Maintaining a happy and positive life is often easier said than done. It requires patience and a willingness to change. Luckily, there are plenty of simple ways that will help you achieve a happier and more positive life.

Adopt a Pet

Owning a cat or dog is one of the easiest ways to help relieve stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that interacting with animals can reduce the body’s cortisol production, which is often referred to as “the stress hormone.” Excess amounts of cortisol can contribute to weight gain, high blood pressure, and mood irritability.

Owning a pet can help extend and bring happiness to your life. Studies have shown pet owners tend to live longer lives and are less likely to die of heart disease. A dog is also a perfect way to forge a bond with other dog lovers, which is an instant ice breaker. Dog parks and outdoor cafes are the perfect ways to meet and interact with other dog lovers, which oftentimes offers outdoor seating options and dog-friendly menu items.

When you finally decide to add a furry friend to your family, then you may want to consider adopting a rescue, which helps keep the unwanted pet population down and aids the fight against puppy mills. It may be time you consider adopting a dog if you find yourself daydreaming while wondering, “Do dogs dream?”

Exercise

One of the easiest ways to bring more happiness to your life is by exercising. It has powerful effects on the mind and body. Reduced stress is one of the most common benefits of exercising, which helps release a chemical known as norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is a hormone, which helps break down sugars, provide energy, and moderate stress.

Exercising also causes your body to produce endorphins, which can boost happiness and reduce feelings of anxiety. Working out a few times a week can also be a huge confidence booster, which can help improve your self-esteem and self-image. Scientists have been searching for ways to prevent cognitive decline for hundreds of years, which is an unpleasant reality many seniors face. Exercising can boost chemicals in the brain that can help preserve the condition of the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain that controls memory and learning. Exercising can also help improve memory, alleviate anxiety, and increase relaxation.

Listen to Music

Music can lift a person’s spirit or trigger feelings of sorrow which can improve a person’s health and well-being. Our brains are similar to very complicated machines that use different pathways to process different types of music. If your brain hears music it likes, it will release dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of pleasure and happiness.

Music with a faster tempo can also cause a person’s heart rate and blood pressure to increase, while Jazz, classical, and slower music often have the opposite effect. Studies have shown that listening to music can increase feelings of motivation, alleviate pain, strengthen cognition, and help regulate emotions, along with reducing feelings of stress and anxiety.

Stay Active

Staying active doesn’t mean you have to go out and run a marathon or even a half-marathon. Studies have shown that active people tend to live longer and happier lives, which can also help reduce the risk of chronic disease and increase their lifespan. There are hundreds of fun ways to stay active, none of which will result in you dripping in sweat or gasping for air, such as dancing, walking, or bike riding, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you may want to consider paddle boating, skydiving, or rock climbing.

If you’re a hydrophile or simply someone who enjoys being in the water, then you could consider swimming or scuba diving, which is a great way to de-stress and offers a full-body workout without sweating. For seniors, the key to longevity is staying active, which can help foster healthier sleep patterns and help improve cognitive functions.

Sleep

Many people underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep, which plays an important role in our physical health and emotional wellbeing. Experts such as The National Sleep Foundation states that every adult needs between 6 and 9 hours of sleep a night. Sleep helps reduce stress hormones, lowers blood pressure, reduces the chance of developing diabetes, and strengthens your immune system. Sleep also helps improve memory, which is why people find themselves forgetting more frequently when running on less sleep.