How to be Happier

With winter approaching, holidays ending and being back at school its easy to forget about yourself. By putting yourself at the bottom of the list its also very easy for your happiness levels to drop. Seasonal affective disorder is a real thing and effects a lot of people in Britain, it can have a huge impact on your life and mood. Even for people without SAD it can be a struggle. Here we have a few things to keep in mind

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Give yourself a confidence boost

You can't expect people around you to be contently complementing you and even if they do would you take it? You need to learn to love yourself and give yourself complements on the way. Even if its just 'I did that really well' 'that pudding was actually very yummy' 'I am so good at getting up in the morning' whatever it is make sure you tell yourself. 

Fuel your progress by learning how to feel better about yourself

Learn about whats making you unhappy, maybe keep a diary and write down whenever your sad or happy. If you don't know why your upset it will be very hard to change it. 

Create balance 

Work getting you down? You most likely spend more time at work than any other place. For this reason make sure you are happy there. If not do something, talk to your manager, create a better working space or if not find a new job. If you are not happy at work how do you expect to go home and be happy, this works both ways. 

Build a growth mindset for happiness

A growth mindset refers to the belief that we can change ourselves. When we build a growth mindset for happiness, we believe we can change our happiness. This is super important, because if we don't believe we can increase our happiness, we won't even bother to try.

Make positive memories

Do what you love and make a huge effort to remember those moments. Lets not pretend we can all just 'do what we love' all the time, there will be times when actually you will have to say goodbye to a friend who lives on the other side of the world, do the washing up or work at a job you don't love to pay the bills. However if this is the case you have to make a bigger effort to remember that lovely walk you went on in the sun yesterday or when you had an extra hour to do a painting. 

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Find those silver linings

Everything we experience can be a bummer if we choose to see it that way. But when you search for the benefits or silver linings in your life, you may be surprised to discover a lot of good. Keep practising to increase the positive and decrease the negative to cultivate happiness. Also, this skill has been linked to a better ability to cope with stress and be more resilient. One of the people we most admire is Emma Carey a girl who's parachute didn't open and is now a paraplegic. Instead of saying 'now i can't feel my legs' she says 'i'm so lucky to still have legs' instead of saying 'why didn't my parachute open' she says 'I'm so lucky to have survived!’ We feel if she can be so positive after spending so many years wired to machines thinking she will never walk again we can ignore the fact we forgot our coffee this morning.

Take breaks from social media

Its hard to avoid it and for a lot of people its now part of their jobs however put the phone DOWN. Comparing never makes anyone happier looking at holidays you cant afford wont make you happier and neither will looking at other peoples perfect couple photos. Yes social media isn't all bad and it can actually be a great tool. Go through the people you follow and make sure they are positive influences. Do they post real photos? Do they put up happy and positive captions, maybe they are artists or musicians that share their work. You don't have to always avoid it just filter who and what influences your mood. 

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Spend smarter for more happiness

On a budget? Join the line. It seems these days everyone is trying to save because of this it means when you spend spend it wisely. Apart from the obvious things like phone bills, rent, petrol, think about how you spend your money. Do you love that jumper and will it bring you happiness for more than a few hours? If so get it! Does buying a new candle for your bedroom make you happy or maybe its seeing a band. Remember just because spending money on one thing makes some people happy doesn't mean it will be the same for you. On top of this focus on why you pay your bills, don't stress and be upset when all your wages get spent on your car, does you car create memories that make you happy? Most likely yes therefor its more than just a car. 

Be kind to others

Its so obvious and you have heard it 1000 times but its very very true. No ones honestly happy living in their huge castle with no one to have fun in it with. You see people with next to nothing going out of their way to be kind to others and they seem genuinely happy. It can be small gestures or big ones but remember just because no one filmed it to post on Instagram doesn't mean you didn't make someones day.  

Food is happiness

When you eat the right foods you are directly inserting happiness. Now hear us out. Eating chocolate releases several neurotransmitters that have positive effects on human feelings. One of these is phenylethlyamine, which causes alertness and a degree of excitement, quickens the pulse rate, and makes you happy. Walnuts are high in oleic acid, which has been clearly linked to decreased risk of depression. Other foods including oysters, beetroot and sweet potatoes (along with many more) have also been proven to make you happier. 

Communicating kindly rather than assuming the worst

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I think everyone needs a lesson in this one. You get called in by your boss and you assume the worst, someone aggressively drives behind you and you assume the worst, you hear two people whispering about you and... Yeah you got it you assume the worst. We are programmed to think this as children to kick us into survival mode. The only way we can stop is to take a moment and reflect on why you think the worst. If its a way someone has acted kindly communicate this to them,if its not then reflect on it. Do you think people are saying negative things about you due to how you feel about yourself? If so work on this not on working out what they are whispering. Sometimes people are mean and that's when you will need to just take a deep breath and learn to move on. 

Speak up and be yourself

You won't be truly endlessly happy if you are not true to yourself. Easier said than done we know but just think, whats the worst that can happen? Say what you feel in a kind soft way and no one (at least not for long) will take it badly. If your always doing the washing up due to how messy your house mates are this isn't going to make you happy, if your family keep making curry which gives you a bad tummy say something, those jobs your boss gives you and not your colleges just sit back and think is this really true to myself?

Sleep more

Sleep is one huge piece to the puzzle of happiness. If it doesn't make you unhappy it will eventually make you sick. We need sleep for many many reasons including reducing stress, rebuilding tissues, allowing our body to use up the vitamins we ate in the day and to improve our memory. You honestly won't be a happy person if you don't get enough sleep. Yes it kind of works in a circle you can't be stressed and get a good sleep however this doesn't take long just a little extra willpower. 

Build meaningful connections

Fake friends won't make you happy, hanging around people due to how popular they are won't make you happy either. If wild swimming makes you happy hang out with the people who like wild swimming as its very likely they will be very like you. Normally the people who surround themselves with like minded people who enjoy similar things will be so much happier than the those hanging around with people just for show. If your friend makes you feel alone or upset consider whether they should even be your friend. Stop hanging out with people who pick on other people for how they look, act or worse join in to make you seem more liked. Chances are the people your teasing are actually a lot happier than you.

Exercise

You might not like hearing this but you must keep fit and healthy. In Shawn Achor's book The Happiness Advantage, three groups of patients treated their depression with medication, exercise, or a combination of the two. The results of this study are surprising: Although all three groups experienced similar improvements in their happiness levels early on, the follow-up assessments proved to be radically different: The groups were then tested six months later to assess their relapse rate. Of those who had taken the medication alone, 38 percent had slipped back into depression. Those in the combination group were doing only slightly better, with a 31 percent relapse rate. The biggest shock, though, came from the exercise group: Their relapse rate was only 9 percent. Find something you love, it might be walking it might be rowing you won't know unless you try. 

Don't be so hard on yourself

If you messed up let it go your only human. Didn't do the best workout at the gym? You went to the gym! Got a B instead of an A in a test? You got a B that's great! Think would you be so hard on your sister or best friend. Most likely not. We are all so quick to be so hard on ourselves we forget to let ourselves off once and a while. If your feeling crap have a day off its not going to matter. Most of us do something and before even congratulating ourselves we are onto the next goal. its health to criticise yourself once in a while but also make sure you lap up the compliments and don't just shrug them off. 

Tilia Rand-Bell