Finding happiness in the everyday

Improving your enjoyment of life doesn’t have to be about making huge changes. In fact, finding happiness in your everyday routine can go a long way towards improving your mental health. 

Incorporating some healthier practices into your day is a great way to build good habits. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Practice gratitude

Studies show that people who practise gratitude are more likely to feel happier with their everyday lives. Not only can gratitude help you to see more of the positives in your life, it can help you to feel more satisfied with the here and now.

When you’re able to appreciate the present, your happiness begins to feel less dependent on future situations. Instead of thinking in terms of “I’ll be happier when…”, you can acknowledge what’s going well for you at the moment.

Finding things to feel grateful for can be challenging when you’re going through a difficult time. However, focusing on the positives could help you to come out the other side with more optimism and appreciation.

Some ideas of how to show gratitude include:

  • Jotting down a few things that have gone well in your day. 
  • Thanking your friends and family for their acts of kindness.
  • Taking time to appreciate your job, your home, your friends and anything that brings you joy.

Give more compliments

When you give a sincere compliment, everyone benefits. Kindness can boost self-esteem and promote feelings of positivity for each party. That’s because it releases endorphins and serotonin, the hormones linked to happiness, not just for the person that received the compliment, but also for the person that gave it.

People who receive compliments will also be more likely to return the favour, so the cycle will continue. Whether in the workplace, at home, or out with friends, compliments make everyone feel better.

In fact, compliments are so important that there’s an entire day dedicated to them! World Compliment Day takes place on March 1st every year. It was founded by Hans Poortvliet, a man from the Netherlands who saw the importance of giving more appreciation to others. 

However, not all compliments are created equal. It’s important to choose praise that is less focused on superficial characteristics, and more about internal ones. Examples include “you’re so kind”, “you always bring a great perspective to things” and “you’re full of great ideas”. 

And when it comes to accepting compliments, don’t shrug them off. You’ve earned them.

Be more present

You’ve probably heard the word “mindfulness” used before, but you might not be sure what it means.

Mindfulness is the practice of living in the moment instead of dwelling on the past or considering the future. Of course, thinking about the past and future is a necessary part of life, but it’s easy to get too absorbed by them. If you find it difficult to focus on the here and now, it could be a sign you need to work on mindfulness. 

But how do you begin? 

Engage in a new hobby. When you’re doing something new, your mind is engrossed in the task at hand, leaving less space to ruminate on the past or worry about the future. You could try your hand at a new craft, learn a musical instrument or take up a sport. 

Focus on what you’re doing. When was the last time you paid 100% of your attention to your actions? You could start with something as simple as savouring each mouthful of your sandwich, making the effort to really notice its texture and flavour. 

Set your phone aside. Whether you’re out with friends or going for a walk alone, disconnecting from your phone will allow you to take in more of your surroundings. You’ll be a better listener, and you’ll probably notice things that you’d otherwise be distracted from.  
Exercise. When your mind and body are focused on a workout, you’re living fully in the moment. This could be through playing sports, dancing, or pumping iron at the gym.

Make time for self-care

What exactly is self-care? Put simply, it’s making time to meet your physical and emotional needs. 

Taking care of yourself is vital for good mental health, and self-care certainly doesn’t have to be anything radical. We’re not talking about expensive holidays or luxurious spa days – as great as these may be, they can’t exactly form part of your daily routine. 

Self-care might look like a relaxing bubble bath, a delicious meal or even an early night. It’s whatever you need to feel well-rested and recharged. 

It’s important to always make time for self-care, no matter how busy you are. When you dedicate some time each day to meeting your needs, you’re sending yourself the message that your wellbeing matters. This also gives you something to look forward to, even on the most challenging days.

Improve your surroundings

Many of us spend hours of our day living or working in the same space. No matter your environment, improving its appearance can go a long way toward boosting your mood.

Have you thought about sprucing up your walls? Hanging up pictures or posters that you love will give you an instant hit of happiness. This will brighten up your surroundings and make you feel more enthusiastic about spending time there. 

How about buying a new plant for your windowsill? Houseplants have been proven to improve focus, promote happiness and even have a calming effect on us. Even if you spend most of your day inside, you can still surround yourself with nature.  

Think about what you’d like to see when you first wake up. Will a motivational poster get you ready to start the day? Or will a framed family photo remind you what you’re working towards?

Ed can Help you to find more everyday happiness. Whether you’re dealing with stress, anxiety or more complex issues such as PTSD, our sound-based therapy can support you in untangling unhelpful thoughts and feelings to make way for happier ones.  
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