Happiness is not a given in life. It doesn’t just happen. Sadly, we don’t just wake up happy every day. In fact, it isn’t even always easy to obtain and often takes hard work. Happiness is something we must cultivate and work towards day after day. And although it can be challenging to maintain our happiness, there are definitely some benefits to putting in the hard work. Benefits that go beyond the warm, fuzzy, and sometimes giddy feelings we’re able to conjure.
Happiness Leads To Better Health
Being happy can help you age gracefully. In addition, it can help prolong your life. It’s true. Optimistic and happy people tend to live longer. Studies going back decades show that mood and longevity go hand in hand. For example, one study found that those in better moods were 35 percent less likely to die in the next five years when taking their life situations into account.
Additionally, plenty of research has found that you don’t just live longer; you actually experience better health. Being happy helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and declines in lung capacity and function. With all this at stake, you can’t afford not to be happy. So, what do you have to do to turn that frown upside down and wake up happy?
How To Wake Up Happy
You now know that optimism and happiness are essential to your well-being. Now, let’s talk about steps you can take to ensure you have a sunny disposition when you open your eyes in the morning.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is vital to not only a healthy lifestyle but also a happier one. When we don’t get good rest, we’re more likely to become ill, gain weight, and feel depressed. But when we do get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night, we wake up with more energy, an improved mood, and a sharper noggin.
Try to eliminate stressful thoughts and situations right before bed. If you can, refrain from watching the late-night news. Instead, watch the 6:00 or 7:00 edition. You want to crawl into bed with a peaceful mind so you’re not lying awake watching the clock.
Tidy Up Your Surroundings
Clutter and disorganization can influence your mood and mental state. Don’t go to sleep with a sink full of dirty dishes or piles of laundry in the corner. This can cause you to wake up overwhelmed. Instead, take a few minutes before you turn in for the day and straighten up. This allows you to wake up feeling renewed and ready to tackle the day starting fresh. Clutter leads to a cluttered mind, which can zap you of much-deserved happiness.
We all have something to be thankful for, even if times are rough. They can be little things that you’re appreciative of, too. Gratitude doesn’t always have to mean some grand gesture. Gratitude is a popular happiness-promoting practice. This is because when we focus on gratitude, it impacts our brain’s neurochemistry by releasing dopamine. Dopamine is a feel-good neurotransmitter that plays an important role in happiness.
Before going to sleep, try to think of several things you’re grateful for or that make you happy. It’s a good idea to write them down in a notebook so you can reference them when you need a little happiness jolt or have difficulty coming up with something new. You can also purchase gratitude journals that will provide you with prompts and thought-provoking questions.
Make Fun Plans
We can all remember those nights as a child when we were just too excited to sleep. Christmas Eve was always a big one that would create a morning filled with much-anticipated happiness. Well, that type of excitement doesn’t have to end with age. Sometimes, half the joy of doing something fun is the anticipation it builds leading up to it. It’s important to make fun plans to have something exciting to look forward to. They don’t have to be major plans; they can be as simple as dinner and a movie with friends. Try planning little day trips or activities that keep you looking ahead with fun-filled anticipation.
The most important thing to remember is that life isn’t always kind, but we always have something to be thankful for and happy about. Take a moment each evening to conjure up those feel-good memories and moments. By focusing on happiness, you can have happiness. Start your morning with cheer and good health by waking up happy!