Self-Care is the Portal to Happiness

Taking care of our physical, emotional and spiritual selves for our self-care takes a fair amount of effort — work that becomes much easier when we maintain a positive outlook and a deep-down belief that early morning workouts, meditation and yoga classes will improve our lives.

Starting from a baseline of contentment, which is what we’re all searching for in this journey, is the best way to begin and isn’t as hard as you think. A few tweaks to your routine and schedule are all it really takes to point your outlook in the right direction.

Practice self-compassion

The easiest way to dial negative thinking down is to treat yourself like you would a friend, not as someone more annoying and worthless than almost everyone on the face of the Earth. Many of us are our own worst critics and would never lash out at anyone else as we do at ourselves.

Try to be more accepting of your own shortcomings, remembering everyone else has their own to deal with. If you fall short with something that’s important to you it can be hard to stop the self-recrimination, but try to keep the results in perspective. Remember it’s counterproductive to be mean to yourself.

Declutter and clean

Many studies have drawn a direct line from depression, attention deficit disorder and emotional trauma to clutter and disorganization. While these are serious conditions that require further treatment, anyone who senses their home has excessive clutter and grime can benefit from incorporating cleaning and decluttering moments into their day. Look for easy tidying tasks that only take a minute or two throughout your day and you’ll find out how easy it can be to keep your home under control.

Reducing the total amount of clutter in your home takes a bit longer and requires a commitment to letting go of things you may have felt connected to at one point but have since lost their specialness. You and everyone else in your household need to be honest about the stuff they should let go of and what they’re still happy to have around.

Move as much as you can

It’s not in everyone’s nature to be constantly in motion, going to the gym daily or taking the stairs every time they need to go up or down more than a flight, but we all benefit from movement that raises our heart rate and builds up our muscle. It helps to prevent and manage chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and pain, and many forms of cancer.

Exercise also just makes us happier by elevating our mood, recharging our energy and building our self-confidence. It’s recommended for people experiencing depression and anxiety and is a key to reducing stress levels.

Some studies have found physical activity at any level of intensity can provide a significant boost to your mood, though you’ll have to kick it up a few notches to get the most benefit for the rest of your body.