One of the key factors to our happiness is our health. Unfortunately, modern living often causes us to sacrifice our health and therefore our happiness. We prioritise work over personal time and often spend our evenings and weekends in front of computers and emails. We see preparing healthy food as time consuming so we skip meals or eat out instead. Going to the box can be seen as a chore or a luxury. We run on a lack of sleep and never put aside time to check in with our own minds and sanity. Life takes over and our health falls by the way side. We then wonder why we are not happy.

That’s because health is happiness. Here is why we should make time for the above to keep us smiling and laughing:

Exercise is one of the biggest happiness boosters of all time! Study after study shows that physical activity reduces anxiety and stress and helps treat the effects of depression. In one study exercise was found to be as effective as anti-depressants for combating the blues. Combined with the obvious benefits of strengthening your muscles, bones, joints, lungs, heart and mind the hormones released will improve your mood and help you sleep better too!

Getting rest is also important to our cheeriness levels – even one bad night’s sleep can make us irritable and moody. Severe sleep deprivation can lead to depression and anxiety. When we don’t get enough sleep our patience, our creativity and our focus all take a hit! So if you want to keep grinning make sure you get some decent shut eye in.

What we eat can also make a huge difference to our mood. Filling our stomachs with refined foods, sugars and sweeteners leaves us tired and cranky. In contrast healthy food choices can help increase and maintain our energy levels and add consistency to our outlook.

Another important but often overlooked element of happiness is giving our minds a break. Modern living provides constant stimulation and stress for our minds. Taking a break and giving it time to wind down is paramount to a healthy and therefore happy you. One of the best ways to switch off is through meditation. Its proven that meditation has a vast array of positive effects –  it is one of the best ways to combat stress, anxiety and depression. It can help us feel calmer and more centred and provides a feeling of well-being that lasts beyond the actual activity.

So, if happiness is your goal, prioritise the above and enjoy it.