Surely everyone’s main goal in life is to feel happy? Finding happiness is easy, the difficult part is holding on to happiness and feeling good every day. How to be happy is as easy as 1 2 3 if you know how to get it and keep it. Follow these steps for positive change, to make your life more joyful and happy.
Just like when we start work on a building, we must first start with the foundation. The same is true when we want to improve our own life, we must start by looking carefully at ourselves. What areas of your life might need improvement? Where do you notice issues arise?
Our diet can play a big role in how you feel each day. Eating too much processed food can make you feel tired and sluggish, so try to limit this. Adding fresh and nutritious produce to your meals (things like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds and nuts) can make a world of difference to your energy levels and ability to concentrate.
Another big factor in health can be exercise. Not everyone has the time (or funds!) to go to the gym each day, but YouTube has a plethora of cardio workout and yoga videos, of varying lengths of time and ability levels, to fit in with your lifestyle. Even 15-20 minutes of something active each day can improve your overall fitness levels and do wonders for your health.
Your mind also needs attention. What you say to yourself matters. Sometimes we can get stuck in a cycle of negative, or self-deprecating thoughts. Practise noticing when hurtful thoughts arise, and consider what the opposite of this thought would be. How does this change in perspective make you feel now? By noticing these patterns of thinking, you can change how you are affected by your thoughts. This is the idea behind teachings in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Learn more about taking control over your thoughts and moods.
Once you’ve conquered looking after your mind and body, you can start to enjoy connecting with others. It can be easy to get lost in your daily and weekly routines and lose contact with friends and family. Our bonds with others are part of what makes us human and play a big role in overall happiness.
There are many opportunities to make a connection with people each day – both big and small gestures. Make plans to see your friends each month – keeping in contact with people we care about is not only beneficial to your happiness levels, but theirs too. Make an effort to connect with the new person at work – they will be glad for the welcoming gesture. Smile at those you meet while out and about. Be open to conversations with strangers. If you consider each interaction as an opportunity to learn, you will be more open to connections, rather than seeing them as an inconvenience to your routine. This brings us together and makes us feel more fulfilled in life.
So you’ve taken care of your mind and body and started making connections with the people around you. Step 3 is just the cherry on the happiness cake; to give back to the world we live in and the people we share it with.
Giving can be in the form of donation; I recommend spending the time to research and discover a charity that you really care about, and then set up a monthly donation to them. Discovering a cause that is generally underfunded makes you feel like your hard-earned dollars are really making a difference. (Just be sure to make sure the charity is registered and official!)
Giving doesn’t have to involve money though; it can be your time, your energy, your thoughts and gestures. Offer to babysit for a friend who needs a break. Spend some time each month volunteering for a cause close to your heart (Google ‘volunteer jobs’ in your area – some of them do not even require leaving the house!). Create a personalised gift for someone who could use cheering up, or write a letter to a relative.
Here at 365 give, we are all about finding creative and new ways to give. For more thoughts and inspirations on the topic – sign up for your free membership and find daily happiness through giving!