As the new year fast approaches, it’s a good time to take stock of your life. What has made you happy these past 12 months? Are there stressors in your life that you want to get rid of? If you find your happiness levels have decreased this year, it’s time to make more than a New Year’s resolution—you need to make a change.
While many people think a new haircut or a fancy car might fix their dissatisfaction, true fulfillment comes from altering the less obvious pieces of your life. Before you hit the ground running in January, take the time to set yourself up for success in 2019 by making small changes that go a long way.
Exercise to Release Endorphins
It’s no secret that exercising is good for you—but did you know it can be a major mood booster? Apart from burning up Christmas cookie calories, moving your body releases feel-good chemicals in your brain called endorphins. These hormones reduce your perception of pain and trigger positive feelings all throughout your body. Amazing, right?
It’s scientifically proven that regular exercise boosts your self-esteem, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and increases your overall energy levels. Doctors often prescribe working out to patients with clinical depression because it can help alleviate chemical imbalances in the brain. While exercise won’t be the cure for all your woes, it can give you a major boost if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut.
So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of all the amazing specials on gym memberships this time of year and start putting in the work! You’re bound to notice your mood drastically improve, and it never hurts to shed a few pounds in the process.
Align Your Energies
Humans are social creatures, and our interactions with other people can really make or break our day. If you’re finding it hard to get along with co-workers, family, and even friends, you might want to think about the energy you’re projecting out into the world. Your aura can greatly affect how others perceive you, thus attracting negative interactions if it’s damaged.
So how do you know if that’s the problem? Grab an aura camera to get an image of your energy field! This will quickly show you if your aura is torn, and you can work to repair it through a cleansing process. Typically, a salt bath, burning sage, and mental visualizations can patch up any holes in your aura that are causing bad moods and irritability. Once you project more open and loving energy, it’s likely your social life will improve—the unseen elements of our lives can play the biggest part in shaping our happiness.
Ditch Toxic Relationships
One of the biggest things that can hold you back in the New Year is a bad relationship. This could be with a romantic partner, a friend, or a sibling—any type of relationship can turn sour and bring you down. But how do you know if it’s turned toxic? Some of the biggest signs include controlling behavior, extreme jealousy, continual lying, passive aggressive comments, physical violence, and codependence.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to try and shed that person from your life. This can be a complicated process, especially for women who are living with toxic partners or spouses. But there are plenty of organizations that offer help, and the non-toxic people in your life can help you get your life back on track. You don’t have time to waste on relationships that make you miserable—make 2019 a year of positivity and emotional growth.
Create a Cozy Home
Your physical surroundings have a big impact on your happiness. If you find yourself coming home to a space that doesn’t feel comfortable, it could really damage your emotional health. The Danish concept of “hygge” really comes into play here. While there’s not an exact translation, hygge means creating a feeling of coziness. If you can’t relax at home, where can you relax?
No matter where you live, you can always find ways to spruce up your home. Light candles, surround yourself with soft blankets and do some DIY crafts using cheap materials from the 99 cent store. With just a few subtle changes, you can turn your blank bedroom into an oasis of relaxation. When you have a stressful day at work, you’ll always have this cozy space to return to and unwind in.
2019 is around the corner, which means it’s the perfect time to make a change. By focusing on your internal equilibrium, close relationships, and personal space, you can easily feel fulfilled without extravagant purchases or unobtainable resolutions. The best changes always come from within!
Ana Miller is a creative writer. Her topics of interest and expertise range from psychology to all sorts of disciplines such as science and news.