‘Happiness’ is an illusive term, meaning different things to each and every one of us. Throughout our lifetime, it’s normal to experience periods of feeling low, as well as periods of feeling happy and content. While feeling happy and sad are normal human emotions, generally speaking, we shouldn’t experience long periods of feeling blue, or go through our lives feeling like we could be happier.
Some aspects of our lives which may influence how happy we feel are out of our control, but there are a number of ways in which you can make changes, to help you lead a happy and healthy lifestyle…
Engage in regular physical activity
Studies show that exercising regularly can boost our mood as well as our self-esteem. People who exercise regularly often feel more confident, which in turn makes them feel happier. Spending time outside is also known to increase happiness, so why not try and combine the two by making sure you spend at least 30 minutes exercising outside 4-5 times per week.
Focus on what really matters
Feeling stressed and overwhelmed is a common source of unhappiness. When our stress levels are raised, this has a negative impact on our mood, and during high stress periods, it’s likely that we will also feel unhappy too. If you regularly feel stressed and unhappy, it’s important to consider what’s causing this and make a change for the better.
Studies show that spending time with friends and family boosts our mood. A lifestyle change might be necessary, in order to free up more time to spend time doing what you love, with the people you love, and to limit stress.
When you’re not happy with yourself, it’s unlikely that you will feel happy day-to-day. It’s all too easy to be overly self-critical, but when it comes to yourself, you should treat yourself just as you might treat a close friend or family member.
If you find you often think negative things about yourself, work to change this. Being negative about yourself is often a lifelong habit, so it takes a little perseverance to change your mindset. Take the time to write down something positive about yourself morning and night, and when you find yourself being critical, take a moment out to read over the things that you like about yourself. Do this everyday and you’ll start to see the difference it makes.
Enjoy alcohol sparingly
Alcohol is a well-known depressant, with even the happiest of people feeling a little blue after one too many drinks the previous evening.
Talk to others and build your resilience
Opening up about how you feel and talking through any issues with someone you trust can help you move forward. The saying goes ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ and you really do feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders when you start to become more open with others.
We all experience ups and downs throughout our lives, but it’s how we deal with this that matters. Becoming stronger, but also accepting that it’s OK to admit that you’re struggling with something will make a huge difference when it comes to how happy you feel.
Often the workplace and our careers play a strong role in how happy we feel day to day. If you are an employer, consider offering your team incentives to help them enjoy work and lead a happier and healthier lifestyle, such as lunchtime yoga workshops, desk massage to help reduce stress, stress management classes and mindfulness workshops. Click here to find out more about our wellbeing workshops.