increase happiness by changing environment

Increase Your Happiness by Changing Your Environment

Feeling a little blue? If nothing negative is going on in your life, it could be because of your environmental surroundings. The good news is that with a few simple changes you should be able to cheer up quickly. Here are some factors that may be affecting your mood along with some tips on how to fix them.

Get Outdoors

Do you spend a lot of time inside? Whether you work at home or in an office, take time each day to get outdoors. Sunlight emits long-wave blue light, which is beneficial to your health because it promotes a positive increase in mood and creates balance in the body. At the same time, the sun also emits bad rays, such as UV, that are harmful to our eyes.

In order to be safe while still getting the benefits of sunlight, always wear proper eye protection whenever you’re spending an extended period outside. And don’t forget your sunscreen!

Home Environment

Feng shui may sound like a trendy Chinese appetizer, but it’s actually an ancient science/art that seeks to increase health and well-being by balancing the energies within spaces, often by arranging furniture. A lot of people think it’s pretty wacky, but scientists have found some truth to the underlying principles. Certain colors, lower ceilings, and clutter can all impact your mood negatively.

While completely remodeling your home may be out of the question, even a few small steps may be able to improve your mood in big ways. For example, eliminate as much clutter as possible and make sure that none of your windows are blocked so plenty of sunlight can get in.

Work Environment

Work, almost by definition, is a stressful place. But certain factors can add even more stress to your daily routine. As with your home environment, mess and clutter can have a big effect on your mood and stress levels. So do your best to keep you workspace as orderly as possible. That’ll help clear your mind so you can think more freely. Do whatever you can to make interactions with your coworkers peaceful as well.

If you’re easily distracted, you may be able to minimize distractions and interruptions by investing in some noise-canceling headphones. Incorporate green plants into your workspace and surround yourself with things that bring you joy, from a picture of a pet, to a trinket from your favorite vacation. These reminders of happy times will keep you at peace.

Physical Health

If you don’t regularly exercise, now’s the time to start getting more active (unless your medical provider has advised otherwise, of course). Besides the obvious physical benefits of increasing your endurance, building muscle, and increasing flexibility, exercise helps your mind.

When you work, your body produces more endorphins, or feel-good chemicals, so you get a jolt of happiness whenever you exercise. Working out makes your body produce fewer immune system chemicals that can worsen depression. Plus, feeling like you are doing something good for your body makes you feel happier. Overall, exercise is a great way to get your mind and body in good shape.

Social Life

Have you ever heard of “secondhand emotions”? Like cigarette smoke, second hand emotions are belong to someone else, but they manage to affect others. When people say that “laughter is infectious,” they’re describing a secondhand emotion. You can probably remember a time when you felt secondhand embarrassment, happiness, sadness, or anger that someone else was feeling. It happens almost every day. Catching someone else’s emotion, referred to as emotional contagion, can be good if you surround yourself with positive people, but it can also bring you down if the people around you are negative.

Take a look at the people you normally hang out with. If they often complain or are in bad moods, they could be dragging your mood down to where theirs is. Make an effort to find happy and positive people. You are the company you keep.

There is no shame in admitting that you’re feeling unhappy. Take steps to change your environment and habits to improve your mood.

Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.
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