Happiness and positivity doesn't always come naturally. Sometimes you have to work for it and it can be really challenging - I'm certainly guilty on occasion of curling up into a grumpy ball of ill-temper and wishing I was somewhere else (that place predominantly being sunnier than Berkshire currently is). I've been making an effort to embrace slow living in 2017 (you can have a look at my digital detoxing here for example if you fancy it!) because it's the small, simple pleasures that matter most day to day. I've got 15 ways to bring those small but special joys into your everyday life to share with you today, all of which bar the first, are free, so hope you enjoy!
B U Y S O M E B L O O M S
If you've got an extra £10 to spare, go buy yourself a fresh bunch of blooms. I mentioned this in my 7 Ways To Beat The Winter Blues post, but they're like pretty little healers, helping me feel less stressed and anxious, and to feel closer to nature. I can't wait for peony season to come back around so I can gleefully fill the house with their flouncy petals!
I N T O T H E W O O D S
I can't think of a single soul that isn't happier out in the wild, surrounded by trees and nature, and running water and plants. Breathing in that fresh, unpolluted air feels so envigorating, and incomparable to any pleasantly decorated room. Take heed of my Digital Detox post and take the time to get out and about, take that weekend away and get out into the open - it'll really do you the world of good.
I N D U L G E I N Y O U R F A V O U R I T E S C E N T S
Turns out that the key to happiness may well be right under your nose. Lighting your favourite candle (this Byredo mini is my current fave, it's really getting me in the mood for spring, although the smell of a freshly lit match is a close contender!), spraying your pillow, baking some bread, or otherwise unleashing your favourite scents is powerful enough to boost your mood.
S P R E A D K I N D N E S S
Whether it's giving out a compliment to a stranger, ringing up a family member or friend just for a chat, or doing a good deed unprompted, spreading kindness in whatever way you're able benefits both parties in equal measure. I feel such a warm glow after helping a damsel (or the male equivalent!) in distress - it's bound to stamp a similarly broad smile on your face.
F A K E I T ' T I L Y O U M A K E I T
Because mindset is everything right? Surprisingly, forcing a smile or laugh can still bring you the same hormonal benefits as the real mccoy. So next time you're feeling down in the dumps, really bustle yourself out of that negative mindset (try watching your favourite comedy to give you a kickstart) and you'll find yourself inching ever closer to the real thing.
S W I T C H O F F
I've been attempting a bit of a Digital Detox (more of which you can read in my post here) lately, and it's really bringing me a huge amount of positive wellness. Just to switch off from social media, and escape the screens for a while is giving me a lot more time and space to appreciate the things that really matter in life - I'd thoroughly recommend you have a read of my tips and give it a go!
R E A D A T B E D
There's something about toddling up to bed a tad early, to snuggle down under the covers and get lost in a book. The chap and I sometimes read each other alternate chapters (we're on a Charlir Brooker book at the moment!), which is one of life's small and underrated joys to me.
A S M R / Y O G A / M E D I T A T I O N
I thoroughly commend anyone who absorbs the intended benefits of meditation, because I clearly need more practise - I just can't get into it! But partaking in some form of meditative or relaxing activity calms and soothes your soul, and allows you to be that little bit more peaceful and content in life. ASMR videos (like this beauty one)are my guilty pleasure when I feel too stressed to sleep - they're incredibly soothing to listen to as you drift off.
W A K E U P E A R L I E R & P A M P E R Y O U R S E L F
Mornings are often that rushed scramble to get ready for work or otherwise, when in fact they're really crucial to determine your mood and focus for the rest of the day. I spoke about how I've been waking up a little earlier in my Morning Routine For A Better Day post, to savour my mornings a little more and start my day feeling more happy and relaxed - and I tell you it's making such a difference.
D A N C E
Although you may think it's barmy (and there's a realistic possibility you might look it during the event) but shaking things out and having a good old bop to some seriously loud music can really boost your enthusiasm and lift your mood. Not a new tune but JT's Can't Stop The Feeling is a personal favourite to dance around to!
C R E A T I N G A H A P P I N E S S C H E C K L I S T
Revel in anything that brings happiness. Make yourself a little checklist to complete over the coming days and weeks with little things that perk up your day - eg, indulging in 1 guilty pleasure or bad habit, mastering a dutch braid (a personal goal for me!), treating yourself to your favourite magazine - then just complete and repeat! The science being that even if you do these things anyway, turning them into a ritual by writing things down in a list, and checking things off, those same things become more rewarding, leaving you gleaming more positivity and wellness. (and you could use it as a plan for the last tip in my Enhance Your Natural Beauty post too).
P L A Y W I T H Y O U R P E T
There's nothing that will cheer you up more than seeing your little pupper's face light up and his tail wag when you come through the door after a crap day. And there's something about them (in fact, many things) that melts your heart and you can't help but find yourself happier for it. Giving your a pet a cuddle, taking them to the park, or teaching them tricks is a surefire way to lift your mood, and if you've no pooch or pussycat to speak of, I'd wholeheartedly recommend signing up to a volunteering charity like The Cinnamon Trust - it's a dual-hit of helping others and yourself.
S N U G G L E
This is like a really simple, physiological equation, in that snuggling, cuddling and physical touch releases oxytocin aka the feel-good hormone, creating a sense of wellbeing and happiness, one of the reasons why the vast majority of us love it so much. If ever we needed an excuse to grab our significant others!
G R A T I T U D E L I S T S
I really never used to be a believer of gratitude lists but writing down what you're thankful for is one of the simplest ways to create a little positivity in your life. Whether it be memorable events, or the teeniest tiniest thing that 'no one else would understand', jot those thoughts down at the end of each day. Finding a great new TV show, seeing the first signs of spring, having a productive week, finding a new pen you're now surgically attached to, having your other half come and tuck you up in bed before he leaves for work - aren't you already feeling like appreciating life more?!
B E C R E A T I V E
If ever there was a better distraction. If you're in need of a bit of cheering up, and feeling a bit lacklustre, get your teeth stuck into something creative. Drawing or painting (I'd love to able to do calligraphy!), whether you're a newbie or a pro, adult colouring if that's what takes your fancy, rearranging or redecorating the house, or my particular favourite, trying out a new recipe or baking up a storm in the kitchen - especially as you'll most likely have something delicious to snaffle up at the end of it!
So tell me, which of the 'little things' in life make you happy?
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