#LifeHacks: Happiness Hacks

It has long since been drilled into our consciousness that success, be it personal or professional, leads to being happy. However, more recently, this way of thinking has been challenged by psychological studies. They suggest that our happiness in fact directly affects our chances of success.

Therefore, it would seem that a proactive work life and a fulfilling social life depend on one thing: you.

As much as we’d all love to be superhuman, on top form professionally with a perfect work-life balance, sometimes we can find ourselves in a bit of a rut. Here’s the secret: you’re not perfect, you’re human, accept it!

Rut or no rut, it’s time to invest in your happiness because your success depends on it! (Let’s face it, you can never have too much happiness in your life!)

Here are some happiness hacks that will boost your ‘feel-good’ factor and make you smile a little more every day:

You time

You can’t do everything. Sorry, but it’s true. Sometimes you need to prioritise yourself. Once everything that is entirely necessary is done, give yourself some ‘you time’. It sounds cheesy, but never underestimate the value of taking some time for yourself, to do what you want to do. Even ten minutes can make a world of difference.

Whether you take yourself away for a short while, get out into the great outdoors or you simply have the house to yourself. Seize the opportunity to just focus on you.

Switch off your email notifications, steer clear of social media and if that text can wait, let it. Invest time in doing little things that make you happy: listen to your favourite music, indulge your hobbies or just do nothing. Whatever YOU want!

Spread the love

People: they make the world go round. Yes, sometimes they can make us seriously contemplate a new career as a solitary lighthouse keeper, but others can be key to your happiness.

Spend time with those in your life that have a positive effect on you, be it family, friends or mere acquaintances; positivity is contagious and you can learn a lot from how positive people live their lives.

Make other people happy; call someone out of the blue, pay people compliments, perform a random act of kindness, surprise a loved one. There are endless ways you can make someone’s day, and you’ll feel good too. Everyone wins!

Body balance

Everyone knows the benefits of a healthier lifestyle, but how does this affect your mood? Quite simply put, a happy body can lead to a happy mind.

Making some changes to what you eat and drink will boost your health and can give you more energy, leaving you feeling fantastic inside and out. Also bear in mind that some foods can really alter your mood: too much saturated fat and protein can block the production of serotonin (a happy hormone), whereas the omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish, such as tuna or mackerel, can help turn a frown upside down.

Exercise. Not everyone loves it, and sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself. However, even as little as 30 minutes of exercise can release endorphins (another happy hormone) in the brain. The more often you get active, the more motivated you’ll be and the better you’ll feel.

Reminisce

That twinge of shame and fear that ensues when the old family photo albums come out is understandable. However, no matter how bad your hair was in the 90’s, flicking through pages of happy memories will undoubtedly raise your spirits.

The same goes for looking at old pictures on your computer or on your social media pages and just telling stories with your family or friends. Looking back at happy times will leave you warm and fuzzy, and remind you that no matter how stressful life can be, it can also be pretty amazing.

TIP: A great way to reminisce is with a ‘happy jar’: every time something good happens, big or small, write it on a piece of paper, roll it up and put it in a jar. Do this for however long you want, a month or even a year. You can then take out and read one happy memory at a time, to put you in good spirits.

Laughter really is the best medicine

Another great way to trigger a release of endorphins is with laughter. It’s contagious, it makes you feel good and it’s free!

Watch a funny film, go to a comedy show or just have a good chuckle with your friends. Whatever gets you laughing out loud, do more of it. It’s a great way to lift your mood, it helps you to form bonds with others and there are studies that show that laughter can even boost your physical health, including improving your blood flow and immune system.

Learn to laugh at yourself. When something bad happens, or you make a mistake, try not to dwell on it too much or beat yourself up. Learn from the experience, but don’t take things too seriously, try to see the funny side and your outlook will soon change.

These are just a few changes that, if implemented regularly, will bring you more happiness in your day to day life.

Remember, a happier you is a more successful you.

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