Happiness can sometimes evade us. Reading bad news, a rainy day, or just feeling generally grumpy can lead to us feeling unhappy and negative. However, there are some small steps you can take to help you on your way to happiness everyday. If you’re feeling down in the dumps lately, here’s some quick wins to help you on your way to happiness.
Get Enough Sleep
Seven to nine hours, to be exact. A healthy sleep schedule is the first step to being happy. Have you ever had a bad night’s sleep and the following day almost everything frustrates or annoys you? This is because a lack of sleep can make you less alert, less logical and can also contribute to health issues such as obesity and can exacerbate mental health issues. All these things can lead to a breakdown of your good relationships, make you struggle at work, and make it harder to feel happy and productive. Struggling to sleep? Try to have a warm shower or bath before getting in bed, and put your phone away from your reach.
Wake Up a Little Earlier
This might seem counteractive to the step above, but having a little extra time in the mornings can lead to a smoother, more prepared, and happier day. If you’re a fan of the snooze button, try to get yourself out of the habit - those 10-15 minutes spent snoozing won’t make you feel less tired! If you adopt the seven to nine hour sleep cycle, this shouldn’t be too hard. This will give you extra time in the morning to start your day right - without rushing around or forgetting to brush your hair! This extra time will also help to get your head in the right frame of mind to start your day.
Meditation is such a simple and quick way to feel calmer and happier, and shouldn’t be underestimated! Simply meditating for even just five to ten minutes when you wake up can give you immediate benefits that last the entire day. Increased clarity and focus are just a couple of the benefits that meditation can give you. You will also give yourself the time to set a positive intention for the day, keeping yourself living mindfully and in the moment, and breaking out of negative thought patterns. There’s also been studies that prove that meditating can help to prevent stress and anxiety, that might hinder your day to day life and cause unhappiness.
Keep your Space Clear
How many times have you gone shopping in a bad mood, only to realise you feel worse after buying material goods?
Accumulating possessions, especially those we don’t need can actually negatively impact your mental and emotional well-being. However it’s easy to reverse this and give yourself a dose of happiness by simply decluttering. Spend a few minutes each day cleaning and clearing your space, whether it's your home, your bedroom, or your desk at work. Commit to one area at t a time and donate anything that you don’t need. And next time you find yourself drawn to the shops, remember how your clear and clean space can make you happy - and don’t buy the things you don’t really need.
Learn a New Skill
While you might be afraid of failure, or worried about the stress of picking up something new you’ve never tried before, learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby can actually boost your wellbeing. Focusing on improvement and making progress with something can help to put you in a state of flow, which can improve happiness. Learning something also boosts your self-confidence and can make you feel sharper and more intelligent. Why not try a new type of yoga?
Just 30 minutes of moving a day can help to balance your nervous system - and a balanced nervous system means less anger and anxiety. 30 minutes may seem like a lot but all your movements will soon add up. If you don’t have the time to hit the gym, try a few minutes of yoga stretching in the mornings, or walk down the stairs instead of using the lift, these little things will add up and allow you to get your full 30 minutes a day!
Turn Off Social Media
Social media is one of the biggest and most recent causes of anxiety and depression. Too much social media can negatively impact your mental health, so be more mindful of how often you pick up your phone to scroll. Why not take the time you usually spend on instagram doing something productive like reading the news, or listening to a podcast - you can even devote this time to your new skills, or your 30 minutes of exercise. Doing things that bring you joy rather than mindlessly scrolling is a great way to boost your happiness levels.
Do Nice Things for Others
Acts of kindness and generosity are a great way to boost your happiness levels while also improving someone else's day. Generosity acts actually activate the parts of the brain that are stimulated by both food and sex - both great causes of happiness! You’ll feel great knowing that you’ve made a positive impact yo someone’s life, and they’ll be inspired to pay it forward too.
By Amy Cavill
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