Clarity Counseling Seattle
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30 Habits for Happiness

March 28, 2018
Posted By: John Buscher, LMHC
Silhouette of Woman | Counseling in Seattle WA

Someone recently sent the following list of habits for happiness and I wanted to pass it on. Upon reading this list it's easy to gloss over the more mundane habits that have been drilled into us for most of our lives, like "eat well" and "exercise". We've all heard that a thousand times, though when something has been recommended to us over and over again throughout our lives and is recommended really for all of us, there's usually wisdom in that suggestion! I happen to agree with the entirety of the following list, though of course to implement them regularly is the challenge.

Habits to Happiness

For your consideration (with some commentary from me in parenthesis, for what it's worth)...

1. Be kind  (it makes life easier for everyone, especially yourself)
2. Eat well  (what you eat truly does impact your feelings/body/thoughts)
3. Exercise  (cardio has innumerable benefits to mental & emotional health)
4. Meditate  (it's not about enlightenment - it's the equivalent of exercise for your brain)
5. Be honest  (the truth really does set you free)
6. Dream big  (it's okay to)
7. Be patient  (with others but certainly also with yourself)
8. Judge less  (good/bad, right/wrong, okay/not okay...notice how different you experience your day when you reduce this mental activity)
9. Smile often  (it actually changes your mood in measurable ways)
10. Love yourself  (can sound corny but getting better at loving one's self makes life, well, easier)
11. Forgive easily  (holding onto anger/grudges/resentment only hurts you. It almost never serves anyone to disallow forgiveness)
12. Show gratitude  (one of the easiest ways to make your day-to-day life immediately more rewarding)
13. Think positively  (not denying what's difficult, but also not denying what's going well within and outside of you)
14. Drink lots of water  (dehydration often goes unnoticed but shows up in insidious ways)
15. Believe in yourself  (again, can sound corny but is essential for mental health. Struggle to?  This can be learned!)
16. Keep an open mind  (an expanded mind, rather than a narrow one, allows for more possibility, option, choice, and empowerment)
17. Put your needs first  (some may object to this one but often the way to help others is by first healthily attending to our own needs)
18. Don't make excuses  (a part of your always knows the truth)
19. Speak well of others  (it helps you to speak well of yourself, which makes life better)
20. Listen to understand  (not to convince)
21. Choose faith over fear  (whatever "faith" means to you.  Something similar: "choose facts over fear")
22. Make the most of now  (it's really all we have)
23. Exercise self-discipline  (but without self-punishment in the form of criticism and shaming)
24. Look on the bright side (there's always a bright side. Again, not denying the dark side, just practicing gratitude for what's working as well)
25. Avoid social comparison (ask yourself: Does time on social media make me feel better or worse about my life?)
26. See failure as opportunity (it's often the only way we're going to learn & grow)
27. Don't take opinions to heart (everyone gets to have theirs. Free yourself of the need to have the world see you a certain way)
28. Have a healthy sleeping pattern (this actually really matters for physical & mental health, and can't be understated)
29. Let go of what can't be changed (and recognize the power you have with what CAN be changed)
30. Select friends that life you up (and don't waste time with anyone who makes you feel badly about who you are)

*Therapy is a wonderful medium through which to gain or just improve upon these habits.  Let us know if we can help!

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