Happy People Don’t Just Happen: 10 Ways to Find Joy in the Everyday
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People keep telling me I’m a happy person. Really? REALLY!? Moi? These people clearly haven’t seen me at 6am post-coffee-time. Turns out happy people don’t just happen. It takes work to be a smiley, positive person. And if you’re like me, it doesn’t always come easy.
Do you ever find happiness hard work? If your answer is ‘yes’, you are NOT alone. Life is tough, man!
But there are some things you can do to perk up your daily routine and boost your mood.
10 Ways to Find Joy in the Everyday:
1. Positive Affirmations
Start the day by declaring words that affirm and empower you. I am loved. I am wealthy. I am beautiful. I am smart. I am prosperous. I am healthy. Feeding yourself positive affirmations aligns your mind with your desires. Prayer and meditation grounds your emotions.
‘Whatever your predominant thoughts are, will be expressed in your health and surroundings, which means that your future is entirely under your own control’. Dr Venice J. Bloodworth
2. Listen to Feel Good Music
Is it time to update that playlist? Permission to get your groove owwwn! It’s been scientifically proven that music can have the effect of raising levels of dopamine, the same chemical released in the brain when you’re in-love, by as much as 9%.
3. Work it!
Exercise increases endorphins and makes you happy. Period. Don’t have time to squeeze in a gym session? Make small adjustments to your daily routine that work for you. Why not take the stairs instead of the lift? Cycle instead of drive? When you walk, walk briskly so you get your heart rate up. Do a type of exercise which you ENJOY too. If running isn’t your thing, take up a dance class. If you don’t like being indoors do an outdoor activity instead. If you make it enjoyable you are less likely to quit!
4. Set Realistic Daily Goals
When you break down long term aspirations into smaller manageable chunks you have the satisfaction that you made progress. Success is a culmination of lots of smaller steps. Happiness is an ongoing attitude not a product of success.
5. Make Appreciating the Little Things a Habit
Hmmm, doesn’t this coffee taste delicious? The sun is shining, how marvellous! Oh goody, rain – I love puddles. See what I mean!? This is about you tuning your brain to take joy in the world around you.
As Rachel Hickson explains in her 40 day devotional Pathway of Peace, ‘experts tell us that it takes three weeks of concerted effort to change a negative behaviour and six weeks to establish a new positive alternative’.
6. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
In a recent study by The Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, researchers found a strong correlation between depression and social media. It turns out comparison really IS the thief of joy, with more of us looking through filtered lenses at the world of our peers. In the digital age we are attuned to immediate approval and instant gratification. Problem: IT’S STEALING OUR JOY PEOPLE!!
Tip: when you see someone excelling in life, don’t let it discourage you, let it INSPIRE YOU.
7. Give Yourself a Pat on the Back for Your Daily Achievements
Many of us spend so much time focusing on what we have to do next we forget to give ourselves kudos for what we have done. You’re awesome! Remind yourself that.
8. Be Kind to Yourself
You are not perfect. You are not a robot. And hell, there will be days you’re not a fountain of joy either. And that’s OKAY!
Make a balls up? Allow yourself to process how you feel. If you need to let off steam, do it. Then learn and move on. Don’t dwell on your mistakes. Perfection is overrated.
9. Understand that Setbacks DO NOT Mean Step Backs
Don’t let setbacks steal your joy. Easier said than done, I know, but as leadership expert John Maxwell explains: ‘adversity is always the partner to progress’.
Next time you are confronted with a setback see this as a challenge that is shaping your character, skill and ability to move forward. Pow pow!
10. Lift Someone Else Up
When you are feeling like crap, try lifting someone else up. So simple, yet powerful.
Supporting someone else, paying someone a compliment, speaking well of other people – is all about outward thinking. You get what you give.