10 simple habits for a happier life

Happiness is a habit, a choice, a skill!  Really?  Yes, really! 

If you rely on other people, or external circumstances to dictate how you feel, your happiness then becomes dependant on those other people or other things.  I have certainly been guilty of this, and found myself trying to control them for fear of them being taken away or changing.  When things don't go our way, or things fall apart, so does our happiness.    But, if you develop habits to generate your own happiness, it then becomes second nature and you have your happiness within you.  Of course, you'll still face challenges, problems and difficult times, but you'll be much better equipped to deal with them in a positive way.  

There are really simple things you can do every day to make yourself feel happier - but, here's the rub - you actually have to do them!  There's been lots of research done on habits and different sources suggests it takes between 21 and 66 days to develop a new habit, so don't give up after a day and say that's rubbish, it hasn't worked!  Keep going and see what changes you can make to how you feel!  I'd love to hear how you get on.  

1. Appreciate the positive things in your life.

Feeling grateful and appreciative of what you have feeds happiness.  When you go to bed at night, write down three positive things that have happened that day that you are grateful for.  They don't have to be huge things.  This will remind you of the important things in your life and the more you appreciate, the more you'll find that you have to be appreciative of. 

2. Start the day in a positive way.

This one is so important.  A positive morning routine sets the tone for the day and can leave you feeling energised and ready for anything!  Try some different things and find out what works for you.  Maybe get up 10 minutes earlier and meditate, do some yoga, listen to some inspirational YouTube videos - there are lots of morning ones out there, listen to some uplifting music. 

3. Live in the present.

This  photo did the rounds on Facebook after the Royal wedding in May:


This is where it all happens, the present moment, take the time to enjoy this very moment and use all your senses to ground yourself in it.  It may be stating the bleeding obvious, but now is the only place you can experience happiness, or anything else for that matter.  If you're speaking to someone, give them your full attention and really listen.  Moments can pass you by, if your attention is on something else.  

4. Make new friends.

Many of us stop making new friends when we become adults!  Don't!  Meet new people, make new friends and you'll grow, open yourself up to new experiences and potentially new opportunities.  A friend doesn't have to be a friend for life; it could be for the duration of a friendly conversation with someone you meet at an event, or someone you meet and click with that you become friends for life with.  Who knows! 

5. Give yourself permission to dream

Dreaming is good for us.  Dreams give us hope and a reason for living.  Give yourself permission to just dream, what does your heart want, what do you want your life to be like?  If you start to really visualise what you want, imagine how you'll feel when you achieve it, what you'll be doing, what it will really look like you can start to believe it can become a reality for you.  Trust that it will. 

6. Take a step to achieve your dream

Bleeding obvious statement number 2.  If you do nothing to achieve your dream, they will never become reality. 

Make a list of everything you could possibly do that would take you a step closer towards your dream.  These can be really tiny things - like reading a book on a particular subject, speaking to someone already doing what you want to or regularly starting to save a small.  Whatever it is, if you take some action every day, doing something on your list, these steps will all add up and you'll get there. 

7. Take time to re-charge.

Our lives are so busy.  We live in a 24/7 society which can be really difficult to switch off from.  Top tip, plan time to recharge, things we don't plan, tend not to get done!   Whatever recharging looks like for you - a powernap at the weekend, a bath, time to read a book etc.  Make time for it.  

8. Take time to enjoy yourself

Book time into your week to do things you love doing, things that make you feel energised and happy.  We can often put ourselves at the bottom of our to do lists.  Stop!  Plan in activities or experiences that make you feel good and do them!

9. Surround yourself with positive, happy people

The people we are around, have a huge impact on us and how we feel.  If we're with negative people a lot, this can be contagious and it can limit us in terms of what we think we can do and achieve.  Seek out people in your circle who are positive and up-lifting and spend time with them.  I love Tony Robbins and Mel Robbins (no relation to each other I don't believe!) - google them and watch them on YouTube.  They are mega positive and I find them really inspiring.

10. Let go

Easier said than done.  If you are comparing yourself to others, going over mistakes from the past, worrying about the future, wishing a particular relationship was different, complaining about something all these things will hold you back and keep you stuck. 

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