Happy Day of Happiness!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Over the weekend, I found out that today is the International Day of Happiness.  Proposed to the UN in 2011 and approved in 2012, the first day actually took place in 2013 on the spring Equinox.

As the Happiness Personal Trainer, my ethos is to encourage people to pursue activities that bring happiness (even I am guilty of this).  My coaching can encompass physical activity, nourishing food choices, allocating free time differently, and looking for new inspiration.  I believe everyone can experience happiness, but in today's modern society, we sometimes lose sight of what truly makes us happy.  It might be sitting on the beach in the sun, spending time with your kids, volunteering at the animal shelter, fishing while the sun rises, sleeping until noon on Sunday, or having ice cream for dessert.

Here are my top 10 tips on finding happiness:

1.  Don't be afraid to try.  If you love Strictly Come Dancing and think dancing could be something that brings you joy, sign up for an introductory lesson.  Or if you have stacks of poetry, attend an open mic night.  Be being brave, you might experience joy.

2.  Phone a friend.  Forget about texting and email.  Speaking to a live person can make all the difference.  Call an old friend from uni, meet your gran for tea, or call on a neighbor for some human contact and enjoyable chat.

3.  Seek inspiration.  If you aren't sure what would make you happy, head to the library for a nw book, see a movie at the cinema, head to an art museum, attend a religious service or look for inspirational quotes on Pinterest.  A few simple words or a striking painting might change your mood for the day.

4.  Don't worry.  Easier said than done, I know, but if you can forget about what other people think of you, it will  make a world of difference.

5.  Treat yourself.  Indulge on massage, new pair of shoes, fancy chocolate bar, or popcorn at the movies.  You are worth every cent.

6.  Get moving.  Exercise is known to boost serotonin.  The amount of time you need to exercise to feel the benefits is different for different people.  Running, biking, swimming, or walking are good activities to try but you should also choose something you will enjoy.  Yoga and pilates might work for you too.  Don't give up if you don't feel amazing right away (I know it takes me 45 minutes to achieve a runner's high).  Just keep at it!

7.  Chase the sun.  Light is also something that can trigger serotonin release.  So book a weekend getaway to the beach and pack your sunglasses.

8.  Declutter.  I joke that the state of my living room mirrors my mental state.  When I spend an hour putting away laundry, dusting, and finding a few things to donate, I feel like a load has been lifted off of my shoulders.  Spending time in the room is much more pleasant when it is a bit neater.

9.  Outsource.  If there is something hanging over your head, it can feel like it is haunting you.  If you need ironing done, inbox sorted, a craft completed or your bike cleaned, it might be worth it to hire someone else to do it so you can move on.

10.  Smiles and hugs.  Try smiling.  Go on, just try.  If that doesn't work, download a comedy podcast, watching your favorite funny film, or ask a colleague for a funny video of their kids.  Hugs might also help if you have the opportunity someone.

Use #HAPPYDAY today on social media to share your tips on what makes you happy or leave a comment below.  I would love to hear from you.  :)

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