Remember when you were a kid and didn’t have bills to worry about or a job to go to or challenges that seem to suck the life right out of you? Those were the days when feeling ‘happy’ was almost effortless. You didn't have to 'try to be happy', you just were.
As we get older, we learn more, understand more, and think more about the world around us. Unfortunately, with these learning's we also start to question more and somewhere along the way, we lose our childlike innocence. Rather than enjoying the simple things, we can be easily frustrated about things going on in our world and instead of choosing happiness, we feel discouraged, frustrated, disappointed and sometimes it’s challenging to find our smile.
With the events of COVID19, many of us have faced increased financial challenges, relationship challenges, work/life balance challenges and our mental health and well-being has been challenged. Through all of this, it’s been difficult to ‘be happy’ or ‘feel happy’. When we lose the ability to do certain things that contribute to our happiness, that can be devastating to our mood and affect ourselves, as well as the people closest to us.
Here are 6 easy ways to find more happiness in your life, no matter what season of life you’re in:
1) Your Environment: Look around you and ask yourself some questions. Does your environment evoke feelings that are positive? Uplifting? Encouraging? How does your environment make you feel? You may have heard the saying, you’re a product of your environment. This is so true and it’s why evaluating your environment is an important place to start when it comes to your happiness. Enjoying your space is one of the best mood boosters. If you love plants, add one or two to your space. If you enjoy music, turn on your Bluetooth speaker while you’re doing chores. If you have a favorite color, paint a wall in the room you spend a lot of time in that color. Maybe you smile when you see pictures that remind you of great memories in your life. Put up a photo collage of some of your favorite memories.
Creating an environment that’s refreshing, enjoyable and pleasant for you to be in will help improve your mood!
2) Spend time with your kids and watch how they interact, what they say, the zest for life they show. Enjoy the moments with them and think about how you could be more ‘childlike’ to appreciate your surroundings and look at things differently. If you don’t have kids, perhaps you have a pet. Watch your pet explore their environment and imagine what’s going on in their head and what they might be thinking. This will have you being more creative and who knows what fun ideas you’ll come up with.
3) Have a morning routine. How you start your day sets the tone for the rest of your day. You may have been told growing up by your mom or grandma that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it sets your body up for success. The same can be said about your morning routine. When you have a pattern of behaviour for your morning, you start your day with intention and put your mind in a place that’s productive and allows you to go into your day with a positive approach. Your morning routine can be as simple as having a cup of coffee, sitting in front of a window and looking outside, making yourself a smoothie or reading a chapter in a book. Whatever you choose for your routine, make sure you use the time wisely to consciously choose your emotion and intentions for the day and choose happiness.
4) Get physical. Physical activity releases natural chemicals in your body that boost your mood naturally. It doesn’t matter what type of activity; the important part is being active. That can include anything from running, to swimming to going for a bike ride. An active body is an active mind and when you move your body you put yourself in a position to feel better. In addition to moving your body and getting physical, it’s also helpful to get physical with your partner. Human touch feels good, helps you connect with your partner and is important to a healthy relationship. This can be as simple as flirting with your partner, surprising them with a tap on the butt or surprise kisses. The important part is to have some fun with it and enjoy each other.
5) Be mindful of your network. Who you surround yourself with will greatly impact how you feel and what you think. The people in your life will either bring you up or bring you down. Just like a parent has a responsibility to be mindful of the friends their kids make, it’s also important for adults to be aware of who you become friends with and what they bring to your life. Hanging out with people that tend to have a negative outlook or enjoy gossiping or being involved with ‘drama’, will likely increase the chances that your life, thought patterns and behaviour will look similar. Whereas hanging out with people who are positive, supportive, encouraging and challenging you to be better, these types of people will help improve your mood.
6) Choose happy. Every day when you wake up you have the power to choose your mood. You get to choose how you’ll react to situations, what you’ll say, what you’ll do and where you’ll go. All of these choices will influence your mood. When you choose happy, you’ll feel more positive. Your thoughts control your emotions and that’s why it’s so important to think positive and happy thoughts. For some people it might not be easy to choose happy, but your brain is a muscle and over time you’ll train it to shift perspective and see things from a more productive and positive place.
We know that life is full of challenges! We live them every day.
Happiness is an inside job and you have the power to choose it.
It’s not always easy to be happy when certain things happen, but if you remember these 6 things and try to implement them on a regular basis, you’re likely to feel better and be a happy person that people want to be around and spend time with.