7 small things that actually make you happier in the long run

Are you doing these 7 simple things that will have a lasting impact on your overall happiness?

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  • There are some things you may really not like doing. But these acts can have a huge impact on your future. By doing these 7 simple things, you will live a happier life in the long run.

  • Having good personal hygiene

  • Simple things like brushing and flossing your teeth will have a positive long-term effect on your life. Taking 10 minutes out of your day to practice good personal hygiene will make you happier in the long run. It can prevent tooth decay, heart disease, diabetes, cavities and other health problems. It will prolong your life and give you a better quality of life overall.

  • Maintaining your possessions

  • Just as it is important to practice good personal hygiene, it is also important to maintain your personal property. Getting regular oil changes and tire rotations on your vehicles, regularly cleaning and doing repairs on your home and backing up your files on the computer are all important things to stay on top of.

  • In the long run, you can prevent problems from happening that could really have adverse effects on your life. A blown-out tire on the freeway could cause an accident. A poorly maintained appliance in your home can break, causing hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs. If your computer crashes, you can lose hours of work, files or precious pictures you cannot get back. All of these things can be prevented by taking the time to do recommended preventative measures.

  • Being kind to others

  • Being kind in general is a way to be happy. Knowing you are a good person can help you feel good at the end of the day. If you are being kind, especially when it is hard to do, you are setting a good example for others and spreading happiness throughout the world. You never know when giving a kind word can really change a person's day for the better. Keep it up, no matter what!

  • Praying

  • Praying regularly can be therapeutic. Pouring out your heart and soul to God is a way of giving your burdens to him. It lightens your load and improves your happiness. It allows you to feel someone is watching over you, someone cares for you when you feel no one else does and someone is helping you. Your situation seems brighter because you know you have God on your side.

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  • People who are religious tend to be happier with their lives. If they are following their religion, then they are probably more forgiving of others, more humble, more accepting of their own faults, less judgmental and more hopeful about their situations. Praying is simple. It does not take a lot of time, yet the effects are lasting.

  • Recording your memories

  • Whether it is by taking pictures, writing in a journal or taking videos, make sure to record your memories. You may think you will never forget the way your husband proposed to you or the details of your newborn's face, but memories fade. By having some kind of record of your life, not only can you look back and relive those moments (good and bad) but you can also share your life with your kids, grandkids and future generations. This simple act will be something you will be grateful you did years from now.

  • Keeping a budget

  • So much stress is devoted to finances. Over-drawing on your bank account, not being able to afford the repair your car needs or putting your dreams on hold because you can't afford to work less are just a few ways finances affect our happiness. One simple way to prevent some of these things from happening is by keeping a budget.

  • Sometimes we spend without realizing how much we are actually spending. Keep record of where your money is going so you can better control your spending habits. If you feel you never have enough money, see where you can cut back or what you can change to make your money go further. Work on paying off your debts and increasing your savings. You will be happier in the long run if you practice good finances now.

  • Taking a break

  • There are times when we just need a break. It doesn't mean we have to get out of town or even hold up in our house for several days. What it means is take a break from the things that stress you out. If you allow yourself some time to just enjoy life, you will be happier.

  • This means leaving work at work. Don't bring your problems (or actual work) home with you. This means spending time just being with your family. You don't have to have an activity planned or be doing something educational, just be with them. Take the time to relax, smell the roses and enjoy the moment. These times help us relax and gear up for getting back to the daily grind.

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  • Each of these things are simple yet can save us a lot of headache and stress in the future. We cannot prevent every problem or situation from arising, but for those we can prevent, why not? We may not understand why we are doing something in the moment, but when we look at the big picture of life, we will be glad we took the time when we did to do those things.

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Megan Shauri graduated with a bachelors in anthropology and a masters in psychology. She is a mother of twins.

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