In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be easy to forget to make time to practise these small acts that can contribute to your overall wellbeing and happiness.
Waking up every morning, cleaning the house, cooking and doing chores, finishing up the necessary tasks and going back to bed only to wake up early in the morning and do it all over again. It can be kind of boring, can’t it?
Some people find joy in ordinary things, setting rules, and schedules. But not everyone's the same. Even though you most likely have to stick to a daily routine, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do other things that make you happier and healthier inside and out. Hunt for things that make your ordinary life a little brighter and indulge in activities that make you happier.
Things you can try to feel happier:
- Make self-care a priority
- Surround yourself with positive people
- Practise gratitude
- Teach yourself to be constructive when worrying
- Celebrate the small wins
- Establish a healthy diet and sleep schedule
- Exercise regularly
We are all on the hunt to find things in life that make us truly happy, so we have put together a list of some small things you can incorporate into your day that can really help to provide a positive outlook.
1. Self-care is important
Let’s get this straight, self-care is essential if you want to feel happier in busy, ordinary life. We’re not talking about the expensive self-care promoted by YouTubers and influencers. Self-care can be something simple, like making a cup of tea and reading a favourite book. It's important to find things that make you feel relaxed and good about yourself. Even though self-care is usually associated with solitude, it can include group activities like playing board games with your family or chit-chatting with your best mates. Whether it’s reading, watching a film, or soaking in the bubble bath, the main purpose is to “recharge your batteries” and rest your body and mind.
2. Surround yourself with positive people
Ordinary life can be tough sometimes, but if you're surrounded by people with a negative outlook on top of that, it may feel harder to see the positive side. Maybe it's time to re-evaluate your surroundings and people in them. Is there someone or something that makes you happy? Stick to them or it! Positive people are rays of sunshine on a cloudy day. They are like rare gemstones in this world. It’s hard to find them, but once you do, their positivity and joy make your days much better.
Sometimes, finding positive people in your surrounding can be hard. Why don’t you surround yourself with positivity, and be the joyful person you seek? Once the glass becomes half full, not half empty, spotting other positive individuals will be easier for you. Positivity doesn’t only bring more joyful state of mind, but also more confidence and motivation for everyday tasks. It comes from forgiveness and gratitude for people and things in our lives.
3. Show gratitude
Day to day tasks can sometimes swoon us and make us forget what we have in life. That’s why one of the greatest ways to retrieve your joyful self is to practice gratitude for things, people, actions and most importantly, yourself. But how could you show gratitude to yourself? As gratitude comes in various forms, try figuring out what works the best for you. Is it returning the favour to your hardworking self by taking a nap? Or maybe it’s spending time away from the computer screen, or even treating yourself with delicious food. Anything that keeps you motivated and willing to continue doing an incredible job is a good “thank you” for you.
Don't forget to appreciate the people around you. Show gratitude to your parents, siblings, friends, colleagues and anyone deserving of it. With their actions, they make you a better version of yourself, so be thankful for them. You can even be thankful for strangers who let you cut the line because you have fewer items in the basket, or strangers who are happy and spread their joy to other people by posting something sweet on social media groups. Seek for little things that can make you grateful for being alive.
4. Less worrying, more constructive emotions
Let’s face it, telling someone to stop worrying is like adding fuel to the fire. It leads nowhere and makes an anxious person feel bad for worrying. With the global pandemic raging, even people who weren’t prone to anxiety may feel anxious or distressed. It times like these it’s important to find the right tools for anxiety and conserving mental health.
Many people who suffer from anxiety find it can make them feel unproductive and makes it more difficult to see the positive aspects of their lives. As you know, worrying and overthinking makes everyone less happy. So, instead of worrying, try to implement constructive emotions in your behaviour. Constructive emotions can be both, pleasant and unpleasant, however, unlike anxiety and worry, they make you want to change something about yourself or your behaviour. So, if you’re feeling anxious about a certain task, try switching it with an alternative that you find less worrying, that is motivating enough to keep you working, but not intense enough to make you unhappy.
5. Celebrate little victories
No matter how big or small, every victory is worth celebrating. Just like a toddler who is happy after every step it takes; you should feel joy after every success. Even if it something silly or minor like getting out of the bed and brushing your teeth, small achievements are important for starting off your day well.
Make a plan for each day. List the things you must do, things you should do, and things you want to do, but be realistic according to your time and abilities. Don’t forget to take into consideration rest or time for self-care. Tick off every achieved thing on the list and celebrate it by, for example, treating yourself. Another important part of celebrating victories is tracking your progress. No matter what you do, after some time you’ll start to notice progress in your activity. That’s a sign you should keep going and working towards your main goal. Once you reach it, don’t forget to celebrate it and every little achievement along the way.
6. Take care of your diet and sleep schedule
Start your year right by eating a healthy diet you can stick to. The intake of all the necessary nutrition is crucial if you want to feel better. The sole realisation that you’re doing something good for your body can make you feel happier, not to mention the fact you’ll feel better once you eliminate alcohol and junk food, and replace it with healthier groceries. When it comes to resting your body, sleeping 8 hours per night will leave you refreshed and happier. A rested mind is a happy mind. When you sleep well, your mood increases, as well as your motivation and concentration, which means that you'll finish your tasks easier and you get to celebrate your little victories faster!
7. Exercise often
A healthy diet and good night’s sleep aren’t enough for a completely healthy body. Besides getting into shape, exercising can lift your mood up in no time. When you exercise, your body releases feel-good hormones called endorphins that make you happier. Besides that, exercising promotes your immune system making you fight against various contagious illnesses easier.
Since the virus outbreak started, exercising can be one of the ways to keep our sanity and bring back some happiness in the dull routine. As we can’t meet up with friends and family, riding a bike can be a perfect past time activity. Besides being a hobby, this type of exercise is incredible as it’s low intensity, burns a lot of calories while you’re social-distancing in the fresh air. However, if you don’t have a bike right now, it may be hard to get one because many shops are temporarily closed down due to the virus. So, instead of sitting at home, consider searching for a bicycle shop online that delivers brand new bikes to your address. Alternatively, there is always walking! Experts have agreed that walking cannot be faulted as one of the best forms of exercise, offering a number of benefits from easing joint pain to strengthening your heart.
8. Joyful state of mind
Besides eating clean, exercising, taking care of yourself and others, and searching for positivity, we can agree that happiness and joyful state of mind is our final destination. We want to implement it in our daily life and hold on to it.
But how do we know if we’ve achieved it? Even if we do everything stated in the previous paragraphs, we may not feel joy. However, you may notice that you feel peaceful. That is something you want to achieve. Joy comes from a peaceful state of mind and vice versa. Once you don't feel your heart racing, palms sweating and like something is overwhelming you, you're at peace. You'll simply radiate positive vibes and feel-good energy making you and everyone around you happy. Even if it seems like a fleeting emotion, combined with peace, happiness can stay with us for a longer period.
To be honest, there is no recipe for happiness. A fairy that can just wave her magic wand and make you happy sadly doesn’t exist. Happiness lies in small things around us. We just need patience and courage to notice it. If it isn’t there, work on yourself until you can find it.
Don’t be afraid to get to know yourself, who you truly are, what your likes and dislikes are, what gets on your nerves, what makes you happy… That’s the best way to seek happiness and apply it in ordinary life.
An entrepreneur and former senior oil broker, Ruari gave up drinking after excessive consumption almost cost him his marriage, and worse, his life. Going alcohol-free improved his relationships, career and energy levels, leading to him founding OYNB to provide a support network for others.