Happiness, everyone wants it but it seems to be something which is hard to achieve in our current society of overachievers. However, did you know that around 40% of our happiness is within our own control? Time to get active and chase our own happiness now shall we?!
1. Practice Gratitude
This seems to be quite simple, but it makes such a huge difference! Personally I’ve really noticed the difference since I started writing down my daily highlights before going to sleep. It gives you a positive outlook on life and a better goodnight rest. Also try to express more gratitude towards the people around you: say thank you, write a letter, tell people why you appreciate them. It will double the happiness!
2. Exercise more
I know I know, all of us feel kinda lazy about going to the gym, but once you are exercising your body and mind have the time to take a break from daily life. Afterwards you will feel proud of your achievement and on the longer term you will feel healthier. Also notable: why should exercise be boring? Try to look for a sport which you enjoy and it won’t be hard to motivate yourself! Besides, you won’t have to exercise for hours, research has proven that 10 minutes can already be enough to give you a happiness boost!
3. Help Others
Practicing gratitude isn’t the only thing that makes you happier: receiving gratitude is just as effective! Be thoughtful towards friends, family, strangers, animals… anyone! Share kindness and enjoy the magic called “Karma”. Do some volunteering projects, help someone in need, give a homeless person your lunch, give compliments… really there are so many ways to make someone smile!
4. Fake it till you feel it
Every now and then it’s inevitable you are feeling a bit down, so what to do? Feelings follow actions. If I’m feeling low, I deliberately act cheery, and I find myself actually feeling happier. It might feel weird at first, but try smiling and laughing out loud: at first it feels unnatural but this strategy is uncannily effective.
5. Do new things
Challenge and novelty are key elements of happiness. The brain is stimulated by surprise, and successfully dealing with an unexpected situation gives a powerful sense of satisfaction. People who do new things―learn a game, travel to unfamiliar places―are happier than people who stick to familiar activities that they already do well. I often remind myself to “Enjoy the fun of failure” and tackle some daunting goal.
6. Music Therapy
This is a tactic which works incredibly well for me! Sometimes we like to drown in our moodiness by putting on some blue songs: you should do the exact opposite instead! This comes pretty close to the ‘fake it till you feel it’ tactic since you will – sooner or later – take over the happy vibes you get from the music you are listening. Make a playlist with cheery music and put it on during the moments you need to cheer yourself up, it works like a charm.
7. Learn to let go
First I always wanted to make sure I vented all bad feelings before bedtime. Studies show, however, that the notion of anger release is nonsense. Expressing anger related to minor, fleeting annoyances just amplifies bad feelings, while not expressing anger often allows it to dissolve. So before you express your anger/ frustration think to yourself: is this really worth my valuable energy? Is it worth the negativity? Choose positive vibes whenever you can!
8. Take care of yourself
You know those airplane instructions where they tell the parents to first help themselves to an oxygen mask before they help their children? Life in general is pretty much the same. How are you supposed to be effective at work/ help other people/ be happy if you can barely hold onto your basic needs? More than enough researches have proven that sleeping well and eating healthy are vital elements for our happiness: so don’t be too hard on yourself and see it as an investment in your health and happiness to eat and sleep good!
9. Spend on quality over quantity
They say money can’t buy happiness, which is very true! But every now and then investing on a quality product which will honestly make your life better/more fun will most certainly increase happiness! Think about a good camera to capture your memories, an experience which you will never forget, the dress of your dreams which you will wear over and over again, and so on. Furthermore, try to spend less on yourself and more on others! Research has proven that you get happier while buying something for someone else.
10. Take Control
Some people assume happiness is mostly a matter of inborn temperament: You’re born an Eeyore or a Tigger, and that’s that. Although it’s true that genetics play a big role, about 40 percent of your happiness level is within your control. Taking time to reflect, and making conscious steps to make your life happier, really does work.
To help you guys get into the mood for a happier life, this weeks’ mini surprise giveaway will be the book of Barbara Ann Kipfer: THE HAPPY BOOK! In case you can’t come up with reasons to be happy, she has 14.000 suggestions for you. A perfect book to read a page from every time you are feeling a bit down, or to get positive vibes from before you go to sleep.
Congratulations….. Kaylie Slagers! This cute little book will be yours very soon, so make sure to check your inbox for a mail :)
For the rest of you lovelies, don’t worry I got you covered! In case you are searching for some extra reasons to be happy (or you’re just looking for a good laugh) you definitely have to check out this Buzzfeed Blog: 27 Excellent Reasons to be Happy. I swear I was laughing out loud most of the time while reading it (especially nr.8), I personally guarantee it will bring a smile to your face!
Lots of Love,