We’re halfway through the year already and let’s just be honest, for those that started the year saying 2015 is “going to be your year”, how many of you are having a good one? After having a general chit chat with the people in my life I’ve realised that more than half the people I know are stressed, unhappy and/or fed up with this year already. Me being one of them. Currently I’m stuck in limbo, waiting on decisions that are out of my control to take place before I can get to happiness. The waiting game is a tough one but why should I be waiting around for the time when I’ll be happy? Surely there must be a way for me to be happy right now? Well technically there is. I’ve been implementing some changes into my life to help me work on myself so that I can be happy within and so far they’ve been great.
Here are 10 things you can make into habits that will help create a happier you.
1. Wake Up Early
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a morning person at all. I’ll be the first to press that snooze alarm just for that extra 30 seconds in bed, however from personal experience I can fully understand how waking up early does mean that you end up getting more out your day. A productive you, is definitely a happier you.
2. Treat Everyone With Kindness
Yes, even that bitch in the office that you just cannot stand. Kindness is not only contagious, it’s also proven to make you happier (seriously!). When you’re kind to others, your brain produces hormones and neurotransmitters like serotonin that immediately make you feel good and you’re able to build strong relationships with others, fostering positive feelings all around. I’m currently in the process of using the month of June to do one small kind act every day. Read about it here.
This also includes, letting go of grudges. Forgiving and forgetting is necessary for your own happiness, as holding a grudge means you’re also holding onto resentment, anger, hurt and other negative emotions that are standing in the way of your own happiness. Letting go of a grudge frees you from negativity and allows more space for positive emotions to fill in.
3. Challenges, NOT Problems
This one is a tricky one, it takes a lot of hard work and brain training but the gist of it is to change your internal dialogue so that anytime you have a “problem” and start stressing you view it as a challenge or a new opportunity to change your life for the better. Eliminate the word “problem” from your mind entirely. That way, when you find a solution for your challenge, it feels even better.
4. Express Gratitude For What You Have
People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions, and are better able to reach their goals. That being said, it’s so easy to forget all the wonderful things we have going on in our lives. I’ve found that the best way to recognise just how much amazing-ness you have going on, is to keep a list or create some sort of a journal. If you actively write things down, daily or weekly of what you’re grateful for you’ll feel so much better about your life and this has often been linked to happier moods, greater optimism and even better physical health. It doesn’t stop there though, after seeing these acts, maybe you can show your appreciation for everything and everyone. Everyone loves to be appreciated.
5. Shut Down
In a digital world, where access to literally the whole world is in the palm of your hand, it’s so difficult to just shut down. Often we end up browsing our twitter feeds before we go bed or responding to emails even after we’ve got in from work. It happens to the best of us but this needn’t be so. By actively having downtime and putting your phone in airplane mode an hour before you go to bed will allow your brain to slow down and unwind. Try going for walks or to the gym and leaving your phone at home or locked away. It allows time for reflection, appreciation & even meditation. Here are 6 other reasons why you might want to consider a digital detox.
6. Live in The Present
Being a blogger this one is difficult. I love social media and have met some great people via the internet however sometimes you just need to put away the screens and camera lenses and just take it all in. Allow yourself to be immersed in whatever it is you’re doing right now, and take time to really be in the present moment. Avoid replaying past negative events in your head or worrying about the future; just savor what’s going on in your life now. You’ll notice that the more you do this, the more you’ll notice little details that will make you even happier.
7. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
I am oh so guilty of doing this. Especially when it comes to things like blogging, it’s such a saturated market that you want to stand out but at the same time you want to measure up with the big names. If this sounds increasingly familiar then just stop right there. First of all you need to remember that you’re unique so there is no way anyone can measure up to you, forget trying to be like others. Celebrate your differences and measure your own success based on your own progress alone, not that of others.
8. Realize That You Don’t Need Others’ Approval
This ties in nicely with number 7 and is another one that I struggle with. Growing up my parents favourite line was “what will people think” and now it’s been instilled into me. It’s fine to seek others’ opinions, but happy people stay true to their own hearts and don’t get bogged down with the need for outside approval. Do what makes you happy. As long as you’re not hurting anyone, go and do whatever makes you happy!
9. Nurture Social Relationships & Surround Yourself With Positive People
I’m an introvert. I
suffer have social anxiety but I do have some amazing people in my life who I wouldn’t exchange for the world. Positive social relationships are one of the many keys to happiness, so be sure you make time to visit people, talk to them and listen to them. This counts for social relationships via social media. Check in with twitter followers or your Facebook friends and unfollow those negative ninnies that make you feel down.
10. Exercise and Eat Well
I feel slightly hypocritical writing this one because I’m a junk food junkie. However it’s something I also plan on addressing this month too. It’s real fact that what you eat directly impacts your mood and energy levels in both the short and long term. Bad sugars will give you an immediate high in the short term but for the long term you’ll feel sluggish and sleepy whereas good sugars will breakdown throughout the day and give you the right energy you need. Keep a food diary to begin with and start by eliminating and replacing small things. introduce new foods and recipes and before you know it, you’ll start seeing the effects of these changes.
Exercise boosts levels of health-promoting brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which may help counteract some of the effects of stress and also relieve some symptoms of depression. I wouldn’t recommend signing up to a gym if you’re not into that, look into small exercises you can add into your everyday routine and keep a note of the difference it’s making to you physically and mentally.
Here’s to a happier you 🙂
How many of these habits do you have in place already?
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