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What is the secret to happiness? It’s a question we all want the answer to. But happiness looks different for different people; there is no one-size-fits-all approach. For some, big dinners with friends and family equal happiness. For others, happiness is being alone with a good book and a cup of tea.

Although what happiness looks like will vary for each of us, there are some common things we can all focus on to create greater happiness in our own lives. The secret is this: happiness isn’t something we can find externally, but rather something to be created internally. And we do this by focusing on those small, daily habits that create greater feelings of joy and well-being over time. Here are a few. 

10 Ways to Create Your Own Happiness

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  1. Be your own best friend. You will always be with you. Learn to enjoy your own company and greater happiness will inevitably follow.  

  2. Be kind to your body. This doesn’t mean fixate on a certain body size or shape, it means care for your body the way you would somebody you love. Eat nutritious foods, spend time in fresh air and sunlight, sleep well and sleep often, and give your body time for movement every day. See the following for more details. 

  3. Exercise, even in small amounts. There are so many ways that exercise increases happiness. For starters, when we exercise we feel more comfortable and confident in our bodies, which positively affects the way we move in the world. Exercise also decreases feelings of stress and anxiety, while at the same time increasing production of endorphins, those feel-good chemicals which trigger positive feelings in our bodies. 

  4. Eat for good health. Our bodies generally respond well to whole foods and lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy meats, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Too much sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods, on the other hand, cause us to crash and burn. For greater happiness, become aware of how you feel after meals and use this information to make small, healthy food choices throughout the day.

  5. Sleep well. If you are not sleeping well, your ability to think clearly and function well will be impaired. Plus, we all know that not getting enough sleep can make even the kindest, most joyful person cranky. For better sleep, avoid screens or wear blue light blocking glasses at least two hours before bed, keep your bedroom dark and cool at night, and avoid stressful conversations in the evening.

  6. Get creative. Human beings are creators by nature, but in today’s work-focused world, it’s not unusual to go weeks or even months without creating something. Find something creative that you enjoy and make it a point to do it at least two to three days a week. You’ll be amazed at how good something like cooking, painting, or making jewelry can make you feel. 

  7. Be kind to others. When we are kind, we create more opportunities for connection. Plus, it feels good. Practice giving out smiles and compliments throughout the day and you’ll have no choice but to see the world in a more positive light.

  8. Smile more, even when you don’t mean it. Smiling signals to our body that there is something to be happy about. In response, our bodies create actual feelings of happiness. In this case, the saying “fake it till you make it”, may actually prove quite useful.

  9. Practice feeling gratitude. Studies show that the more we focus on what we have, and the less we focus on what we don’t have, the happier we are. Spend five to ten minutes each morning breathing deeply and focusing on the things in your life you are grateful for. Feel your heart energy expand all around you and immerse yourself in the feeling of gratitude. Another option would be to keep a journal where each morning you write down three to five things you are grateful for.

  10. Try therapy. For some of us, the road to happiness is a long and winding path. No one is asking you to go on that journey alone. If you feel sad, anxious, depressed, or if there are things in your life weighing you down that you cannot seem to overcome, seek help. Find a therapist with whom you feel comfortable and begin your journey to finding happiness in a safe, supported environment. Our therapists at The Relationship Therapy Center may be a really great option for you. 

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Other Services offered at The Relationship Therapy Center in California:

In addition to individual therapy, Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. We will discuss the importance of self-care and emotional support to help you cope and to discover ways to find healthy ways of finding happiness.   

Depression therapy can be beneficial, with the right therapist. Our compassionate therapists are trained to walk you through the process and help you find healing and peace. Please contact our therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can help you and your loved ones heal, grow, and love healthy.