You need to believe that you deserve to be happy.
The key to happiness — as cliché as it sounds — can’t be found in other people. Happiness begins and ends with you. So take some time to go out and create your own bliss. Happiness is right around the corner!
1. PUT YOURSELF FIRST
The word selfish is unfairly vilified. The truth is, sometimes being a bit selfish is the best thing you can do for the people you care about. The happiest people frequently tune in to their own needs—without hesitation—and make their own happiness a top priority, which then helps them bring their absolute A game to the people and projects in their lives. Radical, loving, enthusiastic care of your body, mind, and spirit should always be number one. It’s the way to be your most incredible self on every level.
2. ALLOW YOURSELF TO MAKE MISTAKE
Give yourself permission to slip up every once in a while. No one is perfect, we are human and we all make mistakes. This is giving yourself a pass, just like you would to a friend or family member. It’s easy to give others a second chance but hard to do it for ourselves. Stop putting the expectation of being perfect on yourself.
3. MAKE GRATITUDE YOUR ATTITUDE
Taking time out to be thankful increases your wellbeing. It builds social bonds, bolsters self-worth, diminishes negative feelings, minimises social comparison, helps you cope with stress and encourages you to behave in a more moral way. If that’s not enough, it also stops you taking things for granted and helps you savour life’s experiences (the good ones that is).
4. SLEEP MORE
You probably don’t need us to tell you that a sleep-deprived you is not a happy you. Well, just one extra hour of sleep per night can have some serious mood-boosting benefits. Researchers tested two groups and found that those getting just 6.5 hours of sleep saw an increase in activity in genes associated with inflammation, diabetes, cancer risk, and stress response. But if that’s not enough to convince you,‘Making £60,000 more in annual income has less of an effect on your daily happiness than getting one extra hour of sleep a night.’ Whoa. An extra hour of sleep tonight it is then—although we wouldn’t say no to an extra 60 grand either.
5. GET OUTSIDE
Spending all day indoors can be a real downer, especially if the weather is more grey and gloomy than bright and breezy. The US study showed that residents who lived closer to trees, grass or flowers had less stress, anxiety and depression than those who lived in neighbourhoods with less than 10 percent tree canopy, who were more likely to report symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. You may not be able to move houses, but even spending more time outdoors can boost happiness levels. Try going for a walk at lunchtime or exercising outdoors – working out in cooler temperatures is actually pretty fun, promise.
6. BE REALISTIC
Nobody is happy all the time, and a real friend doesn’t expect you to be that way. You feel both good and bad emotions, and that is all right. Allow yourself to be human.
7. SPEND MONEY ON OTHERS
Money can’t buy you love, but it can buy you happiness – if you give it away to other people, that is. In the Canadian study, researchers gave $5 (£3) or $20 (£12) to 46 people with instructions to spend the money by 5 p.m. Some participants were told to spend the money on themselves (rent, bills, or a gift) while others were told to use the money to buy someone else a gift or to donate it to charity. Guess what? Those who gave their money away were the happiest at the end of the day, regardless of how much they had to give away.
8. LET GO THE PAST
Stop blaming your parents or previous partners for current issues. They aren’t perfect either, so this is a great time to start practicing gratitude. What do you appreciate about yourself and the people who’ve influenced you? Write a list and keep it close by. This will help when you are feeling down.
9. HANG OUT WITH HAPPY PEOPLE
Every happy friend you have increases your chance of happiness by nine per cent. Plus it’s possible for happiness to spread from person to person through social circles. Enhance the effect by having a girls’ night out. Research from University College London found that when we hear laughing or a positive sound like a “woo-hoo” it triggers a response in the area of our brain that’s activated when we smile. Working as a group amps up the happy factor too, so try a pub quiz.
10. AND LASTLY, DON’T STOP BELIEVING IN YOURSELF
Don’t give up on you. Don’t let other’s opinions bring you down. Remember, it’s only their opinion and it can always change. Start everyday with a positive affirmation and focus on it during the day. Especially when that critical voice pops inside your head. Start with just one of these steps today. You will begin to love and accept yourself more. Just imagine what it will be like when you practice all ten of these steps.