7 Ways To Live A Happier & Healthier Life

If you’ve been feeling sad, angry, stressed, or sluggish lately — we don’t blame you. This has been quite the year, to say the least. But we refuse to sit and wait for New Year's to come around to make a fresh start. No, we're pledging to turn things around right now.

In order to establish a plan of action, we sought the help of experts who guide others in making small lifestyle changes every day Crystal Hemesath, PhD, LMHC, and LMFT, and Heather Muszynski, health coach at Ginger.io. They spoke to us about the importance of taking time to conjure up positive memories, the best ways to vent, and why you shouldn't feel bad about pampering yourself with products like those in Elizabeth Arden's PREVAGE™ skin-care line. Now, who's ready to start 2017 with a smile?
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Identify Your Values
"Happiness means something different to everyone," Muszynski says. "I [ask clients], 'What does happiness look like to you? What does it feel like to you? When [in your life have] you been the most happy?'" Once you identify your values (really — try writing down ten of them), it'll be easier for you to plan your next steps toward a goal or desire.
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Vent It Out
Keeping negative feelings bottled up is never a good idea. Like a volcano, they're bound to erupt in a catastrophic way. Muszynski suggests opening up to family and friends about what’s going on in your life, even if that means delving a little deeper in conversation than your typical touch-base. Getting that support from your inner circle can go a long way in getting you through tough times. If you’re not quite ready to open up to others, she suggests journaling about anything that's making you sad or angry. Any way you can get your feelings out will relieve stress and benefit your health overall.
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Treat Yourself
Self-indulgence (within reason) can be good for you. "It's refueling and recharging, and honestly, it's something everyone needs," says Muszynski. Think back to the last purchase you made or event you went to that gave you great joy. Whether it's splurging on that big-ticket play you've been dying to see or indulging in beauty products that make you feel like you're doing something good for your skin, like Elizabeth Arden PREVAGE™ Anti-Aging Foundation and PREVAGE™ Anti-Aging Daily Serum, there's nothing like pampering yourself to lift your spirits.
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Hold On To A Keepsake
We're all for embracing minimalism and living with less. But some things are definitely worth keeping. "When I was a kid, my grandparents had a wind chime on their front porch that I would hear [from my bedroom window]," recounts Dr. Hemesath. "And it always gave me comfort." Remembering this years later, she bought wind chimes for her own porch to recreate that sense of peace and comfort. Whether it's a "blankie" you couldn't live without as a child or a piece of jewelry that feels like a good-luck charm, hold on to a keepsake as a reminder of happy times past. When you're feeling low, turn to that item to boost your mood.
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Think Small (& Smart!)
According to Muszynski, trying to completely overhaul your routine is one of the biggest mistakes you could make when aiming for a happier, healthier track in life. Not only is it unrealistic, it can be expensive. So rather than purchasing a fancy (read: pricey) gym membership, build in time for daily walks or try working out at home. And if you want to save money on eating out, resolve to pack your lunch more. But don't worry if you can't keep it up every day.
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Be Anti-Social
In a world run by social media, it can feel nearly impossible to avoid comparing your life to those of your friends or seeing what the ex who broke your heart is up to. "Ask yourself, Is this healthy for me?" suggests Dr. Hemesath. "Is this uplifting my mood or making me spiral? And really be honest with yourself." If it's making you angry or sad to check your social feeds, limit your social media intake. Delete those apps on your phone — even if just for a week or month. Or unfollow people that don't have a positive impact on your life.
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Go On A Friend Detox
We all have one friend that pushes us to make bad decisions (i.e. the one you blame for that hangover at work). Or maybe it's someone who feeds you back-handed compliments you never know how to respond to. If you have a friend or group that makes you feel less than stellar after you hang out with them, it's time to reevaluate, says Dr. Hemesath. "Life is too short to be spending time doing things that make you feel bad."
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