By Arvind Devalia
1. Know and Accept that it is Okay and Normal to be Happy
Do not see being happy as being unduly selfish, or materialistic, or self-centred. Just because someone around you has the blues does not mean you too have to go down to their level.
2. Look for the Positive Things in your Life right now
Live your life with positive optimism. Negative thoughts and worry zap your energy.
Thinking of the good and positive things in your life generates feelings of warmth, affection, appreciation, hope, and security, and draw positive things to you.
Also, spend more time with positive people. Arrange to meet up with that friend who always seems to lift your spirits.
3. Cut down on the Input of Negativity such as through the Media
Stay well informed, but watching news reports over and over again about things you can do nothing about will bring dark clouds into your life.
Especially refuse to listen to weather reports. Notice how weather reporters in the UK describe the weather as being gloomy, dismal or miserable rather than just saying it is cold, rainy or windy!
YOU can choose how you feel regardless of what the weather is like. Remember, the weather is just weather.
4. Show Gratitude
Make a list of at least 5 things that you are grateful for in your life. Just take a second and realise that you are alive! Be happy with what you’ve got – not what you want. Focus on what is right in your life rather than what is wrong.
Count your blessings and look at all the amazing things around you. Notice the little things we all take for granted e.g. fresh food available at our doorsteps all year around and literally dozens of different chocolates!
5. Appreciate just What you have got Going for you in your Life Right Now
For example, stop obsessing about wanting a slimmer body and be grateful that you can walk. Begin today to tell all the people in your life how much you appreciate them being there for you.
Remember to show your appreciation also for those people who make life so easy for you such as the postman and the dustman.
Also, tell at least one person today just what you like about them.
6. Look for Ways of Helping other People
This will stop you focussing so much on yourself and your current life situation. Perhaps you would like to volunteer in your local charity shop, school or even a sponsored parachute jump.
Look to do anything for others that will be different and that gets you out of your comfort zone at the same time. A lot of people volunteer and help out over Xmas – but the need for help is there all year around – and you can be the one to do so now.
7. Consider Learning a New Skill Whilst you Can
You will get an immense sense of accomplishment if you finally start that long promised course.
Enrolling on an evening course will also give you a chance to meet other like minded people – and potential new friends.
8. Create a Fun Break Every day Even if Only for 10 to 15 Minutes
Schedule this time into your daily routine, perhaps during your lunchtime. Write out a “fun list” – this will ensure that you never have the excuse of not knowing what to do. Pop into a different café for a change or take a different route to work just for the “fun” of it. Look for activities that are free or cheap.
Sounds simple and it is. Try this today when you go out – smile at everyone you see. Yes – even strangers. The more you smile, the more people will smile back at you. Be prepared to be surprised at what comes back to you. You will feel happier and you will be spreading happiness around you.
10. Call Someone and Make their Day
Make at least one friendly phone call each day, with no intention to get some business or anything else. Just a friendly hello without any expectation.
11. Appreciate the Nature around You
Breathe in the fresh crisp air – spring is only a few short weeks away. Look out for the buds popping out of the hard wintry ground very soon. Allow yourself to be amazed by this miracle of nature. Check out the dark cloud formations and the trees resting during the winer months. We are all too busy – continue to remind yourself about how beautiful nature is and allow yourself to be in awe.
12. Eat Healthy and Quality Food
Treat yourself to hardy winter vegetables such as squashes. How sunny you feel depends so much on what you are putting into your body. You need and deserve quality foods. Determine what food really works for you, and develop a personal way of eating that will support you. Consult a nutritionist if necessary. Treat yourself – because you are worth it.
13. Exercise Regularly and Make it Fun
Take 45 minutes out of your day to work your muscles and strengthen your body, mind and spirit. Remind yourself of the benefits and adapt exercise habits as part of your daily routine of self care. Stop thinking of exercise as an option – start now and experiment until you find something you truly enjoy.
14. Sleep, Sleep and more Sleep
Get sufficient sleep, which will keep you shining. Determine just how much sleep your body needs and make sure you get it. Avoid watching TV, reading, doing work in bed. Make your bedroom a peaceful place for you.
15. Remember the Good Times
Look back over your life and remember the happy times, when you are not feeling so sunny. List at least 5 funny or joyous moments and know that you will have more of these soon – such happy memories are a reminder that the world is not ever out to make you miserable.
16. Let it all Out
If you are down a bit, then let it all out. Laugh, cry, scream or anything else you get the urge to do, but do whatever it takes to let out the emotions you are feeling. You will feel so much better and lighter afterwards. We all need to vent at times.
17. Do Something for Someone Else
Random acts of kindness are magical and giving of yourself is one of the best highs you can get. For example, let other drivers into your lane. Have a friendly conversation with the cashier at the supermarket.
Be aware of the opportunities and possibilities around you everyday to have more fun, fulfilment and joy in your life. You can simply choose to see the world as your oyster.
Have a wonderful and happy day!