You know those people who are always happy? It could be storming outside, their car could have broken down, they could be lying in a hospital bed – and yet, they are sitting there with a big smile plastered over their face? And not an inauthentic one either – they are genuinely exuding happiness, regardless of their life circumstances. Happiness is their default.
Wouldn’t it feel good to be one of those people?
Truth be told, I AM one of those people. I kind of always have been. “You’re always so happy!” people are constantly exclaiming. Which is nice, because I know that in being happy, I can spread joy to others (in fact, that is part of my job!)
Now, this is not to say “happy people” don’t have their down days, or moments of sadness or anger. Not even close. Most happy people are so in touch with their emotions that, while they allow themselves to feel the spectrum of emotion fully, they linger less on the ‘negatives’ in life and use them as a catalyst for positive growth and change. And thus, feel happier. It’s like a cycle of positivity.
So, how do these people wake up happy every single day – and how can YOU start doing the same?
Here are some key tips and tricks to cultivate more happiness into your daily life:
Allow yourself to feel ALL emotions
Here’s a groundbreaking secret for you – there are no good or bad emotions. All emotions are just that – emotion. And part of the human experience is the ability to feel the wide range of emotion that comes with life – the yin and the yang. Happy people choose to be happy, yes, but on the whole they also don’t run from the seemingly ‘negative’ emotions. Sorrow, grief, anger, frustration – are just as valid and real as joy and love and passion and excitement. The key to not dwelling on emotions that are not serving you positively, is to allow yourself to fully FEEL them as they come up – and then let them go. Wallow in your sadness or anger for a minute or so. Journal out your frustrations. Breathe through the emotion. And then – move on. Practice makes perfect in this regard but it really is that simple.
Keep a journal
Journals are a wonderful way of getting out of your head and onto the page. Especially if you find you are the type of person who cannot switch of your mind. Keeping a journal, and regularly capturing your thoughts (I’m talking every single day) can really minimise the internal negative self-talk going on in your head – allowing more space to be in the present moment, and forging more positive and mindful experiences. Try journalling first thing in the morning if you wake up and your mind is racing – and notice how starting your day with a clearer mind has a profound impact on your happiness throughout the day.
Practice gratitudes and affirmations
This is a happiness non-negotiable. If you want to wake up happy every single day, you need to be thinking and speaking like a happy person. It makes sense when put so simply, but there is actually scientific evidence behind it. Gratitude and positive affirmations, when practiced regularly, have a significant impact on the mind – and overtime, open your brain up to cultivate even MORE positive experiences, also allowing you to become more aware of things in your life you may have otherwise taken for granted – like a passing smile from a stranger in the street, or a beautiful sunny day. Become aware of the words you use and the way you speak to yourself and others, and start to take note around projecting POSITIVE words and behaviours rather than negative or fear based thinking.
Surround yourself with people you love
Having a supportive and loving circle of friends and family members is a MUST when it comes to positive psychology. Friends and family who uplift and inspire you are so important – especially when you are struggling or having a particularly challenging day. Be conscious to cultivate loving and inspiring relationships with people you genuinely want to spend time with – this is not to be confused with spending time with people who drain you or leave you feeling depleted. You know how the saying goes – find your tribe, and love them hard. Life is so much better when you are sharing it with others. LOVE is the meaning of life, after all.
Engage regularly in activities that bring you joy
When we leave high school, a small part of us is left behind when it comes to hobbies and doing things for FUN. We think that now we are adults, things like dance class, netball or drawing should be left behind with our school uniforms and house parties. The happiest people I know ALL have at least one hobby they are regularly engaged in. This could be anything from singing in a choir, to writing creatively, to pottery class. Find your ‘flow’ activity and notice how it makes you feel. Doing something purely for the JOY of it is seriously underrated.
Endorphins much? People can be so resistant to exercise because it is often associated with body image, or slugging yourself from a place of guilt or fear. The exercise I am talking about here is the stuff that leaves you feeling good. Like, really good. That could be going for a coastal walk with a bestie, or stretching on your bedroom floor. Find a way to move your body that you enjoy, is easy for you and that feels GOOD before, during AND after. Your body will seriously thank you for it – and your mind will quickly follow.