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10 simple ways to live a HAPPIER and HEALTHIER lifestyle

So … I’m actually writing this post while watching the hockey game right now 🙂  Its definitely a real challenge shifting my eyes from the t.v. back to my laptop!!  Anyways, technically this isn’t my “first” post, but it shall be my official first post since my last entry from November 2011 didn’t really have much content.

For my first post, I wanted it to be extra special.  To be honest, I’ve been sitting in front of my laptop for the past 6 hours already trying to figure out a topic (and browsing Facebook/Twitter/etc. of course), until I finally decided on what I was going to write about.  This post is inspired by an article I read a couple weeks ago, “15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy”.  Instead of giving up something(s), I strongly believe that by taking simple initiatives in our daily lives, it can really make a difference.  The tips below are just my own thoughts and opinions, and is what works for me.  So, I’m not saying every tip will help you, but I hope most of you will try to take my advice and keep reading on !! 😀

1. YOU are responsible for your own happiness

I can’t stress this enough.  I always hear/see people talking about their significant other, friends, or family, and how they don’t do things to make them happy.  For example, I was trying to study the other day at a coffee shop when I overheard two girls talking “My boyfriend didn’t do this …. and its making me mad …”  I don’t remember the exact words, but it was something along the lines of him not spending enough time with the girlfriend lately.  First step to living a happier lifestyle, is to be responsible for our own happiness.  DON’T EVER expect someone else to be liable for YOUR happiness; when you have this mentality, you are less likely to get frustrated, and will start doing things for yourself that makes you happy.

2. Know when to take a break

Being a full-time university student with friends, family, commitments, and work, its very easy to get stressed and feel overwhelmed.  Usually, I will pick one afternoon from my week and do absolutely nothing related to school/work.  During this time, I might take a nap, go out to eat, or talk to friends; just do whatever keeps you relaxed.  Of course, during final exams, I might not have the full afternoon, but I will still take out 1-2 hours.

3. Indulge your favourite foods, BUT in moderation

For those that know me well, would know I am obsessed with desserts and anything sweet.  I always make sure to spoil myself once in a while, it keeps me happy, and I’ll be much more motivated to complete any tasks I have.  Once a week, spoil yourself and go out or cook your favourite foods, trust me, you will feel a lot happier 🙂

4. Maintain strong relationships

Whether it is romantic or relationships with friends & family, ALWAYS make time for your loved ones.  You don’t need to be around people all the time, but having a close group of people that care about you will make your life a lot happier and healthier (especially those days when you just want someone to listen to you).  I feel extremely blessed to have supportive parents and close friends that will help me through anything, and I always make sure to spend enough time with them.  

5. Exercise regularly 

Yes I know, leaving the comfortable couch and bag of chips is a lot more tempting than going for a run.  If you have membership to a gym, then take advantage of it and try to exercise at least twice a week.  Just a simple run around the neighbourhood keeps me refreshed and feel a lot better about my health too.  Knowing that I am getting the right amount of exercise makes me less concerned about my health, which makes me happier since it’s one less thing to worry about.

6. Do something by yourself weekly

This might seem very loner-ish, but I always have my “me” time at least once a week.  Usually, this is shopping, going to the gym, or going for a walk when the weather is nice.  During my “me” time, I guess you can call it self-reflection; it gives me time to think about whats going on in my life and to make decisions without having someone interrupting me.  I don’t know many people that feel comfortable doing activities by themselves, but I can guarantee that most of you will enjoy this time to really think about things that may be bothering you lately.  So I highly recommend you all try this out!!

7. Go travelling

If you can, during summer or semester break, go travelling by yourself or with someone else.  For students, if you’re not comfortable with that, maybe try going on exchange through your university/college.  You would have a safe place to stay, and people willing to guide you around the country/city you’re in.  When you travel outside of your familiar surroundings, you not only see more of the world, you learn a lot about yourself as well.  Depending where you travel to, you will realize that there are many people with more “problems” than you, and makes you value what you have even more.

8. Give back to your community

I was just having a conversation about this with a professor just a few weeks ago.  She and I both agreed that once you have the basic necessities (roof over your head, adequate meals, and healthy relationships), giving back to the community will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  Coming from personal experience, knowing that I’ve impacted just 1 person because of my actions really makes my day.  It sounds corny, but its true.  I truly believe that 1 of the ways to make yourself happier is to do things for others without expecting anything in return.

9. Always be honest

Be honest, whether its to yourself or other people.  Having to live in a bundle of lies not only makes us stressed, but we have to constantly think of another lie to cover up previous lies.  Without this stress, you will be more likely to live a happier life, since stress is usually the cause of our unhappiness.  Also, why would you want to lie to those you care about??  And I’m not talking about a white-lie such as telling your mom her sweater is nice, but more serious issues.   

10. Don’t sweat on the minor things in life

Lastly, don’t be too uptight about the small things in your daily life.  If your friend was late this morning to meet you because he/she slept in, don’t get mad (unless that happens every time).  There are way too many things happening each and every day for us to fret about the minor stuff.  

*Here’s a tip for you ladies (or guys) out there, if your boyfriend/girlfriend wants to spend the night out with friends or doing something you find “pointless”, JUST LET THEM, its not worth it to bicker about every little thing.

A picture I took when I went for a little walk at English Bay just recently 🙂

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