Spring has arrived, the sun is shining, the daffodils and tulips are in full bloom and people generally seem to have a little more ‘spring’ in their step.
Which is great.
But it is also essential that we don’t rely on the changing seasons or (any other external factor) to dictate our happiness level.
Although social media might imply otherwise, life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, but thankfully, that doesn’t mean we can’t cultivate more happiness in our lives.
We are each responsible for our own happiness and there are things that we can do to create the opportunity to experience happiness on a more regular basis.
1. Know your core values
The most meaningful and satisfying life you can live, is one that is aligned with your core values, so getting clear on what these are for you is a huge step towards living a happy life.
Your core values define the things that are most important to you and when you make important decisions based around your values, you will create more fulfilment and happiness in your life.
2. Build up your self-awareness
This is about knowing what is happening for you right now and identifying where you may be sabotaging your own happiness.
Perhaps you have a tendency to make up negative stories in your head because someone didn’t respond to a text? Things like this can make it hard to find happiness but until you become aware of these behaviours, you won’t know what needs to change.
3. Switch out negative thoughts and negative talk
If you notice that you have a lot of negative thoughts or use harsh words towards yourself then it’s time to STOP. Letting those thoughts live rent free in your mind will erode your self-esteem. Some would say it is the equivalent of verbally abusing yourself that is no way to live. You deserve better.
Whenever you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts or talking to yourself negatively, make a conscious decision to STOP.
The more frequently you can catch yourself in the moment and switch the negativity to a more positive response, the easier it will become, and soon – it won’t require any effort at all.
4. Practice gratitude
This is a great way to fill your mind and body with positive thoughts and feelings. By consciously appreciating all the good things you have in your life, you are shifting your focus and priming yourself to notice the good things all around you.
Get into the habit of writing down (every day) 10 things that you feel grateful for. If you don’t know where to start, keep it simple – you can be grateful for the roof over your head, for food in the fridge and somewhere to sleep. Soon, you will start to appreciate the small moments in the everyday – the lady who smiled at you in the coffee shop, the daffodils gently dancing in the breeze. Give it a try. It’s such a simple practice but it really helps to shift your focus and will improve your mindset.
5. Be more generous
This doesn’t have to involve money. Say thank you more often. Tell those who matter that they do. Share your appreciation for a friend in a thoughtful card. Be more present with your loved ones and notice how quickly relations improve.
6. Take good care of yourself
Look after yourself, both emotionally and physically. We only have one body and we want it to last a long time so we must take care of it. Now if you are anything like me, you may be used to putting these things off as unimportant because you’re too busy or have other priorities but the healthier you are, the more vibrantly you can show up in your life and find the energy to do things that make you happy. How you feel physically can have a huge impact on your capacity to feel happy, so by looking after yourself, you improve your chances of experiencing joy.
7. Letting Go
Holding in all your emotions is a major cause of stress and can lead to heart disorders and gastric problems. Let them out in a constructive manner – try dancing them off. I highly recommend Taylor swift’s ‘shake it off’ or Meghan Trainor “All about the bass” turned up very loudly. You can’t help but dance!
8. Have a morning routine
By having a more supportive morning routine, you can take control of how you feel in the morning and set yourself up for a good day. Dispense with the chaos and the rushing around, and start to include activities that boost your happiness as soon as you start your day. Things like journaling to get yourself in the right frame of mind or affirmations, guided meditation and positive visualisations can really help with this.
9. Commit to something FUN every week
We are here for a good time, not a long time, right? Simply put, life is far too short to spend it feeling miserable. That’s not to say that each day of our lives is spent in perfect bliss, but for sure, the more we can tip the balance in favour of happiness, the better.
So many people I talk to don’t even know what they find fun anymore. We’ve learned that as adults, we’re not meant to have fun, but that’s just not true! We all deserve to have fun in our lives.
10. Try new things
Make it a point to try to learn something new. Perhaps a new language? How about learning to dance? Painting? Yoga? Anything that will take you into a space of creativity.
You can link this to point 9 above. Try something new in order to welcome the fun back into your life. Let yourself experiment with various activities to test out what you find enjoyable. Set aside some time each week to do this or to do things that you find fun once you discover them.
So, there you have it, 10 things you can do to cultivate more happiness in your life.
Expand your thinking and you will expand your experience of life.
x Until next time, sending you love x
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