5 Proven Ways to Feel Good About Yourself

Start feeling good about yourself with these simple life actions to boost happiness.

May 16, 2019

(Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock.com)

We all have good days and bad days. Developing certain habits can help us feel even better on good days and boost our moods when we are feeling down. Start feeling good about yourself with these simple life actions to boost happiness.

Spend Time Outside

People tend to spend a tremendous amount of time indoors and online. (The average American spends 93% of their life inside) If you’re feeling down, head outside. Spending time in nature, doing activities like hiking, bike riding, or walking the beach increases happiness. Researcher David Strayer, of the University of Utah shares, “We are seeing changes in the brain and changes in the body that suggest we are physically and mentally more healthy when we are interacting with nature.”

Stay Active

You can easily boost your mood by getting your blood pumping. Aside from the many physical benefits of exercise like lower blood pressure, reduced risk of diabetes, and increased energy working out also boosts endorphin levels, a “feel good” chemical in the brain that triggers happiness and euphoria. Exercise doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym. You can find plenty of ways to stay active outside of the gym.

Practice Loving-Kindness

We all know that exercise and eating the right foods improve health and keeps us feeling good. Studies also demonstrate the benefits of cultivating feelings of love, compassion, and goodwill. Activities like loving-kindness meditation develop compassion and friendliness toward oneself and others by focusing on the wellbeing of all living things through words, images, and feelings.

Researchers found that “recurrent momentary experiences of positive emotions appear to serve as nutrients for the human body… increasing feelings of social belonging and giving a needed boost to parasympathetic health, which in turn opens people up to more rewarding positive emotional and social experiences.”

Help Yourself by Helping Others

You can turn kind thoughts into action by volunteering and helping those around you, just for the sake of being nice. In helping others, you also help yourself. A study found that people who completed five small acts of kindness once a week for a period of six weeks experienced a noticeable increase in overall wellbeing.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, explains, “Each action has a cumulative effect. The more nice things you do, the more people will respond positively toward you, and the better you’ll feel.”

Surround Yourself with Supportive, Caring People

The people with whom we spend our time with have a major impact on our mood. “Happiness isn’t just a personal experience, it is actually affected by the individuals around you,” shares University of Wisconsin-Madison Health psychologist Shilagh Mirgain, Ph.D.

“How an individual feels can ripple through his or her social groups and actually influence how the group feels in general. In some ways, our emotional states are like a virus – we can spread the positive and negative experience to those around us, even with strangers, ” she continues.

Take a second look at the people you spend time with. Do they inspire feelings of joy and inspiration, or do they tend to knock down others? You can feel better about yourself just by spending more time with those who make you feel happy.

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ALLISON MICHELLE DIENSTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR
Working from her laptop as a freelance writer, Allison lives as a digital nomad, exploring the world while sharing positivity and laughter. She is a lover of language, travel, music, and creativity with a degree in Chinese language and literature.