Today is the International Day of Happiness, so I thought I’d reflect on how I’ve been feeling lately. Let’s face the facts: Life is stressful, terrible things happen in our world and many things just seem so awful and unfair! I know the cold, dark British winters don’t really help my mood either. However, I try to always remember that I can still feel happy despite all of these things. “How to be happy?” you ask. Well, here are my 5 tips that I follow when I feel myself getting depressed.
1. Do something that makes you happy
You’ll probably feel a lot happier if you do something you enjoy! Whether it’s taking a nice relaxing bath, reading a book, rocking out, going for a bike ride or doing some crafts, spending some time on yourself always feels good. Activities which involve going outside seem to be particularly happiness-boosting.
2. Spend time with someone that you enjoy spending time with
Who do you enjoy spending time with and who makes you feel happy when you spend time with them? I’ve often visited my Nan when I’ve been feeling down, as she’s so funny and always knows just how to put a smile on my face. I also love spending time with baby Autumn and my husband, Dave. Dave’s cuddles are fantastic and Autumn’s little smiles just light up my world!
3. Do something for charity
Raising money to help others always makes me feel good, as I love helping others! Doing something to help a charity is such a valuable use of your time, whether it’s through volunteering or doing a fundraising event. In the past, I’ve volunteered, organised fundraising days, cut my hair for the Little Princess Trust and done the Race for Life. I’ve helped others and been left absolutely buzzing afterwards!
4. Eat some good food
Well, eating chocolate really helps to do the trick for me! It actually has happiness boosting chemicals in it. If you love food as much as my husband and I do though, I’m sure that any food you enjoy will be sure to cheer you up!
When you smile, it releases serotonin, endorphins and dopamine. These are chemicals in your brain which make you feel happy! Not only that, but smiles are contagious. If you smile at someone it’s likely that they’ll smile too! It’s so easy to spread a little happiness.
I remember being bored at my Saturday job as a teenager and feeling quite down. I thought I’d conduct an experiment and gave everyone a huge smile when they got to my till. Only one person didn’t smile back all afternoon. However, I managed to make one woman smile who had seemed really miserable when she came to my counter. Although she had crooked teeth and wasn’t most people’s idea of pretty, she had one of the biggest, most beautiful smiles I’ve ever seen!
You see, it is simple to help to unlock someone else’s happiness and you can do simple things to unlock yours too. If you really think about it, there is at least one thing in your life every day that makes you happy, no matter how simple it is. Although it may seem insignificant, it isn’t. If you try to focus on these things, you should soon find yourself a lot more happy and appreciative of life. Go on, try it!
What makes you feel happy? Let me know in the comments below!
Oh, and happy International Day of Happiness!