To me, being happy is one of the most important things in the world. There are some pretty awful things going on in the world and whilst it is important to know about them, you also don't want them to get you down - there are awesome things happening too! I always try to make sure I do something that makes me happy everyday whether it's something small or something major, life is for living and enjoying. It's all about letting the negative things go and focusing on the positive! Today, I am sharing with you my top 10 ways to be happy; I hope you enjoy and agree with them :)
Laughter. They say that laughter is the best medicine and I truly believe it. Laughing and smiling are the two main indicators of happiness but they can also create it; smiling triggers the release of endorphins which is the chemical associated with happiness - your brain can't differentiate between a real or fake smile, it's all to do with the positioning of your facial muscles. It also reduces the amount of cortisol produced which is known as the stress chemical so smiling can actually reduce your stress levels. If you are having a bad day, smiling and laughing can make it so much better - try it!
Do the things you love. This is probably quite an obvious one, however, not everyone takes time out to do it. Whether it's reading a book, playing a game, getting a massage, sitting out in the sun or anything else, taking some time out for yourself to do the things you love is a great way to reduce your stress and increase your happiness. You can spend all your time trying to make other people happy and doing what other people want to do - and while that will probably lift your mood, it is unlikely to make you as truly happy as if you spend some time on yourself doing what you want to do.
Surround yourself with positive people. I have seen so many quotes on the internet about this and it really is important. If you are surrounded by people who are constantly negative, rude or bitchy it will drain your energy. To be the positive one amongst negativity is so tiring and it will not help your happiness levels. Instead, try to spend your time with people who make you smile, who make you laugh until you cry, who support your dreams and goals, who will stick by you through the good and the tough times and who only want the best for you. Surround yourself with people who have a positive impact on your life.
Enjoy the little things. My blog was originally called 'It's The Little Things' because it often is the little things in life that make the bigger difference. Yes an amazing day out or a big holiday would be fantastic, but sometimes you don't need that. There are days when I love nothing more than to just be with my friends/family/boyfriend (delete as appropriate) and just chat about anything. Equally, dancing round my room to my favourite playlist or belting out some songs are a surefire way to lift my mood! It's all about enjoying and appreciating the little things in life and recognising that some people aren't as lucky as you.
Think positive. I would definitely think of myself as a positive person in that I try to see the positive in every situation. This doesn't necessarily mean ignoring the negative things, but try to think of them as an opportunity. If something hasn't gone your way, don't dwell on it but instead look to see how you can make the most of it.
Get active. If you have read some of my other posts (Motivation, Healthy, Nuts Challenge and Exercise) you will know that I am pretty fitness focused. I exercise regularly and try to eat well, which is why I am quite passionate about this point. I don't think people realise how great exercise can make you feel (exercising releases more of those endorphins that we were talking about earlier). Find a sport, class or exercise that you enjoy and do it! I've done loads of different things throughout my life; different styles of dancing, tennis, gym, running, Zumba, netball and classes at the gym. I've always led a fairly active lifestyle so I appreciate it is easier for me, however, one thing that has always encouraged me is going with a friend or family member. If you want to start exercising then join a class with a friend. Just start moving more! This and more is covered in my post about motivation.
Sleep! Sleep is your body's reset button. Powering down for the night allows your cells to regenerate, your muscles to repair and your brain to sort through and organise your thoughts and memories from the day. Studies have shown that people who don't get enough sleep are more stressed, angry and irritable, while too much sleep can be a symptom of depression. It is generally agreed that adults require around 7-9 hours of sleep a night so I usually aim for a healthy middle of 8 hours of sleep. I can always tell when I haven't had enough sleep because I just feel drained and I feel so much more negative. Getting into a routine of going to bed at a decent time so you can get the right amount of sleep for you is such a good idea. Whilst on my placement year, I had to get up at 6am every weekday; in order for me to get enough sleep, I made sure that I was getting to bed before 10 every evening!
Be kind to others. When you are kind to someone, not only does it make them feel good, it also makes you feel good about yourself. Being kind to others literally costs nothing, all it takes is a little compliment here and there, holding the door open for someone, doing a job for someone and just generally making someone else's life a little better. The more you are kind to people, the more you will feel it being reciprocated; if you go out of your way to help someone, chances are they will then go out of their way to help you. I'm not saying you should only be kind to people if you think you can get something out of it, I'm saying what goes around comes around; karma, if you believe in that.
Go outside. Fresh air is literally amazing, it always makes me feel so much better than being cooped up inside. Go outside and enjoy the scenery, listen to the birds, watch the animals, stretch your legs and just be away from social media/the internet for a while. I appreciate that this is a lot easier to do in the countryside, but even sitting outside a cafe and watching the world go by can make you feel so much calmer and better and happier.
Learn something new. To try new things is so exciting and it can be anything. Learn a new instrument, a new language, a new sport, a new makeup technique, a new game, or even take it back to education by watching a documentary or researching something different. Your brain wants to learn new things and I promise all the hard work and practice will pay off. I used to play the piano and the feeling when I finally mastered a new piece was incredible.
Happiness is one of the most important things in life and I urge you to make time for the people and things that truly make you happy :)
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