1 Ocotober 2022


How to be happy in difficult times: 5 more habits to practice


There is no doubt that the pursuit of happiness in life is important as it has strong association to self-confidence, positive mindsets, and successful lives. 

It's possible to seek happiness even during difficult circumstances. Here are five simple ways to cultivate happiness and gain a new perspective on life.
1. Just breathe (slowly!)
What often happens when you're worried, upset or anxious? Your heart beats faster, you breathe more rapidly and blood rushes to your brain. That “fight or flight” response once helped us survive. If this stress becomes chronic, it can cause or exacerbate serious health conditions.

Thankfully, there is something within everyone’s reach to counter stress -- just breathe.

Studies have shown that controlled breathing can help make you feel calm and alleviate depression. You may have experienced the calming effect of deep or controlled breathing through yoga or meditation practices.

You can practice deep breathing anywhere, anytime – yoga pants optional. Just 2 minutes, once or twice a day is all you need.

Here’s an easy way to start:
  • Inhale for 5 seconds.
  • Exhale for 5 seconds.
Slowly work toward making the exhales longer: inhale for 4 seconds, exhale for 8.

Longer exhales slow your heart rate and calm you more quickly.
2. Give back and help others

Start diving back and helping others. No matter how bad things get, it’s always possible to find someone else who’s in an even tougher spot.

Studies overwhelmingly show that those who volunteer live longer and healthier lives. And through MRI imaging, we see how giving lights up the pleasure centres of our brains.
It’s important to take care of yourself. But helping others can brighten your own mood.

Consider this example:
  • look after your elderly neighbours,  
  • volunteer at the local food bank or community centre if you have free time, and
  • support your local businesses who may have struggled during lockdown.
So many important charities need your help. More and more people are now taking action to support charities and causes they love. You can make a difference to those who need it most.
3. Become more grateful

In positive psychological research, there’s a strong link between gratitude and greater happiness. Practicing gratitude puts the spotlight on what you’re thankful for.

Gratitude focuses our attention on what we have, rather than what we don’t. Another bonus? It squeezes out the negative feelings that can be more present.

You can start by thanking someone every day. You can do that either in person, by email or just by offering mental thanks.

Another way is through writing down things you are grateful for in a Gratitude Journal. Set aside time on a daily basis to recall moments of gratitude.

It might feel contrived at first. Be patient: it gets easier over time and with practice.

4. Take a social media break

Focusing on other people's lives can make us feel inadequate. Seeing photos of other people’s ‘perfect’ lives on social media can make that feeling worse.

Research shows that we tend to compare ourselves to the most visible and accomplished people. By doing so, we’re unconsciously stealing our own joy and that can have negative consequences.

Stepping away from social media, even for an indefinite time, has many benefits. It can prevent depression, anxiety, and psychological distress.

Practice mindfulness when using your phone and social media so you can do less scrolling and more living.

5. Reconnect with old friends and make new ones

Connection is a cornerstone of happiness. Studies have even found that people who feel isolated tend to feel more depressed. This is especially true for adults aged 50 and up.

Fostering a sense of community can counter feelings of isolation. But how do you do it?

Start by spending more time with your closest friends and family. Connecting in person, by video chat or by phone all count!

You can widen your circle by connecting with the people in your community. Getting to know local shopkeepers and restaurateurs creates a sense of shared responsibility for your neighbourhood.

For better or for worse, happiness is a choice. Find the practices that work for you and keep at them to spark joy and calm.
If you’re going through a mental breakdown or currently experiencing any signs of breakdown, please know that you aren't alone. It is very important to reach out for help to lessen the stress and help you deal with the pain. Asking for help and talk about your emotions isn't a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength.

All these said, having an adequate insurance protection plan could also bring you peace of mind. Talk to our advisor today and find the right insurance/takaful plan that fits your needs.

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