1. Stress – This is obvious. When you’re feeling stressed, your body is in the fight-or-flight mode. This causes an increase in heart rate, adrenaline and sends more blood to your muscles to allow you to quickly fight or run away from danger. However, you might be feeling stress at work, for example, where you’re not going to fight, nor will you walk out. When stress chemicals are frequently saturating your body, they need to be used up or they will begin to damage your body and weaken your immune system as well as inhibit the chemicals that make you feel calm and happier.
The Fix – You’ve got to de-stress. Many people find that practicing meditation or yoga, or participating in hobbies are great ways to relieve themselves from the stresses of life. Also, watching funny movies can be a wonderful way to release tension and stress. Try adding one de-stressing activity into your day to break up the stress, or try adding a 5- to 15-minute meditation after a stressful event or make it a daily practice for the greatest benefit.
2. Relationships – While relationships can be blissful, they can also be a source of many unpleasant emotions. And when you’re not feeling good about a relationship, it’s often related to some differences or a disagreement or issue that is unresolved.
The Fix – When you’re in a reationship, be sure to have a plan for how to deal with disagreements or differences. Address these issues before they escalate to hurtful feelings and emotional pain. Talk with your partner when things are going well, and define a plan for dealing with issues before they arise so that you’ll both know how to react, and how to not overreact.
3. Social Life – Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our work life or putting out emotional fires at home that we stop connecting with our friends on a regular basis. As a result, we laugh less, feel less supported and supportive, and a whole bunch of vital, good-feeling chemicals never get released into your body.
The Fix – Typically, the happiest people have active social lives. Therefore, if you’re not very happy, perhaps you need to follow the lead of happy people and make time to hang out with friends on a regular basis. Having like-minded people to spend time with is one of the best ways to start feeling happier.
4. Clutter – A clean and orderly environment helps to keep your mind clear and focused. When there is too much clutter around you, it inhibits clear thinking, deminishes creativity and induces anxiety. Having too many obligations to track, which is a form of mental clutter, also causes stress and anxiety. And when you’re trying to juggle too much mental and physical clutter, you may end up letting important obligations slip through the cracks, which only makes you feel worse.
The Fix – Create a clutter-free zone where you can go to clear your thinking, work on a project, unwind by listening to music or reading, sit in silent meditation, or unleash your creativity. Even decluttering for just 5 minutes a day (consistently) will produce great results. You might consider taking a 30-Day Challenge to declutter your home to make fast progress.
5. Purpose – Ever have a time in your life where you feel like every day is the same? Perhaps there isn’t anything bad going on, but there isn’t anything particularly good happening either. It seems as if your life has flat-lined, and that has you feeling a bit down and wondering where the magic has gone.
The Fix – The happiest people I know have something in common. They have a sense of purpose in their lives. It may be brought on by doing volunteer work, or perhaps it’s being involved in a certain project or with a special group. Perhaps they’ve discovered a way in which they can make a difference in people lives, or they’ve found a new skill or hobby that they’ve fallen in love with. Finding a purpose that makes you feel passionate about life, that makes you feel excited to wake up every morning, will bring new levels of joy and happiness into your flat-lined life. Find your purpose.
6. Sleep – One of the surest ways to open yourself up to depression, fatigue, anxiety, frustration, and low energy is by not getting enough sleep. It starts slowly and you may not notice at first. You have a busy day and get to bed late. Next, you have a few busy days in a row, and your body takes a hit for it, but you recover on the weekend. Before you know it, you’re constantly having busy days and are unable to justify going to bed on time because of the “urgency” of the work or reasons that are keeping you up late. Perhaps you are simply choosing to stay up too late on work nights. Before you know it, you’re a zombie.
The Fix – Do you remember how refreshed and vital you feel after a good night of sleep? That’s because your body has had enough time to readjust certain chemicals that regulate your body functions. When you’re at your best, your body and mind are sharp, you’re alert and creative. Getting enough sleep contributes greatly to living a happy and fulfilling life. Try getting enough sleep for just one week and see how you feel. I can’t emphasize strongly enough the importance of how getting enough sleep impacts your happiness. Bottom line – get more sleep to be happier.
Leave a comment if there is anything you would add to this list. I’d love to hear from you.