Don’t worry, be happy. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it is, and… it isn’t. Sometimes it can feel as though happiness is just out of arms reach. “If only I had (fill in the blank) I’d be happy.” Sound familiar? Now that we live in an era of constantly comparing our lives to others on Instagram – it’s easy to think everyone else has got this whole happiness thing down and, for some reason, no one wants to share the secret with you. Well, as it turns out - there is no one big secret to happiness. On a brighter note, we do have a few simple tips to share that could help shift your perspective towards a happier existence.
Tip #1: Establish a Daily Gratitude Practice
Our first tip to happiness, establishing a daily gratitude practice, may help to create a new way of thinking. It might sound overwhelming to start a whole new daily practice, but the amazing part is you can practice gratitude anytime, anywhere! (For example: lying in bed before you start your day or in the car on your way to work.) Simply take a few moments to think of a handful of things you are grateful for. It can vary day to day and be as basic or as thoughtful as you’d like, as long as it makes you feel fulfilled. Throughout the day when you start to slip in to a negative headspace, recall the list from your daily gratitude practice and remind yourself of all the amazing things you have to be happy about. Eventually, you may start to notice the pattern of your thoughts shift from a place of lack to a position of abundance.
Tip #2: Stop Comparing Yourself to People on the Internet
Consider this, do you recall the last time you posted something online about the fight you had with your partner, the weight you gained over the holidays, or the bad review you received at work? Probably not all that recently, if ever. That’s okay – those things are personal and you can choose to share them with who you want, when you want. The point is this: The internet does not tell the whole story. Rather, it is more like a highlight reel. Now, there are some amazing humans out there posting deep, personal content about their struggles and this can be an incredible opportunity for connection. There are also many people online who are wildly inspirational. However, the majority of people are mostly posting the happy moments of their daily lives. Again, that is perfectly fine – it’s just not the whole story, and it’s not something you should compare your life against. Keep following the people who make you feel happy, who inspire you, and who you connect with. Immediately unfollow people who have the opposite effect.
Tip #3: Take Care of Yourself
The connection between body and mind is remarkably powerful. If you feel rundown, weighted or tense, it is highly likely your thoughts and mood will reflect your physical state. For this reason, it is vital that you take good care of your body in an effort to maintain a positive mindset. Well-energized, healthy individuals tend to radiate happiness. When you feel good on the inside, it shows. Remember – keep it simple. Taking good care of yourself does not have to cost a fortune or consume all your free time, do not be fooled into thinking you need the latest and greatest health products, expensive juice cleanses and a team of bodyworkers to be happy. Just drink plenty of water, rest when you are tired, eat healthy foods, and find a way to move your body every day.
“To keep the body in good health is our duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha
Tip #4: Get Outside
Spending time in nature can be incredibly grounding. When your day feels like it is flying off the rails and you can’t snap out of your funk, connecting to the calm and stable energy of Mother Earth may be just what you need to turn it around. Being in the great outdoors can remind us how vast the world is, and can put our seemingly large problems back in to perspective. That being said, you do not need to retreat to the woods for days at a time to reset the happiness meter. Instead, simply get up from your desk and take a ten-minute walk around the block, take a few deep breaths of the fresh, outside air, and notice how quickly your mood can shift.
Tip #5: Give Yourself a Break
Last but not least, give yourself a break. Even the happiest of people are grumpy sometimes. If you have a bad morning, remember it does not mean your whole day is shot. If you have a bad day, keep in mind tomorrow is a fresh start. If you have a moment of comparing yourself to others, skip your daily run, get angry with your coworker, stay up late or binge on junk food – remember you are human. It happens, it’s called balance. Give yourself a break and move on. Try not to take yourself so seriously and life may become a lot more fun. So, don’t worry, and be happy.