Check out what the stars said makes them happy by watching above
Today is International Happiness Day, an idea conceptualized to inspire the search for ‘happiness’ globally. Of all the global initiatives, we can’t help but think this one is well up there with the best idea ever! Whilst this year’s theme is to ‘share happiness’ and is focusing on the acts of kindness to others and spreading happiness to others, we at Her World feel we need to look a little more closer to home: The mirror, to be exact.
Whilst spreading love, cheer and laughter far and wide is glorious, how often do you find yourself with spare time, energy and positivity to do so? We will admit, ‘being happy’ is an ideal easier said than done.In fact, happiness is something you may have to actively work for, to achieve it.
If you’re finding yourself minus your natural daily ‘happy’, here’s our methods to put in place that may just get you there. From journaling your happy versus stressed activities, tips for better work life balance, addressing physical and mental health as well as emotional acceptance, this feature will enable you to get a head start in finding, and keeping, your happy state.
Find out what makes you happy
You may be thinking ‘well duh’ but actually, do you really know what makes you happy? So everyone on social media is obsessed with eating pizza, unicorns and pugs. So there you are with your friend’s dog eating a ham and mushroom slice, believing this is what should make you happy when really you’re feeling nothing.
Or maybe you decided years ago you’re desperate to be a writer, or lawyer, or your parents pushed you into teaching - but now you’ve reached this goal or are living it day to day, reality is you hate it. When are you just happy? Is it with your dog, going for a walk? Is it when you’re relaxing with a book, or a movie? Is it straight after yoga? Is it at work when you’ve hit your KPIs?
To help, it’s time to journal. Write down in your life that makes you happy.
Hack tips on journaling:
For the next week, write down everything and anything that makes you happy.
Read and re-read as much as you can, and feel free to add notes about why these things make you happy.
Use the medium that best suits you - writing on paper by hand if comfortable, or download an app that reminds you if you’re more inclined to check your phone.
Then, proceed to do more of that list, as often as you can.
It may cause some ‘stress’ or unhappiness to begin with, such as you want more chill time in the morning as your coffee and newspaper makes you happy, but then that means less sleep and earlier alarm which doesn’t. However, once you get into a habit and your ‘happiness’ takes over, it should be well worth the initial change.
Explore what makes you stressed
In typical antithesis to the above, you also need to work out what makes you stressed and unhappy. There’s no point flooding your life with happiness when the reality is, it is outweighed with stress and misery. So, do the same as above - write down everything that makes you stressed over a one week period.
Do you hate it when your phone always goes off? Are you finding yourself constantly tired due to lack of sleep? Is your email inbox bringing with unanswered emails and just looking at it stresses you out?
Once written down, address them all point by point. Find a way to work through or around them, and if they’re really something you cannot lose or see a way through - then learn to accept it.
Emotional cceptance is a huge starting point for letting go of what makes you stressed. Emotional acceptance is the willingless to accept a negative emotion, acknowledge and be at peace with it, rather than trying to avoid the negative emotion. No, you cannot change the fact your boss wants a 9am meeting every Monday morning and it’s always negative feedback. But what you can do is accept it, wake up 15 minutes earlier to get more prepared for the meeting, and see the negatives as criticism that can help you grow.
Create and maintain a healthy work / life balance
For the majority of us all, the lack of natural happiness in our lives is because we allow (yes, we allow it) work to overflow and dominate our lives. Are you really happy sitting at your desk at 8pm at night, again, eating takeaway food and not seeing your family? Are you really happy replying to emails even on the way home, just to try get things done before the following day?
To find a natural state of daily happiness, you really have to address how much work seeps into the rest of your life, and find ways to push it right back to where it belongs - at the desk only. We do not, contrary to what management often think, live to work. We work to live.
Begin with defining what you’re capable of achieving per day, realistically, and what are the urgent and not so urgent jobs. Also, work out what most of your tasks take, time wise, and how many you can fit into your working day to be able to leave on time.
When you come in every morning, write your to-do list, work our time slots for your urgent and then non urgent jobs, get your urgent things done first and move onto your non urgent jobs. Make sure you finish work exactly on time and if you’re still not finished with your non-urgent task, then this can easily wait until tomorrow.
It’s part time-management and part being realistic about what you can actually do within a day. If your workload is never completed and you’re constantly working late, then actually, your workload is not manageable for one person and this requires a chat with your manager.
Once you’ve got a grip on your daily work and finishing on the dot every day, you’ll feel much more productive, efficient and have more time for the things….that make you happy. Refer back to list one.
ALSO READ: WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS LEVELS WHILE AT WORK
Understand and be proactive with your physical and mental health upkeep
When it comes to ‘what makes us happy’, we often look at things like: Stroking the cat, hanging with the boyfriend, eating chocolate. Actually, we need to first look at our physical and mental health. You cannot be happy unless you are fit and well and mentally strong. Luckily, all of this is within our control.
For your physical health, keep up with doctor check ups, dental appointments and any medication you need to take. Do not make excuses like ‘I’m too busy for the dentist’ or put off your smear test because you’ve got work to get done.
If you don’t already do so, take up exercise. It doesn’t matter what form of exercise it is, your physical health depends on it and exercise notoriously also boost your mental health too.
Mental health is ironically the most neglected when it comes to finding happiness, yet the main player in such search. Your mental health affects how often you feel happy, how you react to situations which impacts your happiness, how much you allow your emotions to rules you...which affects directly your happiness. You get the jist. Endorphins are real, and whilst we’re not medical experts so won’t delve into this, we will say that endorphins are your fast-track way to daily happiness, so do what you can to constantly boost your endorphins.
To ensure your mental health is in tip top condition, there are various methods these days to explore to help you. Exercise helps release endorphins, which makes you happy. Yoga is a fab way to do both - as it teaches you mindfulness. Mindfulness is something we should all be exploring for our mental health and happiness, not just budding yogis. Meditation, counselling and talking therapies - all ways to ensure we’re as mentally strong and positive as we can possibly be. You should ‘care’ for your mental health as one would care for a broken bone or infected wound.
The aim is to find yourself able to relax, to switch off your mind, to destress, to let go of things that bother you and to focus on positives not negatives with every situation that comes your way.
Actively pursue ‘happy’ including curating your thoughts, words, actions and choices
If you’re yet to see ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ then please, go see it or read the book. It’s a wonderful story and it’s filled with lessons we all need to learn, including some golden nuggets from flawed character Richard Texas. The one most apt here is this:
“You have to learn to select your thoughts the same way you select your clothes every day. Now that’s a power you can cultivate. If you want to come here and control your life so bad, work on the mind and that’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”
We’re often inclined to allow our thoughts and emotions to run away with us - to lead the way and affect all our decisions and actions. Actually, we need to act upon our thoughts and choose to lead the way regardless of what our emotions tell us. Have you ever got so hurt, upset or angry by something that you immediately reacted, only to reflect later on and realise it wasn’t a big deal at all? Yeah, me too. We are inclined to let our thoughts and emotions rule us, but know this - we are not defined by our thoughts and they’re often self-sabotaging. It’s no lie to say your worst critic is yourself.
We need to actively choose happy thoughts, purposefully speak happy words and make happy choices. We need to actively do this day in, day out until it comes our natural way of thinking, speaking and acting. It will be tough to begin with, as changing habits always is, but soon it will become your autopilot and you’ll find yourself a naturally happier person, every day.