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Tips to Improve Health by Increasing Happiness

This information was reviewed and approved by Kristen E. Holm, PhD, MPH, Kristen E. Holm, PhD, MPH (8/26/2016).

Smile Therapy

The mind is powerful and can influence your health in good and bad ways. Negative feelings and stress can suppress the immune system, while smiling and thinking positive can improve your health. Here is a list of different things you can do to increase positive thoughts and happiness.

14 Ways to Increase Happiness

Woman sleeping for her mental health


Make sleep your #1 priority and you will perform better and be less sensitive to negativity.

Woman meditating for her mental health


Focus on breathing, sounds, music, an object or activity to rewire your brain for happiness.

Woman journaling for her mental health


Write good memories for positive reinforcement and negative events to reduce their impact.

Showerhead turned on


Take a warm shower before bedtime to relax your mind and body.

Friends venting for their mental health


Voice concerns to improve mental health.

destress by eating chocolate


Eat dark chocolate, chew gum and exercise to manage stress hormones and metabolism.

Observe the forest trees


View pictures of nature or get 15 minutes of sunshine a day to boost, mood and memory.

Man doing crossword puzzle for mental health


Do crossword or Sudoku puzzles, or other games help relieve stress and improve focus.

Woman smelling the world around her


Stop and smell the roses, coffee, baking bread or whatever brings a smile to your face.

Woman drinking water


Drink more water, less alcohol and no caffeine after 2 p.m. to sleep better and be healthier.

Laughing with your family


Make time to laugh with others, while watching or listening to a funny show.

Smile with your friends


Smiling, even during a hard time, can reduce pain, and improve mood and thinking.

Exercise with your friends


Exercise is a dependable mood booster; take a 10-minute walk to reduce stress.

Help others for your mental health


Helping others produces the single most reliable momentary increase in happiness.


This information has been approved by Kristen Holm, PhD, August 2016.