If you want to be cultivating happiness and more content, you need to make some changes in your daily routine. These habits will help you improve your life satisfaction, mental health and physical wellbeing.
To adopt a habit, the Atomic Habits model suggests using a cue, routine, and reward. For example, you might crack a beer when you get home from work (cue), then go for a run to relax and forget about the hard day at work (routine).
1. Make Your Bed Every Morning
Making your bed every morning is a simple task that can have a lasting effect on your day. According to Naval Admiral William McRaven, a former Navy SEAL who spoke at a commencement speech at the University of Texas, it has the power to change your mood and behavior throughout the rest of the day.
In addition to creating a tidy bedroom, making your bed can also have positive effects on your sleep habits and overall well-being. In fact, a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation revealed that people who make their beds in the morning are 19 percent more likely to get a good night’s sleep.
2. Cultivating Happiness: Cook Your Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – it provides essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly. Eating it regularly means you are more likely to make healthy choices throughout the rest of the day.
It also reduces the amount of fat and salt you eat later on in the day. It can be a bit of a hassle to get ready and cook for yourself first thing, but it is well worth the effort if you are serious about being a healthy eater.
If you’re short on time and need a quick, easy breakfast, then try making muffins ahead of time – they come together in just 20 minutes or less. You can even prepare a batch of them and freeze them for when you need to grab a snack.
3. Take a Bath
Whether you choose to relax in cold water or warm, baths can have a significant impact on your mood. They can help lower blood pressure, ease muscle strain, and even boost your sleep.
Taking a bath before bed can improve your sleep quality, as it allows you to relax and unwind, says Lisa Loyacono, founder of the Wellness Institute at Home in New York City. It also rebalances your body’s chemistry by releasing serotonin, the feel-good chemical that helps regulate your mood and stress levels.
Unlike showers, which can be a bit harsh on your skin, bath water is full of the same bacteria that is naturally present in your body. So it doesn’t pose any health risks, says Dr. Tierno, a dermatologist in New York City.
4. Cultivating Happiness: Exercise
Exercise helps your body to function more efficiently, which can help with everything from work to family life. It also improves your mood and makes you feel better about yourself.
It’s important to get a balance of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity, which raises your heart rate and works many different muscles. If you have a busy schedule, start with small bouts of exercise and gradually increase your time.
Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity five times a week. If you can, break that into two 15-minute sessions.
5. Spend Time with Your Family
Taking time out of your busy schedule to spend quality family time is one of the most significant habits you can adopt. It helps strengthen your bond with each other and creates memories that will last a lifetime.
The family is the pillar of strength that supports you through your ups and downs, both mentally and physically. It helps you cope with the rigors of everyday life and build a strong foundation for your future.
Make it a point to spend family time every day and on special occasions. This not only creates a sense of security in your family, but it also helps them build their confidence and develop positive attitudes and values.
6. Cultivating Happiness: Clean Your Home
Keeping your home clean and organized can help you feel more relaxed and improve your overall health. It can also make your house more appealing for guests.
Many people are overwhelmed by the idea of cleaning their homes, but it’s not as hard as you might think. You just need to set up a schedule and stick with it.
A dirty and cluttered house can lead to feelings of anxiety, frustration, and stress. By taking a few minutes to wipe down your counters, vacuum your floors and organize your clutter, you can improve your mood and reduce stress.
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