Wednesday 25 November 2015

How to be Happy (For Real)

how to be happy
Like so many other blog posts and YouTube videos I've seen on the topic I could tell you that the key to happiness is in the smell of a new mac lipstick, a Diptique candle and a Lush bath bomb. Although, if I did that, all you'd get is a list of things that make me "happy", not things that are actually conducive to happiness in general. Today I'll be letting you in on some trade secrets and showing you how you can achieve actual happiness (without buying a thing!)

I say “trade secrets” but the information I’m giving here is no secret, thanks to those clever people at the New Economics Foundation this information is out there in the world for all of us to find. Let me condense it a bit for you.
The theory (and evidence) goes that there are 5 things you can apply to your everyday life which will improve your overall wellbeing and make you happier, at work I call this “the 5 ways to wellbeing” here, I’ll call it “how to be happy” because I like to mix things up like that. So, let’s get right into it.
The people in our lives make up so much of how we feel about life. When we don’t feel good it’s so tempting to lock yourself away and isolate yourself. Connecting with others is crucial to a strong overall wellbeing. It doesn’t have to be too intense, just reach out, make that phone call, arrange that night out and spend time with people you love.
It only takes a minute: Send a text to a friend you haven’t seen in a while without overthinking it. You want to know how they are, maybe you even miss them – just say that.
Take notice/be mindful
Have you ever walked a familiar route and seen something that’s been there forever, but, you’ve just never noticed? Me too!  We’re all so busy that sometimes it can feel like time is just running away with us. It’s really surprising how much difference it can make to your mood just to take notice of what’s going on around you. So go about your usual routine, just look around, see things you’ve never seen before and pay attention to how you’re feeling.
It only takes a minute: Download “Calm” the free meditation app and take notice of the simplest things.
Giving feels good. You don’t have to give money either (although you could!). You can give someone your time, advice, knowledge or simply attention. It’s easy, you get goodness from it and so does somebody else what’s not to be happy about?
It only takes a minute: Thank someone for something they’ve done that you appreciate, even if it’s just the guy in the corner shop who’s always so smiley.
Be active
As an inherently lazy person when it comes to exercising, I wish this one wasn’t true, but, it so is. The benefits that exercise can have to your wellbeing go way beyond being able to justify that extra biscuit because you’ve spent an hour in the gym. Since I’m not a huge exercise fan I recently brought a pretty bike that tricks me into exercising when really I just need to get to work. There’s also the classic “get off the bus a stop early” you’ll be surprised how much difference it makes!
It only takes a minute: challenge yourself to see how many sit-ups you can do in a minute. Tomorrow, do it again. Or you know, just get off the bus a stop early!
Keep learning
Learning something new is the ultimate confidence boost and a great way to challenge yourself and your comfort zone! If you end up attending that workshop or going on that course, guess what? You’ll probably meet some like-minded people to connect with, bringing this whole thing full circle.
It only takes a minute: find a YouTube tutorial for that thing you’ve always wanted to learn – even if it is just how to achieve Adele’s perfect winged liner.
So, there you have it, 5 easy things you can do to increase your overall happiness. Think of these less as “life hacks” with instant results but more like lifestyle choices. The more you incorporate these things into your everyday routine, the stronger your overall wellbeing and the happier you will be.
In this crazy-busy world we live in, take some time out to look after yourself and prioritise your own happiness, as you can see above, happiness is just 5 minutes away (sort of.)
Have you tried any of these things? What are the easiest ways you can incorporate the 5 ways into your everyday routine?


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