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Three Life Hacks: Self-Care, Social Support, Gratitude





 

There is a lot of information published on how to be happy and strategies for feeling better. If I had to break happiness down to the three most defining areas of life it would be self-care, social support, and gratitude. By changing just these three areas of our lives we can impact our levels of happiness, or at least it would be a good start.


Self-care is important because when you are stressed or burned out, you’ll be running on fumes which won’t get you anywhere you want to be. You wouldn’t run a marathon without water or energy, and you can’t be physically and mentally healthy without self-care.


Self-care includes eating healthy, exercise, leisure and fun activities, daily hygiene, and basically doing anything that feeds your soul. Would you want a surgeon to operate on you when he hasn’t eaten, slept, and has loads of stress? To be at our optimal performance we all need self-care.


Positive and affirming social support is also important. Having a strong support system doesn’t mean more friends. It means having people in your life that support you and build you up. Social support can even include your therapist, which can be someone that helps you grow, listens to you, and gives you positive feedback. It’s important to have positive social interactions to maintain happiness.


The next important path to happiness includes gratitude. There are many studies that show that focusing on what you are grateful for will improve your mood. Gratitude can be general and specific.


General gratitude may include being grateful for the people in your life, having a job, being able to travel with a car, or being healthy.


Specific gratitude means looking at the particular areas in your life that make you feel good. This includes being grateful for the flowering tree in your back yard, your silly dog that makes you smile when you feel down, or a specific quality that you possess that makes you feel unique or capable.


Writing down what you are grateful for can reprogram your brain to look for the good and help you filter out the negatives that affect your mood.


Overall, just focusing on these three things in our lives, self-care, positive social support, and gratitude can improve our mood and our happiness.

 

 

Stay tuned for more articles on how to improve these specific areas.

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