Hello, Happiness! 10 Simple Steps to Make You Happy
With a hop, step, and a leap, happiness may not be as elusive as we sometimes fear. In fact, it is in taking small steps –and appreciating the simpler moments –that the feeling of happiness is energised from within, giving rise to confident individuals empowered to enact larger lifestyle changes over time if needs be.
With this in mind, why not try to integrate our list of easy, fun ways to feel happier right now into your daily lives?
Pet an animal.
Research has long espoused the benefits of spending time with animals, esteeming its therapeutic qualities, and potential to relieve stress.
Our Columbia cat, Leo–a favourite amongst staff and guests –never says no to a cuddle.
Whether you feel like it or not, next time you need a little ‘happy’ boost, try smiling. Sounds simple, but research indicates that the act of smiling tells your brain that you’re happy, thus setting of a chain reaction that has the potential to actually improve your mood (and adds a whole new dimension to Mother Teresa’s wise words: “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”).
We’ve all heard the old adage that laughter is the best medicine. Well, as hyperbolic as it sounds, it’s not an exaggeration. The act of laughing releases endorphins and other chemicals in the brain that alleviate pain. Spend time with people who make you laugh, watch something that you find funny: whatever works to tickle your funny bone, do it!
Take a walk (or a run).
Those good, old endorphins: besides being generated by laughter, exercise aids the release of endorphins, thus making for a quick and easy happy buzz. Why not go for a gentle stroll along Pissouri Bay?
Plan a holiday.
Taking a holiday is not always easy; there’s the matter of getting time off from work, not to mention saving enough money. Still, instead of focusing on the impediments, give yourself permission to fully immerse yourself in planning your dream holiday. From which spa treatment you’d like to avail yourself of, to which sites you’d like to explore, and where you’d like to dine in discovering your gourmet side, imagining how wonderful it will be can be as beneficial to your wellbeing as actually getting to take that trip of your dreams.
Close your eyes. Conjure a feeling of joy from a good memory. Don’t let it go. Hold on to it for at least two minutes. Let go of negative emotions, and centre yourself in this positivity. The more frequently you repeat this simple exercise, the better you will feel: undoubtedly.
Get by with a little help from your friends.
Whether at home or on holiday together, spending time with people who make you feel good will brighten your day. Sharing smiles, feelings, and –importantly –memories, are all activities proven to improve your mood. And being open to making new friends will also set you on the right path to happiness. Perhaps that couple you met on holiday will become life-long friends? Surround yourself with positive people who love you and remind you that life is meant to be enjoyed.
Turn up the volume.
Whilst none can refute the benefit of keeping abreast of current affairs, no one will judge you for turning off the news, and tuning in to your favourite radio station, or pressing play on that carefully crafted playlist of musical inspiration. Injecting music into your everyday life –whilst at work, when walking, driving, relaxing in the evening, or sunbathing by the pool on holiday–will inevitably help lift your mood.
Read something inspiring.
Just like music, reading is an irrefutable cathartic escape that can help hold up a mirror to our own psyches, engendering self-discovery. Whether it is self-help books that you find transformative or the countless works of fiction and non-fiction out there, try finding inspiration from reading. And even if you can only manage a few pages a night in amongst your busy schedule, you can always look forward to your next holiday when it will be just you, the book, and the sun lounger: divine.
Learning to let it go is a powerful tool in approaching happiness and finding inner peace. Make peace with a situation that has been bothering you, and forgive someone who has wronged you: free up that energy to focus on the joy in your life instead, and say ‘hello’ to happiness.