When we think about a healthy lifestyle, the first thing that comes to mind is usually a good diet and exercise program. While these things are certainly important, a person’s overall sense of happiness and well-being should not be overlooked. Happiness plays a large role in not only how we take care of ourselves, but also in how our body and mind function. Here are some tips that can be used to increase one’s sense of everyday happiness.

Avoid Negativity

Negativity can be extremely detrimental to a person’s happiness and mental well-being. In some cases, the negativity may be coming outside sources, such as the people that one needs to deal with every day. In other cases, the negativity may be coming from within. It is easy to get into the bad habit of talking down to yourself, and constantly engaging in self-critical thoughts. When faced with a self-critical thought, it is better to think of a way to fix the situation, instead of repeatedly berating yourself for how you have handled it previously. Negativity can be a difficult habit to break, but it is worth the effort to do so.

Dealing with Unhappy Thoughts

Everyone has unhappy thoughts now and then. The problem is when we start to allow them to consume us. Sometimes our unhappiness stems from a single unhappy event, but often it arises simply from overall frustration. Regardless of the cause, it is important to find an outlet for unhappy thoughts. Sometimes all it takes is a trusted friend to talk to. It can also help to write out your thoughts, to get them out of your head. Once you see them written down on paper, they frequently do not seem as bad, and it is easier to think of solutions.

Handling Stress

Stress is another source of unhappiness for many people. While it is impossible to avoid all stress in one’s life, sometimes it becomes unmanageable. Too much stress can cause health problems, eating disorders, and mental health issues. When faced with too much stress, it is important to find constructive ways of dealing with it. Dealing with the situation that is causing the stress is often simpler, easier and less painful than living with the stress itself. In these cases, it can be helpful to just deal with the offending situation head-on, and get past it.

In other cases, the stress might simply be caused by too many responsibilities, or work issues. Even if there is no immediate remedy for the stressors, it is important to find ways to defuse the effect stress is having on your mind, body and overall health. Yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises are all great ways to lower one’s stress levels and return to a healthier state of body and mind.