At SleepDrops our company mission is to help people all over the world sleep better so they can lead happier, healthier lives. In light of this I thought it would be topical to dedicate this issue’s column to ‘the pursuit of happiness’ and how we can take charge of our own happiness by the decisions we make. Scientific studies have shown the following activities can help us in our goal for happiness.
• Practice mindfulness. Live in the moment and enjoy the now. The saying “Happiness is a journey, not a destination” rings true. Rather than always looking ahead to the next hit of happiness take the time to slow down and notice all the things that make you happy or you are grateful for now.
• Discover what makes you happy and do more of that. Whether it’s dancing, reading, cooking, being outdoors in nature, spending quality time with your family, catching up with a friend or watching Netflix at home alone – make sure you put time aside for it. Creative hobbies such as painting and photography are a great way to express your emotions and have been shown to help boost mood.
• Have sufficient quality sleep. Numerous studies have shown that people who get a good night’s sleep are happier. A recent poll showed a direct correlation between sleep quality and overall happiness and found that sleep was the single most influential factor in rating daily mood too. Aim for 8 hours of good quality sleep each night and try to keep a steady sleep routine.
• Buy experiences not things. While buying material things can offer instant gratification research shows that travel and new experiences enrich our lives and offer more long-term happiness. The anticipation of a holiday or upcoming activity increases your excitement and can even make it more enjoyable when you are finally experiencing it. – A perfect excuse to book that tropical holiday away!
• Improve your diet. You are what you eat. If you eat tons of refined sugar, unhealthy fats and processed foods you will look and feel… not so great. A diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables, quality meat, nuts and seeds offers a wide range of vitamins and minerals the building blocks for our feel good hormones – important for optimal vitality and a balanced mood. Healthy dopamine (happy hormone) levels have been strongly linked to balanced intestinal flora so make sure you are including foods that contain natural probiotics such as kombucha, kefir, raw sauerkraut and organic yoghurt or you can supplement with a good quality probiotic.
The pursuit of happiness isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes it’s about tackling our own insecurities and weaknesses. If we don’t feel happy, it’s tempting to focus on the negatives and look for things to fix – those jeans that don’t fit, the apartment that’s too small, our partner’s annoying habit…
Make a conscious decision to start cultivating happiness in your life by practicing gratitude and recognizing and appreciating the good. Be kind and #sharethehappy. The world needs more of that.
Kirsten Taylor, Managing Director and founder of highly successful company SleepDrops is New Zealand’s leading naturopathic sleep specialist. With qualifications in Naturopathy, Nutrition, and Medical Herbalism and over 10 years’ experience in private clinic Kirsten has a wealth of knowledge on all matters health and wellbeing related. Kirsten has featured on Nationwide TV and radio shows, magazines and newspapers providing insights into a wide range of health conditions.
Read more of Kirsten’s columns here.