Happiness doesn't have to be lots of money, an amazing holiday or having a brilliant boyfriend. Happiness can be a choice, a lifestyle. I'm in the process of teaching myself to find happiness in all sorts of places, rather than relying on having things or circumstances in place before I can say I feel happy. Here are just 10 of the ways I inject happiness into my everyday life.
1. Have a healthy, nutritious and most importantly...DELICIOUS breakfast
Some days, I wake up, I completely skip breakfast and don't eat anything until 3pm. These are the days where I can't leave my bed. These are the days where I have 4 hour naps. These are the days I berate myself for not getting things done. These are the days where I am glued to my phone and don't do anything enjoyable, nevermind productive.
On others, I have a smoothie packed with fruit, veggies and nutritional supplements. These are the days where I don't feel the need to nap, where I get lots of exercise, blast through my to do list and still have time to do something enjoyable.
Trust me, happy people eat breakfast!
2. Swap social media for personal development
For a very, very long time, I simply couldn't get out of bed unless I had spent a minimum of 30 minutes scrolling through every social network I have an account on. It wasn't a habit that added any value to my life and it often meant my days got off to a very late, hurried, stressful start.
I still like to do ease myself out of bed gently, but these days I try to read a chapter of a personal development book or a positive, uplifting blog post before I get out of bed instead.
Alongside breakfast, this seriously kickstarts my day in the right way and when I get off to a good start, I am much happier!
3. Stay in touch with your loved ones
Now that I live alone again, I am always in danger of isolating myself from my boyfriend, friends and family which ultimately leaves me feeling pretty miserable in the end.
Make the effort to let people know you love and care about them and it increases your own happiness, as well as theirs!
4. Find a hobby you really, really love and make time for it every day, even if it's just 15 minutes
For me, at the moment, it's Pokemon. While I love to spend the vast majority of my time partaking in activities with a set purpose, the truth is that pulling out my DS on an evening and losing myself in a virtual world just for the fun of it really helps me relax and unwind.
5. Have real live plants in your living space
I recently bought myself an orchid as a housewarming present and it's such a tiny little way to make me smile every day. I purposefully picked out the most beautiful one I could find in the garden centre, regardless of the price, because I know I appreciate beauty. As well as having something nice to look at, I find having something I have to care for and tend to makes me feel much happier.
Such a cliche, but those little endorphin things genuinely do exist and there is a defined difference in my happiness levels when I exercise compared to when I don't. It doesn't have to be anything strenuous by any means, just a walk does it for me!
7. Fresh air
I remember going through a particularly bad bout of depression while I lived in Wakefield and I did not ever leave the house for weeks. And I was utterly miserable. More recently, when the black dog strikes, I've pushed myself to get fresh air every day and as a result, I've been handling my mental health much better. If a walk outside really is too much for you, just opening your windows and sticking your head out for a bit can do the trick.
8. Decorate your living space
When you fill your home with art work, plants, candles and reminders of positive memories, it makes being at home a very happy and pleasant experience.
9. Hide/Mute/Block negative people on social media
Social media is a huge part of 21st century life and I don't think it's something the vast majority of us want to cut out on completely, so I think it's important to make sure it's as positive a place as possible. Generally I just unfollow/unfriend/whatever people that are really negative, but there's always some people you feel obliged to keep around on social media so this is where hide and mute features come in handy!
Once you've got rid of the negative, make sure you follow loads of positive, uplifting people too, so when you do feel the need for some aimless scrolling, you are at least being bombarded by good messages!
10. Keep a gratitude journal
Writing gratitude lists is one of the most powerful weapons I have discovered in the fight against unhappiness. There are numerous reasons why gratitude is so important, but I find my days are much happier when I stop and take a moment to remember all the things I am grateful for. On some days it will be things such as having a roof over my head and having food to eat. On others it will be massive things like I've been to see my favourite band. The point is, we always, always have something good in our lives but we often take it for granted. Gratitude lists help us to stop taking things for granted, bring us into the present and remind us that things are never as bad as they could be.
How do you like to add a dose of happiness into everyday life?