good

One of the best ways to be happier in the face of a tough time, though, is to think about all of the things that are still going well in your life. Are you experiencing some triumphs in your career? Do you have a night out with your friends to look forward to? Finding good things to cling on to--and then emphasizing those--is a great way to work yourself out of a funk.

Breathe Out Stress, Breathe in Mindfulness

Mindfulness can be a tricky skill to master, but once you learn how, your life will never be the same. If you have some time to set aside in your day, spend 10-20 minutes listening to a mindfulness exercise. There are plenty of mindfulness apps out there that you can try out if you’re on the go. Another trick that I like is digging out the crayons and an old coloring book. There’s nothing that gets you out of your own head like the intense concentration you need to color inside the lines.

Live in the Moment

Most of our stress is derived from things we can’t control. Pasts we can’t change and futures we can’t see can eat away at us sometimes, but one thing that will help you start to be happier is focusing your energy as much on the present moment as you can. Think about what you can do today, because today is something that you have a bit of control over.

Debunk Negative Thoughts

Say it with me: You are kind, you are smart, you are important. Sometimes when something goes wrong, we blame ourselves. And while we should try to take responsibility where responsibility is due, when we start to beat ourselves up, we can sometimes spiral into a string of negative thoughts. If you find yourself plagued by never-ending negative thoughts--or even just enough to get you feeling down--start debunking those negative thoughts. Nine-point-five times out of ten, they’re false anyway.

Curate a Support System

Talk to your friends. Talk to your family. One of the most important things you can do to be happier is to make sure you’re continuously talking about your feelings. Maybe you’ll want to see a therapist as well, but your therapist won’t be available to you 24/7. Having a support system at home, people you can turn to at any hour of the night if you need to, will help you feel a sense of security.

Unhappy moments in your life are inevitable, but you don’t have to be unhappy all the time. If you’ve been feeling down, or just found yourself in a bit of a rut lately, take a look at this list. There are actions you can take to live your best, happiest life.

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