Live simply and appreciate the little things
Today, take some time to consider all the non-material things that you have to be grateful for. During the course of your life, what or who has made you smile, laugh, feel loved, feel alive, feel curious, feel happy? It could be hobbies you are passionate about, friends and family or places you have been. Now make some time today for one of these things. Call a friend, look through some old photographs, take the dog for a walk - whatever you do, make sure it is something you enjoy and are grateful to have in your life.
You may not be aware of it, but the colours you surround yourself with at home and at work, and the colours of the clothes you wear, can impact on your happiness levels. Today choose to raise the vibration of your day by wearing something bright and colourful. The chances are, not only will you feel more cheerful, but those around you will also notice and appreciate the splash of brightness, too.
Do something different
Happiness thrives on variety and fun. Today, resist the temptation to keep everything the same and push yourself out of your comfort zone. They don’t have to be big changes, you could change one or two aspects of your routine such as taking a new route to work or cooking something different to your usual meals.
Finding your way to a place of calm inside your mind is to find a place where transformation can occur and peace can be found. Try this exercise today to make a moment of calm and quiet in your week.
Choose a place where there is no likelihood of interruption or distractions and that is neither too hot nor too cold.
- Lie down on your back on the floor.
- Let your feet flop outward and relax your hands so that your palms, facing up, and fingers find their own natural position.
- Close your eyes and relax your mind.
- Don’t worry about where your thoughts are taking you. Don’t focus on them. Just let them come and go as they please.
- Focus on your breath.
- Breathe in deeply; and then breathe out fully; breathe in fully and breathe out fully.
- Let your breath find its own rhythm, but keep the breaths deep.
- Maintain this for as long as you feel comfortable.
- Focus only on your breath.
You may find that when you first try to do this, you fall asleep. You may find, too, that your breath is coming from your upper body instead of your lower diaphragm and that you are holding your breath instead of letting it flow. Try to practice breathing with your hand on your belly. It should inflate with the in-breath and deflate with the out-breath. It will come with practice.
Have a giggle
Laughter wipes away tension in a single breath and turns a frowning face into one that is alive and beautiful. It doesn’t take much to trigger a giggle: just thinking about something funny that has happened in the past can provoke laughter and increase happiness. When we are tense, we become very serious—but turning things around in your mind can be a great way to change your mood and find the lighter side of life.
Today, make a conscious effort to have a sense of humor and find something to laugh about. Most of us know someone who makes us laugh and with whom we can really let our hair down. Make time to meet up with or connect with him or her. Recalling old times and chuckling about new ones is a wonderful shortcut to happiness. Or you could tell a silly joke, read a favorite cartoon strip or watch your favourite funny tv show.
Discover the great outdoors
Spending time in nature is one of the most powerful anti-depressants available to us— it’s free for all and provides an easy route to a happier life. Spend some time outdoors today. Check your local area for green spaces and plan a visit. Slowing down and walking quietly will allow you to become fully mindful of your surroundings and to notice plants and wildlife. Turn off your cell phone—you don’t need to announce your nature trip on social media. Just live in the moment.
Spread a little happiness
Think of happiness as a bottomless pot of joy, talent, hope, and gratitude. The more you use it; the more you give to others, the further you spread its contents—the happier you will feel. Today, make it your mission to make people smile, no matter how unlike smiling you may feel. If, when you leave, their eyes are shining, the chances are you will have had a positive impact on the next person they meet as well.
Smile at someone: if you smile, they might very well smile back! Or go out of your way pay someone a compliment. It could make a big difference to their day, especially if they are not in a happy place. Realizing you’ve made someone happy will make you feel happy too!
For more tips and activities to help you feel happier everyday, check out A Year of Living Happily by Lois Blyth.