How To Tap Into Your ‘Happy’ Factor More This Year

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Apr. 5 2024, Published 1:17 p.m. ET

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The recently-released 2024 World Happiness Report shows the United States has fallen out of the top 20 happiest countries for the first time since tracking began (2012), driven by a large drop in the wellbeing of Americans 30 and under. For the seventh year in a row, Finland remains the happiest country in the world, while Serbia and Bulgaria have seen the biggest increases in average life evaluation, according to the report.

Globally, millennials’ evaluations of their lives have dropped each year, while Boomers’ life satisfaction increases with age, according to the report. Those born before 1965 are, on average, happier than those born since 1980.

Of course, there are valid reasons to be unhappy, some of which have nothing to do with us and more to do with systemic workplace challenges, world chaos, natural disasters and other triggers.

To offer a bit of help to combat the declining happiness factor for millennials, we’ve pulled together expert tips on how to tap into satisfaction, fulfillment and joy this year.

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Embracing The Importance Of Adult Play

Millennials are often challenged by the need to get something “right,” which can often lead to unhappiness when we are unable to reach that goal. Yoga teacher Jurian Hughes recently told HerAgenda about the importance of adult play and being in a place of curiosity and exploration.

“Play is a whole other field where we’re really in a place of inquiry and there isn’t necessarily a right or a wrong,” she said.

Hughes recommends taking risks – not the adrenaline-pumping kind, but the everyday kind that includes speaking to strangers in line or taking a different route home – to open up our curiousness about the world around us.

Embracing Joyful Success Through Self-Advocacy

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Her Agenda’s managing editor Janell Hazelwood recently shared her three tips for moving past ambition burnout and into joyful success through everyday steps. First, she writes, speak up for yourself and have an exit plan if it you’re not getting what you deserve. Second, reach out to industry leaders and top talent to set up virtual or in person meetups. It’s great networking, even if you don’t leave with new work. Lastly, investing in a seasoned career coach can help you learn how best to do your work and enjoy it, instead of trying to do your work.

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“I always want to be sure I’m constantly learning and staying on top of what will help me grow even further, prepare me for expansion of understanding, and equip me with what I need to serve others,” she writes. “I also don’t want to burn out in the process.”

Beating Brain Fog Through Contrast Therapy

Many women face issues with brain fog and are searching for ways to find mental health and clarity, which is where contrast therapy might be a good remedy in. Her Agenda contributor Nikki Chwatt recently shared her experience with this practice – when the body is exposed to a contrast of hot and cold temperatures during a wellness experience – and its potential health benefits. Cold plunges have been shown to increase dopamine and noradrenaline levels, which can make us feel more energized.

Heat exposure, saunas, can help increase blood flow to areas of the body that might be lacking oxygen and nutrients, which is crucial for cognitive performance, according to neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman. Utilizing contrast therapy could be beneficial for brain health, stress reduction and mood elevation.

Seeking ways to find your “happy” and pursuing them daily, weekly, and monthly is important, because with ambition comes the commitment to ensuring you’re able to success the climb toward success.

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By: Gillian Smith

Gillian Smith is a professional communicator by day and night, leveraging more than a decade in the news industry to share stories that have a positive impact on society. Gillian believes everyone has a story worth telling, and she has made it her professional mission to tell those stories in a responsible way. Gillian received a BA in journalism from Ithaca College and a Master's in Journalism Innovation from Syracuse University. She is currently the director of external communication and media relations at Suffolk University.

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