If prioritizing happiness is one goal you want to achieve in 2020, you’re not alone.
For many people, the start of a new year means one thing – resolutions – and the majority of them focus on emotional, spiritual and physical well-being.
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According to Huffington Post and NBC News, psychologists recommend implementing some of the following tips to increase our overall happiness.
Cut Back on Social Media – According to Huffington Post, research shows spending too much time online is linked to poor mental health, so now’s the time to cut back on just how much time we spend viewing other people’s lives on social media. Spending too much time on social media can lead to feelings of inadequacy. Instead, experts suggest setting a time limit on the amount of time we spend scrolling each day, post less about our lives and establish face-to-face connections.
Practice More Gratitude – The simple act of keeping a gratitude journal can increase our happiness, with psychologist Sharon Saline telling NBC News, “I’m planning to write three good things about each day in my journal before bed so I can focus more on the positive and derive greater satisfaction from my days.”
“If you wake up and focus on that which you have to be grateful for, your brain becomes better at finding even more [gratitude],” clinical psychologist Forrest Talley, shared with Huffington Post.
Get Outside – “This year, resolve to spend less time inside and more time outdoors in natural settings,” Michael Brodsky, a psychiatrist, told Huffington Post. “Research in multiple countries show that spending time in green spaces can lift your mood and relieve anxiety in as little as 10 minutes.”
Embrace Play – When we were children play was an integral part of our lives, but as we get older our lives become more rigid, serious – and sometimes really boring! According to clinical psychologist Jo Eckler, it’s important to find time for play.
“This year, I intend to focus on nurturing my sense of play and curiosity,” Eckler shared with NBC News. “Every week, if not every day, I will try something new, finding ways to laugh and/or play. As adults, we can become rigid in our thinking and feel that life is a boring treadmill. Play reminds us of who we truly are, who we’ve always been and gives us permission to be gloriously imperfect and have no idea what we’re doing.”
Make Time for Friendship – With our busy lives it can be hard to carve out time for nourishing friendships, but experts all agree having an active and nourishing group of friends is important for our mental health.
As a very busy clinician who talks to clients all day long, the last thing I want to do at the end of a long day is to chat with people,” Rita Eichenstein, a therapist and neuropsychologist, told NBC News. “To that end, research shows the greatest level of health comes from those who have an active and nourishing group of friends. So, I’ve already made a list of those who are dear to me, or those who seem interesting. Instead of the usual ‘let’s meet for coffee’, I’m scheduling hiking, walking, museum browsing and beach walking together to deepen my friendships.”