13 ways to have a happier, healthier and more positive life

Feeling down? Here are 13 ways you can start to make your life better.

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  • Editor's note: This article was originally published on Karissa Ancell's blog, A Fresh Start. It has been modified and republished here with permission.

  • I've been thinking lately a lot about how to get the most out of life and enjoy my life more. See, I like my life. I'm blessed in a lot of ways and I have a good life. The thing is that no matter who you are, I believe you can always better yourself and make your life even better. We can always reach for more joy and try to achieve more in our lives.

  • I've only been in my 30's for six months now but so far so good. My 20's were a hard decade. I went through a lot, adjusting to marriage and having a baby. And though nothing brings me more pleasure and happiness than my daughter, the first couple years of motherhood were a struggle at times. My marriage struggled in those first years, then I had a stroke at 25, so the last five years of my 20's took me down a different and unique path than most people go through during that decade in their lives.

  • Now that I'm still in the beginning of my 30's, I want to be proactive and plan on doing everything I can to make my life even better and more special and live each one of these years, months and days of this decade to the best of my ability.

  • Having a better life is about making better choices and although I am more than aware that we can't control everything that happens to us, we do have more power than we think and there are choices we can make every day to have a better life.

  • 1. Share your feelings with others

  • I have found that when I hold on to what is hurting or bothering me and keep it inside, it eats away at me and brings me down. So when I am hurting and feeling bad about someone or something, one of the best things for me to do is to share these feelings with someone. Keeping it all in is toxic and letting it out clears away some of those toxins and makes me feel better. Opening up and sharing what I'm struggling with also brings me closer to the people I share with.

  • 2. Embrace the things that bring you joy

  • Give yourself the moments where you let yourself do the things that make you happy. Depriving yourself of joy because you think you don't have time will make you miserable. Taking time to relax and do the things you enjoy are so important and will make you a better and more productive person.

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  • 3. Get enough sleep

  • This is so utterly important. Your body will preform better and you will be healthier if you get the rest your body needs. It's hard to be positive if you are cranky from not enough sleep. It's not a sign of strength to be someone who is going 24/7. In my opinion, it's a sign of weakness because you are saying everything else is more important than I am so I'm going to keep on going even if it's hurting me. Your life and your productivity will suffer if you are too tired to do your best work.

  • 4. Have pets

  • Not everyone is a pet person, but I am and my animals bring such joy to my life. We are especially feeling this now with a new puppy at home. Although he is a lot of work, his presence is such a joy to our family and he makes us all happy.

  • 5. Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts

  • This one isn't easy and I get that, but it will make such a difference if you make the effort to start working on it. The way I do this is to just monitor my thoughts. If I notice that I'm thinking negative thoughts, I will try and replace those thoughts with more positive thoughts and feelings.

  • 6. Eliminate stressors in your life

  • I've found that these can be people, places or specific situations. My stressors will be different than yours will be. It took me time to figure out what mine are and how I need to deal with them. There are certain people in my life that I need to really enforce strict boundaries with because if I don't, I can be walked over by them and they can hurt me. For my sanity and health, I have to make sure I have rules in place of what I will and won't tolerate and also limits placed on time spent.

  • 7. Remember not everything is as big of a deal as it seems

  • This is so true but sometimes so hard to remember. It is something that I really started to understand after my health crisis. After going through a major health issue, you become aware of how unimportant and insignificant so many things we obsess and worry over truly are. So try and remember this when something is bothering you. In the big picture of life, is it really that important or can you let it go? The fact is that a lot of things we worry and stress over won't even matter to us in a few weeks. So try and take the time to think about if something is really a big deal or only feels like a big deal in the moment.

  • 8. Walk more

  • Walking, or getting more exercise, is important not only for your physical health but also for your emotional health and well being. This is one area of my life that I am going to try to work on improving by starting small and just increasing my physical activity a little bit at a time and getting myself to move more.

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  • 9. Help others

  • For me, one of the best ways to feel better about myself and my life is to do something to help someone else. Even if it's something small and doesn't take a lot of effort on my part. Knowing that I helped someone out and made their life a little easier is an incredible mood booster.

  • 10. Smile and laugh more

  • There is a reason why they say laughter is the best medicine. There are plenty of studies and research that support the health benefits and mood boosting powers of smiling and laughing more. So do it more. Find something funny to watch when you are feeling down and need to feel better. For me episodes of "The Office" are a great choice.

  • 11. Drink more water and eat better

  • There is plenty to support the benefits and powers of healthy eating and drinking more water. It's just a matter of me doing it more and making it a priority in my life.

  • 12. Celebrate your victories and accomplishments

  • There are going to be bad things and disappointments in your life, that's just part of life and it can become easy to focus on those negatives. That's why it's so important to really celebrate accomplishments and victories. The more you train yourself to focus on what you do right, the less you will focus on what goes wrong.

  • 13. Set goals for yourself

  • Having goals to keep you moving forward is incredibly important to having a happy life. Setting goals towards achieving your dreams and getting the life you dream of will make it more likely that you will get that life. It's a matter of setting goals and working on the steps needed to make those goals a reality.

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Hi I'm Karissa, a wife and mother to an amazing daughter. I'd love for you to come over and visit my blog where you will find a lot of organizational ideas, budgeting tips, parenting advice and ways to become a better blogger yourself. I love being able to grow my blog and my blogging community and welcome you to be a part of it.

Website: http://afreshstartonabudget.com/

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