8 Ways to Get Happier

Kelly K. James

1. Challenge yourself

Whether your dream is to write a book or climb a mountain, set goals for yourself that are specific, realistic, and attainable, says author and fitness motivator Joan Price. Break your big goals into smaller, manageable action steps—small steps lead to lasting changes, and happiness.

2. Make friends

According to research published in Psychological Science, the happiest people are the ones who have good social relationships.

3. Treat yourself

As our lives get more stressful, it becomes harder to relax and slow down. Treating yourself to a massage, haircut, or pedicure is a wonderful way to take some time for yourself—and improve your physical appearance and your mental outlook at the same time!

4. Cut back on screen time

The average American spends more than 11 hours a day absorbing media. And all of that exposure can wear on you. Limit your time on social media and watch only your most favorite shows.

5. Count your blessings

Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, keep a gratitude journal to record things that you’re thankful for—your health, your faith, your family, the sun on your face in the morning.

6. Listen up

When you’re down in the dumps, put on some inspiring tunes and enjoy the music. You can’t help but feel better.

7. Set your sights

Recent research found that setting goals that matter to you personally, and striving to achieve them, affects your level of happiness and self-satisfaction.

8. Work out

Need one more reason to exercise? Research shows exercise boosts mood and alleviates depression, which means you’ll feel better after your workout.

Kelly K. James is a health journalist based in Downers Grove, Illinois.

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