Forbes recently reported that as many as 52 percent of Americans are unhappy with their jobs and as a result, their relationships, health and finances suffer.
While it may take a change of jobs to be happy in the workplace, there are many things that anyone can do to make their life happier. New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author, Sanjay Jain, M.D. MBA provides tips from his new book on five simple ways to increase happiness today.
1. Soak in some sun.
A daily dose of sunshine, about 15 minutes around midday, significantly boosts vitamin D levels which in turn increase serotonin production. Mood neurotransmitter not only helps helps you feel better, it boosts immunity and protects against some forms of cancer.
2. Stay home more.
For people with families or a partner, staying home more and investing in relationships with loved ones is a surefire way to feel happier. Spend evenings and weekends reading books out loud, flipping through old photo albums, making a fancy dinner or gardening. These activities stimulate conversation and bring everyone together, something that is lacking in many relationships now that most people have a mobile device which rarely leaves their side. When choosing to spend time with friends, spend more time with the optimistic, positive, glass-is-half-full ones than the woe-is-me pessimistic types who infuse every conversation with mood-bashing negativity.
3. Keep a gratitude journal.
This may seem like a fad since many people these days are trying to be more mindful and practice gratitude, but there’s really something to it according to researchers at Mayo Clinic. Write down one good thing every day and read through past entries right before bedtime. Develop the habit of looking for good in every situation: the line at the coffee shop might lead to some new professional connections, and having to make four dozen cookies for the school bake sale allows time to make memories with the kids.
4. Lend a helping hand.
Schools teach kids to practice random acts of kindness, so why shouldn’t adults. Adults should try doing an act of kindness every day for a month in order to increase happiness. Participants in a study at the University of Illinois noticed that they had an increased level of happiness by day 10.
Try tipping double the going rate; taking coffee to a friend; giving construction workers ice-cold bottles of water; raking leaves for the neighbor; sending a card and encouraging note to a new mom.
5. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet.
Most people’s diets could stand at least a minor overhaul to boost health and healing. Eat your way to happiness by following an anti-inflammatory diet that’s rich in vegetables, fruits, cold-water fish, olive oil and healthy whole grains. Most foods that are whole and unprocessed, meaning they’re the closest to their most natural form as possible, are excellent at reducing and controlling inflammation, which is responsible for so many of the illnesses and diseases that people suffer from the standard American diet. By attaining better health, people are much more energetic and happier.
On their own, each of these tips can make a powerful impact on one’s levels of happiness. Start off by implementing one tip this week, and another each week thereafter to experience more happiness.
About Dr. Sanjay Jain: Sanjay Jain, M.D. MBA is a New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author, accomplished medical doctor, health expert, life coach and inspirational keynote speaker who has dedicated his life to helping people find their purpose by achieving a meaningful life that they deeply cherish. Follow Sanjay on Twitter at @sanjayjainmd. His new book, Optimal Living 360: Smart Decision Making for a Balanced Life (Greenleaf) is available in stores now! For more information on living a happier life please visit Dr. Sanjay Jain’s website at http://www.sanjayjainmd.com/.