I had nearly six hours on the train on my way back to the South of France, and found myself thinking about how much has changed in a year.
And it struck me that, despite our differences and our unique characteristics, most of us want the same thing.
We want to be HAPPY.
Happiness is one of the most sought-after goals in life, yet for many, it remains very elusive. Often-times I hear things like “When I just have that nice house and new car, then I will be happy.” “When I lose 20 pounds, then I will be happy”, “When I’m earning this much… I’ll be happy”. But in reality, happiness is available to all of us, right now. A big house or a new car won’t actually make you happier; it’s the simple joys in life that bring true happiness.
Celebrate the small moments – for indeed one day you will wake up and realise that they were the BIG moments 🍾
Read on to learn how you can start living a happier life today.
Do What You Love
If your passion is writing, travelling, or teaching children how to dance, make time to do it. When you are doing what you love and loving what you do, you are filled with so much joy. How much better does that sound than forcing yourself do something you don’t enjoy?
As Steve Jobs said,
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
Accept who you are, just be yourself, and you’ll feel a world of difference.
Exercise is not only good for the body, but also for the mind.
And yes, I admit – this is not my favourite thing in the world, but even going for a simple walk has been shown to increase serotonin levels and raise our mood for hours afterwards. Lately, I’ve started listening to audio books while I walk, and that definitely makes it more interesting. Maybe you could try the same thing? Or make a playlist of your favourite tunes from the 80s and walk to the sound of Culture Club, Madonna or Prince? It’s amazing how quickly music can shift your mood.
Sometimes even if we have achieved our own personal goals, we still feel empty inside because we haven’t made a meaningful contribution to someone else’s life. When we volunteer or help others, it feels good just to be of service.
So next time you’re feeling down, look at ways you can start to contribute to the lives of those around you and notice the difference it makes to your own emotional well-being.
Feelings of sadness can arise when we think about everything we don’t have in our lives. By shifting our focus onto all the things we do have and being grateful for each one, we can immediately increase our levels of happiness.
When you think of all the things that you have to be grateful for, you will start to appreciate how lucky you really are. Without even realizing it, we take our basic necessities for granted — a roof over our head and plenty of food to eat. By appreciating the things that you already have, you’ll begin to feel much happier about your life.
Practice smiling more and see how it affects you internally, and those around you. And it costs nothing. You can always afford to give someone a smile. Whether its someone working in the supermarket, the old lady crossing the street or the barista in the coffee shop.
Smiling can make you happier — and we both know that ‘smiles’ are infectious, right. Even if you have to force it, you’ll still feel better.
Spend Time with Your Loved Ones
There is no replacement for spending quality time with your loved ones. We’re social beings after all. People love spending time with their friends and family for good conversation, bonding, sharing memories and often, many great laughs too.
4-5 months of Covid restrictions have reminded us that life is too short to live it without wonderful friends & family.
Find Ways to Manage Stress
Don’t let stress rob you of your right to be happy. Practices such as meditation and journaling can help you manage your stress better so as not to (negatively) impact your quality of life.
Celebrate your success
People with low self-esteem or depression tend to focus on all the times they failed or felt like there weren’t good enough.
Go back over your life and think about all the times you were good enough. When you were a good enough daughter, friend, colleague, student, employee, parent, aunt… Think about all the compliments you have ever received. Take the time to truly acknowledge and appreciate your success in those moments for higher self-esteem and enhanced emotional well-being.
Eliminate Negative Thinking
You already know that negative thinking will bring you down. But how do you stop it? First, become more aware of your thoughts and try replacing any negative thoughts with more positive ones. And spend less time in the company of those negative people who suck your energy. I call them the ‘energy vampires’.
Forgive and Forget
Holding a grudge will harm YOU more than the person you’re holding it against. Ask yourself, “What would it take for me to let go of this pain?” and notice how you feel when you let go of your hurt or anger for a few seconds.
Focus instead on a bright future and you’ll feel much better for it.
Forgiving another doesn’t mean that you condone their behaviour. It means that you are making a conscious choice to set yourself free from the pain. Forgiveness is a choice. Make the choice today and forgive those who have hurt you.
Of course, if you are still struggling to find true happiness in your life, you may wish to engage the services of a Life Coach. (And I happen to know a great one! 😜).
Maybe you are ready for change but too afraid to take the next step? Perhaps you are holding on to limiting beliefs or you have an emotional block without realizing it. By speaking to a life coach, you can gain some critical insights into what might be getting in your way of happiness – and what you can do to feel better.
In the meantime, I encourage you to adopt these simple strategies in order to feel good now and to improve your sense of well-being.
x Until next time, sending you love x
I would love to get to know you more, connect with me here.