Why does happiness seem to avoid certain people? No matter how hard they try to shake off stress and worries, these two things creep up on them, causing them to remain miserable throughout the year.
Lindsay Holmes, Deputy Healthy Living Editor of The Huffington Post, wrote in an article that being happy in 2017 might feel like a lofty or ambiguous goal, so it's best to break down resolutions into smaller, more actionable steps.
"Below are just a few techniques that will help you manage overwhelming bouts of stress next year, which will effectively make you a calmer and happier human being," she wrote.
First, Holmes suggested that people go for a walk outside, even if it's just once a week. "Exercise ― even if it's just walking ― can affect your mental health in profound ways," she said. "But you may be missing out on a few added perks by keeping your workout indoors. Research shows taking a walk in nature can alleviate depressive symptoms and significantly increase your mood. There's something to be said for a little sunshine with your stroll."
Next, Holmes said people should resist retail therapy and seek adventure therapy instead. People often buy themselves a little treat at the mall whenever they have a bad day, but if they spend their money on experiences over material items, they will bring greater joy into their lives.
Another good idea would be to cut back on alcohol. It might seem like a nice treat to have a glass of wine every now and then, but add it up, and a person's psychological health might be negatively affected. "Some research suggests that heavy drinking can lead to an increase in anxiety," said Holmes.
Another thing to cut back on is toxic people. "It's one thing if your good pal is going through a rough time and you're there to help them through it. It's another thing to be around someone who is constantly stressed over every single situation," said Holmes. Stress is contagious, she added, but the good news is, so is happiness. When people surround themselves with positive people, they'll become the same.
Lastly, health experts believe that doing more random acts of kindness or donating time or money to a charitable organisation would do wonders for a person's wellbeing.
"In addition to improving the lives of others, there is compelling evidence that volunteering can really improve the mental health of the volunteer by increasing a sense of purpose and strengthening social connections," said Srijan Sen, a professor at the University of Michigan Depression Center.