Welcome to January! Here are six simple steps you can take to live happier and find the joy in your life this year…starting now.
- Keep things simple. Whether it be scaling back on plans, reducing your expenditure or slowing down a little bit – reducing the busy schedule and creating time to enjoy the present moment is key to living happier. None of us know how long we have to enjoy our lives, so we need to make the most of each moment, in the here and now.
- Add a mindful activity to your day. This can be anything from sewing to running, as long as it’s something you can do with your brain in ‘idle’ mode. Switching off our thinking helps us to find clarity and live happier. When we are rested, we can regulate our emotions much more effectively. Meditation, deep counted breathing, reading, watching a comedy….whatever works for you!
- Create time to reflect. What went well today? What did I really enjoy? How can I do more of what makes me feel happier? By taking time out to think about our day, we can realise and focus on what brings us joy in the days ahead.
4. Make plans for the future. It helps us to have some things to look forward to. They don’t have to be expensive holidays or elaborate plans. Just a call arranged with a friend at the weekend, or a walk to a new place for example, can be enough to help us through. Writing it on the calendar or having a visual reminder can lift our mood and get us into a habit of living happier.
5. Choose to smile! The act of smiling actually sends a signal to our brain which tells us we feel happy. Verywellmind.com explains this further here: Forcing a Smile May Improve Your Mood, Study Suggests (verywellmind.com) When we smile at others, they too feel happy and will often smile back. Share the happiness – living happier is something we can all benefit from. Especially in the cold, winter months of January when moods are often lower.
6. Use all your senses – and really taste, smell and hear happiness! When you are doing something you enjoy, spend a moment realising what it feels like. What can you see, hear, smell, touch and taste? Soak in the happier mood. Drink it in and savour it! You can choose to return there if you can remember the details in your mind.