If there’s one thing everyone on the planet has in common, it’s probably a desire to be happier – whatever that might mean for you. If you’re looking for some inspiration as to how you could go about making that happen, then read on!
Catch and combat negative self-talk
We’re not talking about glowing positive affirmations here, but simply being more realistic and helpful in your own thinking. If you messed up, there’s no point pretending it didn’t happen – but there’s also no point beating yourself up.
If you catch yourself thinking “I’m a failure!” after something goes wrong, try and turn the internal dialogue into something more productive. “Ok, so I failed at this one thing – but this is what I learned, and this is what I’m going to do differently next time.”
Try and give yourself advice rather than simply berate yourself. It takes conscious effort and practice, but once doing this becomes a habit, you’ll find you become far more resilient – and a lot happier.
Finally find a form of exercise you enjoy
Exercise is such a powerful tool for fighting stress and anxiety – and ultimately unhappiness – we all know this. Staying motivated to keep at it when it’s oh so much easier to plop down on the couch, however, can be extremely difficult. Commit to experimenting with new, different (and hopefully fun) forms of exercise, and finally finding something you enjoy so much that struggle disappears.
Take charge of your appearance
For the most part, people feel better when they know they look good. Dress up for yourself. Find clothes and a hairstyle that are more flattering. Impress your friends and colleagues. Giving yourself a makeover is possibly the fastest way there is to boost your mood.
And if something’s really been bothering you for a long time and you can’t fix it on your own, you could even investigate your options around plastic surgery and get it fixed for good! However, you go about it, taking charge of your appearance can be empowering.
Wake up earlier (and get to bed earlier!)
Getting up an hour or two earlier doesn’t just give you more productive time and allow you some space to work on the projects you’d normally never find time for, it also allows you to start each and every day in a calmer, less rushed manner, which spills over into the rest of your morning. If you’re always complaining that you simply ‘don’t have the time’, this one’s for you.
In addition, getting more sunlight is perhaps the simplest and cheapest antidepressant… well, under the sun!
Start setting your alarm (and getting to bed!) a few minutes earlier every couple of days to make the transition easier. Carry this over into the weekends so it truly becomes a habit.
Tackle one small issue every day…
Whether it’s that window that never shuts properly at home, an uncomfortable conversation you’ve been putting off, finally getting round to scheduling that annual checkup or dentist’s visit, or those boxes of stuff you keep meaning to drop off at the charity store, get one small thing out of the way every day. Cross them off your to-do list as you go so you can actually see how much progress you’re making over time.
…and spend some time every day doing something that makes you happy
Write down a list of all the activities you enjoy doing and set a little time aside for one of them each day. A nice way to go about this is to cut that sheet of activities up into little strips, fold them up, and keep them in a jar. Each day reach in and pull out a nice surprise for yourself! It could be sitting outside in the garden with a cup of tea, phoning up a friend for a natter, curling up with a good book – whatever you enjoy.
Create a strategy to attain your long-term goals
Whether it’s saving up money (for retirement, your wedding, or that once in a lifetime holiday), furthering your education, building your own home, or landing that awesome job, all of us have dreams. Stop dreaming and start planning. Write down a step by step strategy that gets you closer and closer in measurable, realistic increments. Be as specific and detailed as you can, ideally including dates, deadlines and timeframes. Once the path to success is clearly defined and you can actually see just how your goals can be reached, you’ll find there’s little holding you back!