Happiness: something which most seek, right? For those times when you’re feeling down, it’s very easy to go back to bed, shut out the world and sleep it off. But that’s not what you’re here for. Happiness-seekers, this is the list for you!
No. 1 – Try to live without the list
Instead of using a to-do list, try to take things as they come. If something needs your immediate attention, then attend to it. If it doesn’t, then don’t. Of course, this doesn’t mean putting off important things, but merely thinking about them when they need thinking about, and not before. Looking at a list multiple times a day is not only daunting, but can inhibit your productivity because those lurking thoughts of other tasks will be there taunting you.
No. 2 – Listen to your environment
Isn’t nature beautiful? It has been proven that being in a beautiful environment can actually make you happier.
Looking at a vast expanse of something in nature can help you to feel small in a huge world, which takes the pressure off whatever it is that might be bringing you down in that moment. Same thing goes for nature sounds, too.
No. 3 – Ask questions you usually wouldn’t…
The next time you see a friend who seems down, try to forget your own stresses for a moment and ask them how they are doing. Offer them some advice, a hug or a cup of tea. You may think ‘I don’t want to hear about other people’s problems, I’ve got enough of my own!’, but in fact, hearing someone else’s stresses may put yours into perspective.
Plus, putting your energies into helping others allows you to convert your mind’s negative energy into something good. Double win!
No. 4 – Send a ‘Thank You’ text – or card!
Nothing puts a smile on someone’s face as much as someone expressing genuine gratitude towards them.
The next time someone does something nice for you, endeavour to make sure they know how grateful you are, not just in person but via a text – or better, a card!
Spread that warm, fuzzy feeling and thank someone right now!
No. 5 – Eat more fruit and veg
Everybody knows that fruit and veggies are good for you, and that in general, people should be eating more of them.
When revising for that exam, writing an essay or if you just fancy a treat, reach for the grapes! Whip up a quick fruit salad with your favourite fruits, or drink them in a breakfast smoothie.
Maybe even try a vegan diet for a week and see how you feel. Going vegan has a whole host of benefits physiologically, but also has the added ethical, humanitarian and environmental benefits too. Head over to Vegan Starter Kit or The Vegan Society to find out more about why vegan could be best!
No. 6 – Have a cold shower
Not only does a cold shower force you to be quick and not stand there wallowing in your own misery in the warm cocoon of cascading water, but physiologically it has a multitude of benefits, like improving brain power and lowering blood pressure.
So next time you’re feeling low, muster up the courage to strip off and jump into a cold shower – whatever it is that is making you unhappy will magically seem less important as soon as the cold water starts hitting your bare bum!
No. 7 – Remember that you won’t live forever…
A lot of the reason why we may procrastinate is because of a subconscious idea that we will live forever. But ask yourself this question – are you living your life as though it could be gone from you in an instant?
Once we realise that we do not have unlimited time, the idea of procrastination becomes less and less appealing. Why would we waste our time putting things off?
Want to skydive someday? Don’t wait. Someone you like and want to tell them? Don’t wait. Want to pursue your passions and change the world? Go for it, now!
No. 8 – Let go of any and all expectations…
Focusing on the ‘What ifs?’ of past and future situations can lead to cripplingly low moods and anxiety, as well as the feeling of disappointment should you not reach certain future goals or aims.
Consider this: you are simply you – in five or ten years time, you will still be you, and it is not what possessions, achievements and experiences you have but how you use those experiences that will push you towards consistent happiness.
It is only by living in the present, and by letting go of all thoughts about the past or the future, that we can truly feel secure and grounded. All we have is right now, and we must cherish it.
No. 9 – Do something for someone without them asking
This is something which everyone can do right now to feel happier. If you can, do something nice for someone without them asking. This could be making them a cuppa, drying up their crockery, baking them a batch of cookies…there’s plenty you can do.
Not thinking about your own needs and focusing on helping others allows you to take yourself out of the situation, and you will instantly feel lighter and happier.
No. 10 – Clear your mind
The benefits of mindfulness and meditation are now pretty well-known. From improving cognitive ability to reducing stress and anxiety, the list of advantages of a daily meditation practice is endless.
If you’ve never done it before, look up a short, guided meditation on YouTube, plug in your headphones and tune the world out. Find somewhere quiet and peaceful to do it – the important thing is that you won’t be disturbed.
What will you do to improve your happiness today?