Ten steps toward greater happiness and health

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(NaturalNews) Life is full of daily stressors that can interfere with feeling happy. We all experience challenges, but the habits that we develop can effectively arm us to better enjoy life. The following guide can increase one's happiness and health.


Research has shown that "earthing" or touching the ground with your bare feet or another part of the body is beneficial to one's health. Scientists have shown that earthing reduces jet lag, anxiety, pain and insomnia. Individuals have reported significant improvement in mood and a reduction of pain in as little as 15 minutes of earthing. Direct contact with the ground can be achieved through bodily contact with the grass, dirt, sand or concrete. Wood surfaces do not conduct the Earth's natural electrical charges.

2. Sunbathe

Sunbathing is associated with many health benefits, the most well-known being increased levels of vitamin D. Sun exposure also stimulates the production of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which are important for positive moods.

3. Move

Exercise is well-known to increase happiness. Yoga, calisthenics and aerobic activity all enhance health. All movement can improve mood, while also reducing anxiety and anger.

4. Connect with loved ones

Humans are social creatures. Research has shown that strong social connections with others positively contributes to happiness. Spending time with friends, family, co-workers and neighbors is important for one's mental health.

5. Use positive self affirmations

Research has proven that what we tell ourselves impacts our moods. We have the power to give ourselves positive or negative messages. It is important to be our own best friends and give ourselves encouraging messages throughout the day. Focus on what we accomplish and our good attributes, rather than our weaknesses. Cognitive therapy has a strong record to prove its effectiveness in regard to improving one's mood. The basic idea is to change one's thoughts from negative to positive.

6. Do something you love

We all enjoy different activities and finding time to enjoy these activities is important. Whether it's bike riding, bowling, reading, walking, playing an instrument, creating art or gardening, it is good for our health to find time for our passions.

7. Escape

Positive escapes can be great stress busters. Watching a favorite show or movie; listening to music; enjoying the theatre, a lecture or a comedy; playing a game; doing a crossword puzzle or immersing yourself in a good book are examples of good escapes from stress.

8. Enjoy nature

With the warm weather, many people want to spend time outdoors. Regardless of Whether you are sitting on a porch, park bench or outdoor patio, you can savor the sights and sounds of the outdoors. Walking, biking and hiking are other ways to enjoy nature. Taking the time to notice the flowering trees, bushes and plants, while listening to the birds and feeling the warm breeze is a way to relax and step away from the fast-paced lives that we often find ourselves leading.

9. Disconnect from technology

Practice turning off your cell phone, computer and other gadgets throughout the day. Being overly connected has been associated with increased levels of stress and has become a newer mental health and social issue. It is important to be in the moment and have some time to focus exclusively on one activity, person or thing.

10. Live in the present

If you focus on the moment that you are in, then you can experience joy. It is important to turn off your worries about the future and regrets from the past. An entire new mental health therapy, mindfulness, focuses on developing strategies to focus on the here and now in an attempt to reduce negative thoughts and increase happiness.

Sources for this article include:

Burns, David. The Feeling Good Handbook. New York: Penguin, 1999, Print.

About the author:
Michelle is a mental health therapist who incorporates holistic approaches into her counseling practice. She has 25 years of experience successfully counseling individuals, couples and families.

Michelle became passionate about holistic health, healing and politics, after immersing herself into the world of alternative medicine looking for answers to a family member's health crisis. Beginning in 2008, Michelle learned that many standard health care recommendations, which she had long trusted, actually contribute to causing disease.

Michelle's health articles can be found at the following sites:

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