Like most people, you probably started off the year with a whole load of New Year’s Resolutions. Are you one of the few individuals who manage to stick to the promises they make themselves at the beginning of the year? Well done. That’s not you? It’s okay! Starting off a year with such high hopes only to lose focus on your goals can be a motivation killer. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Plenty of people don’t succeed doing things on their first attempt, but perseverance almost always pays off.
There’s still plenty of time to make 2016 your happiest year yet. Why settle for anything less?
If you want to be happier, then try our list of ways you can supercharge your smile right away!
18 Ways to Make This Your Happiest Year Yet
- Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Try and keep a sense of perspective. It’s all too easy to get stressed and caught up at the moment. Take a step back. Ask yourself (and answer yourself honestly!) will this matter in a year? Will it matter in six months? Will it matter next week? The answer to that, is more often than not, a big fat no.
- Give yourself a break.
No one knows everything, no matter how good an impression of it they do! Everyone has to start somewhere, and everyone makes mistakes. Don’t expect to get everything right first time and don’t think that if you do mess up, it’s irretrievable.
- Use Mistakes as a Learning Opportunity.
So, you messed up. Total and utter disaster. But it’s what you do now that matters. Will you slink away, tail between your legs and give up? No, you won’t. Because you are better and stronger than that. Learn from your mistakes. Look at what went wrong and work out how you can do it better, next time.
- Start Saying YES
Stop saying No. Trying new things and opening your eyes to new experiences will enhance your life. You’re never going to get out of a rut by continuing to do all the same things you always do. That’s not going to
- If Not Now, WHEN?
How easy is it to put things off? It’s a piece of cake. And how often do you feel good about procrastinating? Never! Sometime’s there’s never an ideal time to do things. You could spend your life waiting for the perfect time to do something, but there will always be a reason not to. Take the bull by the horns, and just get on with it.
- Smile More.
Research has shown that people who smile more are happier than their grumpy counterparts. Smiling makes you more attractive, and that’s a fact. What sort of person are you more likely to be drawn towards? Smiling, happy face or someone with a face like thunder? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist. Bob Doyle, author of the Art Of Attraction says it’s one of the best ways to draw positivity into your life. Even the physical act of smiling can help make your brain think you’re in a better mood than you are.
- Exercise More
Exercising has whole hosts of benefits. You’ll reap the rewards from keeping fit – think healthier, leaner, and fitter. Exercise also helps you increase your serotonin levels. Serotonin is known as the “happy hormone.” Serotonin transmits feelings throughout the brain. If you’re low on this essential chemical, then it can lead to low moods, anxiety and depression.
- Be Kind
Being kind might seem an odd thing to have in a list like this. You might think nothing of kindness as it is just good plain old fashioned manners. But think about it a little deeper. Try and show kindness where you might not have before. Take other people’s thoughts and feelings into consideration. Be mindful of different personalities and outlooks.
- Nurture Your Relationships
We all live such busy lifestyles it’s easy to lose touch with friends and family. Modern technology has made it easier than ever before to keep in touch. You might see each others updates on Facebook and click like on their pictures, but that doesn’t count. Why not make an effort. Pick up the phone, or write a letter! There’s something extra special about receiving a letter in the post. The art of letter writing has fallen by the wayside with emails and social networking. Rediscover this joy for yourself!
- Make Sure You Sleep Well
Making sure you get enough sleep is crucial to your well-being. Not having enough shut-eye leads to all sorts of problems. Not only are you unlikely to be in the best of moods, but you’ll also feel sluggish and tired. Sleep helps your whole body recover from the day’s activities and help prepare you for the day ahead. Believe it or not, science has proven that people who are deprived of sleep are less able to recall happy memories. Instead, their brain focuses on negative experiences. This is bound to bring even the most cheerful of people down.
- Reconnect with Nature.
Put your phone down. It’s ok; you CAN do it. Switch off the notifications from Facebook and go for a walk. Take time to look at the world around you rather than at a little screen in front of your face. Appreciate the little things. Take note how the wind in your hair feels. Enjoy a brisk walk on a cold day to understand how something so simple can revive the senses. Climb a tree. Walk barefoot on sand. Take away the barriers between you and the natural world. Remind yourself of the bigger picture. We’re all just insignificant dots in the scheme of things!
- Help Others
Helping others will help you feel better within yourself. Not only will it take your mind off your problems, but it’s also a good way to reconnect with friends. It doesn’t even have to be someone you know. Volunteering is something you can do to help put something back into the community. You’ll help others, and you can use your existing skills and talents. Or, you could even learn a new one! An hour or two a week of helping others has been scientifically shown to enrich your life significantly.
- Money Can’t Buy Happiness.
You may love gifts and trinkets, but do they make you truly happy? Money cannot buy happiness. Studies into well-being show that one of the most important factors in being happy is the relationships we have with others. You could have all the possessions and money in the word, but if you have no- one to enjoy it with? It’s worth nothing. What’s the point of happiness unless you share it?
- Give People the Benefit of the Doubt
Yes, we’ve all been burned before. Yes, we may be cynical. But why always jump to think the very worst of someone? Try showing a little empathy. It’s difficult when you’re frustrated with someone, but treat people how you would like to be treated. It can’t hurt, right? Showing more positivity in all situations will increase your happiness.
- Forgive Others
There’s no point holding grudges. All holding a grudge does is at eating away at your own happiness. You can be pretty sure the subject of your grudge doesn’t care half as much about it as you do. Forgive quickly and move on. You don’t have to forget – use it, so you don’t trust the wrong people in the future. Don’t let your guard stay too far up, though – don’t close your heart and mind to new things.
- Forgive Yourself
Beating yourself up about things is a surefire way to drain your well of happiness dry. We all mess up at times, and we all make mistakes. But you have to forgive yourself. You’ll never be happy if you are full of self-loathing. One biggest favours we can do for ourselves is learn how to be at ease with our own beings. Mistakes are for learning from – and if you can do this, you’re halfway there!
- Take Up a New Hobby
Learning new skills helps our brains keep active. It gives us something to do; you can meet a whole new bunch of people, and try new things. From Belly dancing to basket weaving, any sort of new activity will help you are living a more interesting and varied life. You could find a hidden talent, so what have you got to lose?
In this crazy world, it’s important to give your brain some breathing space. Meditation has been proven to help increase mental strength and supercharge your focus. Being able to mute distractions is a very useful skill! Learning how to meditate and practising regularly can help boost your mood significantly. It has also been shown to improve a whole range of conditions like ADHD and anxiety.
What makes you happy? What do you do to give yourself a boost? Please do share what brings a smile to your face in the comments. Share the love!