1. Say no to the fast race
Life can be busy, but you don’t have to constantly be on the go. There will be things that you can say no to, and times when you can step back from the busyness. Rather than rushing through every moment of your day, choose to take a leisurely walk, a relaxing bath or have a long dinner with your family. Even taking an hour to yourself will make you feel much better.
2. Get some sun
“Known as the ‘feel-good’ hormone, serotonin helps regulate mood and memory,” says Sarah Phillips, a certified holistic nutrition coach (sarahwellness.co.uk), adding that low levels of this hormone are associated with depression. Like many chemicals operating in our body, serotonin has other several important roles to play, including regulating digestion and sleep. Research has found that sunshine can help boost serotonin levels, so try to get outside every day and soak up the rays to boost your happiness (safely, of course).
3. Make a joy list
There’s always something at any given moment that can make you smile. It doesn’t have to be something complex – it could be as simple as a perfectly brewed cup of tea or knowing that there are clean sheets on your bed upstairs. Write down everything that makes you happy, then, cross everything out on your list that can be purchased or bought. What are you left with? You can take joy from these things, without having to spend your hard-earned money.
4. Break a sweat
Regular exercise not only banishes stress but also boosts your confidence and triggers the release of feel-good chemicals, called endorphins, in your body. Dr David Edwards, a specialist in female sexual dysfunction, recommends brisk walking or aerobics to release those happy hormones, while Pilates and yoga are great for flexibility.
5. Spring clean your social feed
If social media is making you feel bad about yourself, change the accounts you follow. Fill your feed with people of all different sizes, shapes, colours and genders. “The more diverse your feed is, the more you will be able to open your eyes to different kinds of beauty and start to appreciate your own uniqueness,” says chartered health psychologist Dr Sophie Edwards. “Purge your social media of anyone who makes you feel bad about your body. A lot of people promoting diets literally make their money from people’s insecurities and do not have your best interest at heart.”
6. Make a reverse bucket list
We’re all guilty of dwelling on things we haven’t yet done, or areas in our lives where plans haven’t quite gone as expected, but it’s important to celebrate moments of success. Chloe Leibowitz, life coach and nutrition adviser (chloeleibowitz.com), suggests writing a reverse bucket list. “Marvel in what you have already achieved, however big or small,” she says. “In order to boost our self-esteem, and ultimately feel happier, there is immense power in looking at all that we have already achieved, rather than what’s lacking or still needs doing. One great way to build a reverse bucket list is to spend time looking at old photos or memories – and think far and wide. From this point you can work out if there are gaps for you, and forge ahead with the activities of your future.”
7. Deal with your worries
”The first step in dealing with uncertainty is to understand that we deal with it in every single moment of every single day,” says Jo Howarth, advanced hypnotherapist and qualified mindfulness practitioner, who runs The Happiness Club (thehappinessclub.co.uk). ”Recognising that right now, in this moment, you are safe and well will help enormously.”
8. Schedule in a catch up
“If your loved-ones live further afield, you could schedule a regular phone call to make sure you catch up, host an online quiz night, or set up a group chat on your social media so it’s easy to keep in touch,” says author of The Secret to Happiness (Published by Summersdale £10.99) Sophie Golding. “For friends who live close to you, stay connected by inviting them round, whether it’s for dinner, a movie night or just for coffee and a chat.”
9. Make a list pre-bedtime
There’s nothing like the thought of a never-ending to-do list to tackle when you wake up to make you burrow your head under the duvet, but using the time wisely before you go to bed (that’s right, put that phone down) to figure out what your priorities will be for the next day will mean you’ll be more inclined to not press that snooze button. “This method will help you to wake up and have a sense of clarity on what you need to get done to avoid the feeling of overwhelm and anxiety,” states Danny Sangha, a confidence coach (dannysangha.com). “Otherwise, you may struggle for motivation, which is often the first feeling you have when you wake up in the morning.”
10. Prioritise your happiness
The final piece of advice from our experts is simple but important. “Make having a happy day a priority,” life coach Chloe Leibowitz (chloeleibowitz.com), advises. “’Good days don’t necessarily happen by accident – but we can definitely encourage them. Decide what kind of day you will have when you wake up and maintain those thoughts of positivity. It’s crucial for us to learn about what we do that encourages happy feelings – as opposed to relying on others to change things for us,” Chloe explains.