Happiness is studied by academics all over the world. Ultimately it is what we all want. It is where our goals are taking us. It is why we chose the jobs that we have, or why we do jobs that we don’t like. So that we can do more of the things that make us happy.
So, how can we boost our moods on a daily basis?
Being grateful for the things that we have or the experiences that we go through has the power to increase happiness. And the more we do it, the easier it becomes. Practicing gratitude daily can seem very strange at first. Many of us are used to thanking people when they do something for us, however showing gratitude for our own qualities or even for the weather can seem bizarre.
Practicing gratitude doesn’t necessarily have to involve diligently writing down things that we are grateful for (although this helps and has been proven effective). Practicing gratitude could simply mean stopping to enjoy the feeling of the sun on your skin and really noticing it. Really noticing the little things while they are happening – when someone stops to hold the door open for you, when you manage to make it through a difficult conversation, when your kids squeal in delight.
Relishing in the small moments of happiness means that you will get the highest possible satisfaction from those moments. As time goes on, this takes less effort, and we are able to fully enjoy the little things in life without any prompting.
Change Your Surroundings
Making our surroundings more comfortable, or even just tidier can have a massive impact on our immediate mood.
Having a cluttered desk might be the sign of a creative mind, but it also has the power to inhibit your creative juices, making you feel cramped and claustrophobic.
Lighting a candle sends signals to our brain that it is time to relax. If we are used to having candles around on peaceful evenings, our brain will have made that connection, and will automatically begin to soothe our minds. A scented candle will work even better, hitting an extra sense, therefore strengthening that connection. Find a scent that works for you, some people will want warming cents such as vanilla, whereas oters might prefer fresh scents such as cut grass.
Introduce some plants into your home or office. Plants in our workspace can increase our attentiveness, lower levels of anxiety, raise productivity, and improve general well-being.
We all know that exercise has a positive effect on mood, increasing the release of endorphins, which improve our mood.
However, exercising can do so much more for us. Exercising, when used as a celebration of what our bodies can do, rather than as a punishment for what we ate the night before, can have long-lasting effects on our self-esteem, self-confidence, and levels of self-worth.
You don’t need to spend hours in the gym or running marathons on a weekly basis. Just ten minutes a day is enough to improve our mood. Do a handful of sit-ups in the morning, power walk to work, play netball or football with colleagues after work, or run around in the garden with the kids after school.
Setting goals and achieving them can have a massive impact on our happiness, and in the gym is no different. However, it is important to be careful about how we set goals and what goals we set.
Often, setting goals to lose weight can have a very negative impact on our body image, self-esteem, and ultimately our happiness. On the other hand, setting goals related to our ability can push us forward in a positive way and in a way that we can celebrate. Being able to lift that extra 10kgs in the gym, being able to feel fit through a whole rugby match, feeling strong through a whole gym class, or even outlasting the kids’ energy levels in the park can feel invigorating.
Set positive goals that are all about what we can gain rather than what we want to lose. Gain strength, gain power, gain confidence, and you will gain happiness.
As always, if you would like to book an initial counselling session with me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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