Be happy. Easier said then done when your first experience of the day is spilling coffee all down yourself on the commute to work.
But what if we could break this loaded statement down into little chunks, tuning in to a higher frequency a little bit at a time. This is what I’ve been trying to do lately, and I thought I’d share 10 tips and tricks to help you feel a little bit chirpier – starting now.
1 // Compliment people
Ever had someone randomly smile at you as you pass on the street, and find yourself unable to help but smile back? There’s a belief that happiness is contagious. Same goes for compliments. Boost each other up. The feel good ‘happy’ factor works both ways.
2 // Organise a trip – activity – event – basically, take a break
Are you taking all your annual leave? When was the last time you took a trip? Splitting up your year and having something to look forward to can work wonders for our outlook and head space. So get booking something today. It can be a challenge activity, or a beach week, it doesn’t matter, get excited!
3 // Genuinely act enthusiastic, without being sarcastic
There’s a difference between being enthusiastic or sarcastic about something. They can sound relatively similar, but one’s more positive than the other. Look for opportunities to be enthusiastic, and feel this with your whole body. Whether its the work you’ve just accomplished before your well deserved coffee break, or an opportunity to build on a skill, enthusiasm, like happiness, is contagious.
4 // Meditate for 10 mins
This won’t be for everyone (and if I’m honest I didn’t initially think it was for me) but – and this is a BIG but – it goes a long way to helping your mental health. Taking time out every day (it doesn’t have to be long) to process and just breathe, sounds simple but actually really contributes to your overall happiness levels. There are two great apps that I use for this. The first is called Headspace that has ‘free’ elements to it, but you won’t ultimately get the best from it unless you subscribe, which can be quite pricy at £9.99 a month. You can cancel this at any time, so if like me you only fancy a month or two its really easy to do. A really good free app for guided meditations is called Insight Timer, which provides a wealth of guided meditations, music, podcasts, anything you fancy really on the mindfulness front. I use this app regularly for help falling asleep. There is an entire ‘sleep’ section that has amazing guided meditations to try. Check it out.
5 // Make your bed
It sounds simple but this basically translates to start your day achieving something. Even if its just making your bed, you set up your day in a positive way, plus its super nice to get into again that night.
6 // Avoid second hand stress (SHS)
We’ve all been there. For example you’re at work, you’re feeling super positive, and the next thing you know you’re met by one of you’re colleagues who isn’t having such a good day. You try and help by offering some upbeat encouragement, but alas it doesn’t work. It is hard in these situations not to succumb to lower frequencies. The best remedy? Move away. Sounds harsh but it doesn’t have to be. Just offer to make tea or run a job errand, anything that physically removes you from that energy in a genuine, non offending way can help you maintain your bits of happy throughout the day.
7 // Can you eat better today?
Now I’m not saying start detoxing or dieting of any kind, but are there any options today that you can swap for healthier ones? For example, can you swap out the milk in your daily coffee for almond milk? Can you swap your chocolate bar for some high percentage dark chocolate? Can you incorporate a salad or something green for your lunch? It doesn’t have to be all day but nourishing yourself a little here and there and work wonders for a happiness boost.
8 // Be present
All too often we get lost in our phones, computers or even own minds. When was the last time you truly took in your surroundings? Checked in with how your body is feeling? How your skin feels? The colours you can see? What people are doing around you? The opportunity to be in the moment often passes us by, purely down to the pressures of the day to day. Take a moment to breath in your surroundings, to be grateful and present.
9 // Move
The age old advice of ‘move your butt’ still stands. The endorphin boost you can get from a good hour of sweating it out today is worth it’s weight in gold when it comes to happiness, both mentally and physically.
10 // Look after yourself
Why are we so bad at this. As I’m literally typing now (and this may be TMI but) I’m thinking about how badly my legs have been neglected since my surgery! Like they need a wax. It would make me (and them) feel better. Why am I putting this back the whole time? Why do we not book these appointments, or nourish ourselves with good food, or prioritise a good nights sleep?!? The moment we start choosing to look after ourselves, we feel better about ourselves, which ultimately lends itself to feeling happier.
Making tiny, manageable changes or habits to our daily lives can contribute massively to our happiness levels. The key is to just start. Choose one or more of these habits and see where the week takes you from there. Choose to be happy.