6 simple habits for a happier life
It’s a new year and many of us will have made resolutions for 2019. Mine is to ‘follow my joy’. Feeling happy not only makes life worthwhile, but the presence of happiness also makes our goals more attainable.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind of life, working hard, worrying about the future and stressing about every little thing. But that’s how negativity thrives and when we feel negative, it’s hard to reach our full potential.
Luckily, we can choose to be happy, but it’s something we continually need to work on. For me, adopting these six simple strategies has had a hugely positive impact on my life:
Not only does reading help us improve our vocabulary, learn new skills and stimulate creativity, but it also makes us more empathetic as we understand the world around us. I always
6 simple habits for a happier life
feel happy when I read and I’m not alone - research has found that 76% of adult readers in the UK said that reading makes them feel good. The beauty of reading is also how accessible it is: you can read on the train, in a waiting room, or even just for thirty minutes before you sleep. You can even listen to audiobooks while driving or exercising. It has such a positive impact.
Learning something new
Working my mind, absorbing new facts and learning new skills, always brings me joy. I don’t know about you, but I never cease to be curious about the world (that’s probably how I ended up as an author) because there is still so much to discover. Learning gives me a sense of accomplishment and makes me feel a child-like excitement.
Spending time with loved ones
Fuel your energy by surrounding yourself with loved ones and positive people. Choose activities to do together where you can share and enjoy the experience. I feel very fortunate to have a wonderful husband, four children and many interesting friends. Yes, the house is crazy at times but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love being a hands-on mum and it’s important to me to be present for my kids as they go through life.
Having a purpose and taking action
Having a purpose and proactively driving your life towards your goals will provide a greater sense of fulfillment. Set achievable goals that you can work towards – the new year is a great time to do this. What would you like to achieve this year? What are some physical, mental, spiritual and financial goals you can action?
When you achieve a goal, dopamine is released in your brain which makes you feel happy. But make sure you enjoy the road to success, not just reaching the finishing line. As a writer, I have to feel joy when I write in order to finish a manuscript and ultimately publish it (the end goal).
I always find it helps to break down goals into smaller stepping-stones. Dedicate a time each day to work towards them (it doesn’t have to be a considerable amount of time – even just 30 minutes will help!) and you will see an increase in your productivity as well as your positivity.
Being kind to someone
I love how comedian and talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres, promotes kindness towards others and ‘paying it forward.’ Taking up an attitude of ‘giving’ doesn’t mean allowing people to take advantage of you, but as Winston Churchill once aptly stated: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. Even just attention, advice, time.”
Instead of focusing on what you DON’T have, remind yourself of what you DO have - there is always something to be grateful for. Have a think now – what are some things in your life you can be thankful for? Is it a roof over your head, good health, or a loving relationship? Taking the time to be appreciative for things that you receive, tangible or intangible, makes you feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improves your health, helps you deal with adversity and builds strong relationships. So give out compliments to others, volunteer your time, give a hug or just BE there for someone, especially if they are going through a difficult time.
Adopting these six principals helps me stay focused, fulfilled and happy. They have also helped me get through the more difficult times in my life. What are your tips for a happier life? I would love to hear!