Friday, 24 January 2014

How to be happier!

Evening all you lovely people out there! How've you been? Had a good day? No? Oh dear...well let's keep reading and see if we can change that just a little shall we?

I've been thinking a lot lately (dangerous past time, I know) about happiness. It might sound like a strange thing to think about but we all should think about it from time to time. I've been thinking about what makes me happy, how I can make myself even happier. How good do we feel when we're happy? When we're doing something we love, spending time with people we love, taking in the moment with a big ol' grin on our face? 

How much effort do we actually put into making ourselves happier?

I know for sometime I put much effort into making those around me happy – and there’s nothing wrong with that I might add, it feels good to put a smile on another’s face. But when we focus all our time and energy into making others happy, what do we have left for ourselves? We have to be a little selfish sometimes, keep a little something back for ourselves. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be happy yourself – how often do we forget that? I know I do!

I’m on a mission at the minute, to do more of the little things that make me happy and you know what? In making myself happy, those thoughts and feelings are automatically projected onto those around me, in turn making them pretty happy too. After all, who wants to hang around with a sourpuss?  

Inspired by oh sweet remedy who was inspired by thought catalog, I present to you my little list of happiness!

1.      Do something you love

When we’re doing something we truly love doing, be it for work or play, how much happier do we feel during and afterwards? From long baths to gardening, a walk on the beach or cooking up a storm in the kitchen, spend some time every day doing something you love to do. It can be as simple as reading your favourite blog (hint hint) during the commute, if you feel good and it puts a smile on your face – do it! There’s no wrong answer here (unless it’s illegal!), and it doesn’t matter if your happy-tivity is different from your friends! 

2.      Smile

When we smile we reinforce a feeling of joy in the brain, stimulating our brains reward mechanisms. Just by moving those muscles about and breaking into a goofball grin, our brain automatically associates the action with a positive feeling. We all know our brain is a little smarty pants, it can even tell the difference between a real smile and a fake smile – so make sure you’re giving yourself something genuine to smile about! Sit and think about all the things that make you happy, replay a happy event in your mind, watch a video of a Racoon pinching popcorn if it puts a genuine smile on your face. It’s as easy as that. Whatever might be happening, however you might be feeling, you can always find something to smile about.

  1. Spend time in the real world
Quickly, we are becoming an individualistic society – and I don’t mean individual style. We live through computer screens, videos and tweets, we socialise over Facebook chats, or text someone in the same room as us. We might think we are making meaningful connections over super fast broadband – but we’re loosing those important connections faster than we pick up 4G. Nothing beats a hug from an old friend, a chorus of laughter, being out frolicking in the fresh air. Studies have shown that 70+ year olds with meaningful real world relationships are healthier and live longer. So make a date with an old friend, go out to lunch and leave your phone on silent in the bottom of your bag. Instead of watching a vlog of the local beach – go there yourself, and take a buddy with you! Being outside, experiencing places and new people will put the biggest smile on your face!

  1. Live in the moment
Much like the above point, put down the technology, don’t take two dozen pictures of a sunset and spend half an hour trying to get the right filter on it before uploading to Instagram. Don’t spend a meal with friends tweeting every mouthful, and don’t spend the rest of the night behind a camera vlogging every second of it. Capture the moment, as quickly as you can, the perfectly tagged Instagram shot is not worth the memory making you’re missing out on. It’s fun to look back on these pictures, but not if we can’t remember the story, the joke that made everyone laugh, the special occasion we ate out for. Like I said, capture the moment, live in the moment, and plaster your pictures all over social media much later on.

  1. Choose to be HAPPY
Example: your job. You don’t like your job very much, you don’t like how things are run, how your colleagues act etc, your general feeling towards your 40+ hour work week is unhappiness. Don’t get me wrong, we can’t all be happy all of the time, but we can choose to feel a little more positive about our surroundings. Maybe your job isn’t so bad if you choose to think a little differently about it. You work with a couple of nice, friendly people who make up for the not so nice ones, you’re good at what you do – you might not always get the thanks for it, but you know what you’re doing is good work. If we choose to look for and focus on the positives, our mood improves, we feel less downhearted about our work and happier about what were doing. That goes for pretty much any and all situations in life, its all in the approach. If we tackle each day with a more positive outlook, most if not all are going to have a happier ending.

Happiness, to me, is all about thinking, feeling and doing. It’s so easy to think negatively, feel fed up and do nothing, but where does that get us? How does it make us feel? If we could think a little more positively, feel joy and do something we love, wouldn’t we all be that bit happier?

What little things could you do or change daily to make yourself happier?

Until next time,

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