The start of a new year is a great time to take a fresh look at one’s overall happiness. It can be all too easy to become stagnant with daily routines, and it is the simple changes that will often yield the most powerful results. For those that are ready to make this year their happiest and most fulfilling year of their life, here are five changes that could make all the difference in the world.
1. Getting Proper Sleep
Chronically under-sleeping will quickly begin to affect every single aspect of an individual’s life, including their overall happiness. Creating healthy sleeping habits will take time, but it eventually comes down to repetition. Everyone should set a schedule and routine that they stick to every night in order to get 7 or more hours of sleep.
2. Spending More Time Outside
Spending time outside in order to get some sunlight and fresh air has been shown to release endorphins within the brain and improve one’s thinking ability. At minimum, everyone should attempt to at least get out for an extended period of an hour or more per week on a hike, walk, or even simply reading outdoors. Some studies show that it takes as little as 20 minutes outdoors to improve one’s mood.
3. A Smile Makeover
Self-confidence is a great way to achieve happiness, and one of the easiest ways to become more confident is to improve the appearance of one’s smile as well as their oral health. A smile makeover from a dentist can remove plaque, straighten teeth, and even provide a quick teeth whitening session for a brighter, straighter smile.
Volunteering one’s time has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression while drastically improving psychological help. Almost every city has a variety of places in which time can be donated including animal hospitals, homeless shelters, teenage outreaches, and more. Those that regularly volunteer will more efficiently produce mood-improving hormones such as oxytocin.
5. An Exercise Routine
Not only is it important to create a long-term exercise schedule and routine, it is important to stick to these schedules in all but the rarest of circumstances. The amount and type of exercise that an individual should carry out will vary by their age, weight, fitness goals, and other medical issues, but doctors suggest a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise three or more times per week.