For most people, happiness is the ultimate goal in life… yet despite this, many people struggle to find it on a daily basis. This can be caused by a variety of different factors, including career stress, loneliness, anxiety or even depression — but no matter what the cause, it is very important to continue to strive for a happy life.

Sure, it may seem unrealistic to expect constant happiness all the time, but there are still plenty of little things that you can do to make each day a little cheerier than the one before.

Here are five habits you can develop to help you live a happier life.

 

Plan Meals with Your Mood in Mind

You may already know that the food you eat affects your physical health, but did you know it can also affect your mental health? Research has found that certain food groups can greatly influence the quality of your mental health; for example, carbohydrates release serotonin, which is the feel-good hormone that improves your mood. However, it is important to avoid carbs with high sugar or starch content as they can cause you to crash. Instead, it is best to go for complex carbs like beans, whole grains and vegetables.

 

Compliment Others

If you want to feel better about yourself, why not try to make an effort to compliment others? This might seem a bit counter-productive, but research has found that performing acts of kindness can boost your overall mood and satisfaction levels. So if you are having a tough day, take some time to put a smile on someone else’s face — you might be surprised by how good it makes you feel!

 

Start a Daily Self-Care Ritual

If you want to increase your happiness levels on a long-term basis, you may want to consider starting a daily self-care ritual. Many people struggle to find the time to take care of themselves every day and over time this can make them feel stressed and upset. So try to commit to doing one thing that makes you happy every day for a month and see how you feel afterwards.

If you decide to do try this out, aim to do something affordable or free so that you don’t end up worrying about money. For instance, you could try taking a long bubble bath one day, or another day you could buy a lottery ticket and be betting on the Euro Millions. There are lots of ways to feel excited and happy without spending a ton of money!

 

Plan Your Week In Advance

A lack of structure can make most people feel overwhelmed, so if you want to feel happier and productive you could try planning your week’s activities in advance. Decide what projects you will tackle at work and set aside some time for socializing with friends and your loved ones. Just make sure to include ‘life admin’ tasks as well, such as Christmas shopping, running errands or attending doctor’s appointments!