8 Happiness Habits You Should Start Right Now!
Happiness is something psychologists have been studying for years. What is happiness and why do some people have it and others don't? Happiness is the one commonality that we are all striving for. Some of us want greatness, success or fortune but above all of those things we want happiness. And we often assume money or success will bring happiness along with it.
The most important thing that psychologists have discovered is that happiness has nothing to do with your external environment. You can be rich, famous, powerful, live in an amazing house and own multiple boats but material objects cannot buy your happiness. It comes from within. And you are the only person that can determine how happy you are.
There are so many books on the topic of happiness that delve deep into your inner self, how to change your perspective and develop happiness from within. All great reads but, boy, does it take it out of you! There is nothing simple or easy about analysing your entire way of thinking.
So, I am going to make it much simpler for you. These eight proven, practical actions can be done every day and, without you even realising it, they will slowly begin to change your attitude, your mindset and your energy. You’ll become a glass half full person, a ball of positivity and start living your best life.
This can be as simple or as complex as you like and will have a huge impact on your daily mood. If you tell yourself something enough times your subconscious mind will start to believe it.
Tell yourself you are beautiful when you look in the mirror even if you don't feel it (even more so when you don't feel it.) Tell yourself you are going to have a great day or something wonderful will happen to you. Write it down on a post-it-note and stick it to your mirror. Look at it, say it out loud, scream it from the rooftops! However cheesy it feels, just do it, and see what happens. Even if your conscious mind doesn’t listen, your subconscious mind will, and eventually you will be forced to believe it!
Having something to focus on and work towards not only gives you purpose but it drives you forward every single day. Goals don’t have to be big and scary. Start small.
Every week write down a list of things you want to achieve that week. A glorified to do list if you will! Even write down the things you know you are going to do like ‘go for a run’ or ‘cook a new dish’. Achieving the goal and being able to physically tick it off will make you feel accomplished and successful. And gradually your goals can get bigger and drive you to even greater success.
Phone free time
We spend so much time glued to our phones even if we don’t realise it. Most of us turn off our alarms in the morning and immediately start flicking through our notifications to see what’s happened in the world whilst we have been asleep. Try not looking at your phone for the first hour of the day, or the last hour of the day before you go to sleep. Give your mind a chance to just be. Set it to airplane mode or leave it in another room and spend some time with your own thoughts instead of reading other peoples.
This is one of the most effective ways to improve your happiness according to every happiness book ever! Gratitude is a powerful thing that changes your entire outlook on life. Instead of being sour and miserable over what you don’t have, focus on what you do. You may not be exactly where you want to be in life but take a look around and note all the amazing and wonderful things you have. It can be so easy to take things for granted.
'Happiness is a mindset and it’s something you can consciously choose to feel.'
You’ve probably heard of gratitude journals, which can be a great way to take stock of everything you are grateful for. But if journaling isn't really your thing, there are so many other ways to practice gratitude. On your train ride home from work, take a minute to write down three good things that happened that day in your phone notes. Or before bed with your partner or family tell each other one thing you are grateful for. Do whatever works for you. Even if it’s only once a week. Any time you can dedicate to consciously being grateful will have a massive impact on your overall happiness.
Move your body!
I’m sure you all know that exercise produces endorphins and significantly increases your mood so I won’t bore you with the science. You don’t have to be a gym bunny or an avid runner to experience the effects of movement. Any kind of physical, heart raising activity gets your blood pumping and the endorphins going. Put on your favorite song and dance around the kitchen whilst you wait for the kettle to boil or do a quick yoga stretch when you wake up in the morning. Any kind of movement will make your body and mind feel so much better.
Organize your external environment
It can be hard to feel relaxed internally when your external environment is in chaos! Having an organised and tidy work space has been proven to massively decrease stress and anxiety and greatly increase productivity. Take some time out every day or once a week to declutter your life. Get things in order and exhale a sigh of relief knowing everything is how it should be.
Fresh air can make a world of difference! So many of us go from home to the car to the office back to the car, maybe to the gym then back home. We can easily go a whole day with no more than 10 seconds of fresh air. However exhausted you are, make a conscious effort to try and get some decent fresh air time at least a few times a week. Go for a walk one evening instead of getting lost in Netflix or get up a little earlier and walk the 20 minutes to work instead of hopping on the tube. Fresh air is like medicine for the soul! It’s free and it’s unlimited. Go get some!
Do more of what you love
Someone once told me to do the following simple exercise and it really was eye opening. So I am telling you to do the same thing.
Step 1- Write a list of all the things you love in life. Everything you love to do, the people, the things. Whatever you can think of it.
Step 2- Now make a list of everything you do in life. The daily things, what you eat, watch, do, what and who you have around you.
Step 3- Compare lists.
How much of what you love made it onto the second list? For most people it's an awful lot less than they would have thought.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a job that they love but that doesn’t mean you can't make time for the things you love in other aspects of your life. If you love knitting, dedicate a night a week to just you and your knitting needles. If you love the beach, consciously decide to take a road trip to the beach at least once a month. If you love to dance, find a local dance class to join. Don’t get so bogged down in the mechanics of life that you forget to make time for what you love. There is always time for the things that make your soul happy.
Happiness isn't a destination. You won’t reach it when you get that new job or when you can finally afford your own house. Remember it’s not measured on your external environment. Happiness is a mindset and it’s something you can consciously choose to feel. CHOOSE to be grateful, CHOOSE to find the positives in the everyday, CHOOSE to go outside, to exercise, to put down your phone. You are in charge of how you feel. You can’t change your mindset overnight but these simple daily habits will help you get closer to a positive, happy mind and a positive happy life.