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17 Simple Ways To Be Happy

This week we celebrate World Happiness Day, a UN initiative to get people to explore simple ways to be happy. So, we’ve come up with a list of things to do to make yourself happy every day - because sometimes we forget how important this is…

Ways to live happy:

5 ways to be happy that are proven by science

Scientists across the world have long conducted research to work out, once and for all, the best way to be happy by improving our overall wellbeing and mental health.

1. Exercise more – Many studies have shown that exercise is one of the most effective things to do to make yourself happy. It releases endorphins (happy chemicals) into the brain as well as improving sleep, reducing anxiety and generally making us feel better about ourselves.

2. Get outdoors – A UK study led by the University of Sussex found that people felt happiest when they were outdoors – preferably on a sunny day, spending time near the coast – sounds wonderful! Getting outside can help to clear your head and get some all-important vitamin D.

3. Increase your sleep – We’ve long been saying this, but science proves it. Getting an adequate amount of sleep – that’s 7-9 hours a night for adults – make us feel clearer headed, able to make better decisions and perform well in our work. All of which leads to increased feelings of confidence and happiness.

4. Meditate often – Scientists have proven that meditation or mindfulness can help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression and in fact ‘rewire our brains for happiness’. Meditation has been seen to shrink the area of the brain that controls fear and anxiety as well as reducing levels of stress hormone cortisol.

5. Hug people – Researchers at Pennsylvania State University in the US studied students’ levels of happiness when they partook in hugs. They found that those who had more hugs over the course of a month became demonstrably happier. This was due to the release of oxytocin into their brains having a positive impact on the fear and anxiety centre.

How to be happy? Do these things every day

There are loads of simple ways to be happy – Many of which have instant results. Why not try incorporating some of these into your daily routine?

6. Keep a gratitude journal – Each evening before you fall asleep, write down 3 things you are grateful for from your day. This can work wonders to give you a positive mindset and help you notice the good things in life.

7. Take notice of the small things – Take a moment to notice the pretty blue butterfly flitting along the hedgerow, the smell of fresh coffee in the morning or the feel of the soft blanket as you snuggle into bed. Open up your senses to the world and you’ll begin to feel more alive.

8. Spend time with people who make you smile – Make time to catch up with good friends. Laughing and sharing stories is sure to give you a boost.

9. Do something for someone else – volunteering or doing a good deed can leave us feeling good about ourselves for a long time afterwards. Try it and see.

10. Do something you enjoy – Allow yourself time to do something just for you, whether it’s baking a cake, reading a good book, going for a run or getting arty and crafty. Time with yourself is important!

11. Put the volume up and dance - Choose upbeat tunes that are guaranteed to put a smile on your face, and then dance like no-one is watching. Get the kids involved and you’ll all enjoy a few moments of madness that will leave you feeling altogether happier.

Find your happy place

Is there anywhere you go that you know will make you feel instantly happier?

12. Head to one of the 10 happiest places in the world - The World Happiness Report 2018 looked at which country has the happiest people, and found that Finland leads the way. In fact, all 5 Scandinavian nations appear in the top ten happy countries. The remaining ’happy lands’ are Switzerland, The Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

13. Visit a favourite childhood place - Finding a happy place from your childhood can release feelings of contentment and comfort, whether it’s your old bedroom or a place that simply brings back lovely memories.

14. Head somewhere to clear your head Hike up a mountain and savour the view or grab your surfboard and hit some waves – whatever you choose, go somewhere that will blow those cobwebs away.

15. Visualise a place you’d like to be If you’re unable to visit your happy place in person, don’t let that put you off. Close your eyes and picture the waves crashing onto that beach at sunset or the view through a beautiful rose garden. It’s up to you.

16. Leave the house - Sometimes feeling happier can be as simple as getting out of the four walls of your house. Even if it’s just a 10-minute stroll round the block, a change of scenery can work wonders and stop you going stir crazy.

17. Head to bed - Is it just us or is heading to bed early for the night sure to improve your mood? So, make sure your bed is covered with luxuriously comfortable bedding and enjoy one of the most simple ways to be happy.

What do you always try when you’re wondering how to be happy? Is there anything else that you’d add to our list? Why not choose 5 of our things to do to make yourself happy to try this World Happiness Day?

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