Once in a while we can all have a ‘blue’ day or get stuck in a rut and that’s okay.
But when that day becomes weeks, or months even, we need to stop and think ‘what is making me unhappy’ and ‘how can I change that’?
It’s easy to mistake happiness as a result when in reality, happiness is an on-going driver.
Carry on reading as we explore how to take control of your own happiness through 8 key drivers.
Run your own race
You start and end life on your own, so stop comparing your journey in life to others.
If you connect your happiness to being constantly the best, then you’re running a never-ending race set for failure. In your eyes, someone will always be prettier, smarter and funnier than you.
So just let go.
Instead, compare yourself to how you were last year – or even last week- and how much you’ve improved since. And if you haven’t ‘improved’, that’s okay too. Just think about who you want to be in 5 years time and work towards being that best version of you.
Enjoy what you do
We spend most our days at work, whether that’s in an office or from the comfort of your living room. That’s around 8 hours a day, for about 260 days a year.
Don’t spend most of your time doing a job you hate. If every morning your nails curl into themselves and you’re dying to call in sick (for the 5th time this month) then just leave.
You will always find another job. It may not pay as well, but if your ultimate goal in life is happiness, then put that first, the money will come after.
When I was younger I was told, find a hobby you love and find a way to make a living from it.
Make your house a home
There’s a reason the danish art of hygge became so popular last year.
Your quest to happiness doesn’t end with having a job that you enjoy, friends you can laugh with and hobbies that feed your inner child.
Your happiness starts from the moment your wake up to the moment you go to sleep.
So surround yourself with little things that make you happy. Be careful though, that doesn’t necessarily equate to materialistic possessions.
You don’t need a designer sofa to be happy. It’s the smaller things in life that truly inspire happiness, from the fresh loaf of bread ready on the counter for breakfast to evenings snuggled with your partner on the sofa whilst a candle crackles in the background.
Surround yourself with people you love
and that love you back!
Laughter is food for the soul. Being around friends allows you to let go, relax and share special moments in your lives together.
You also need to know when it’s time to let go of that certain friend who you always leave feeling down or has a negative comment to say about you.
Life is too short to hang onto people because of the time you invested into them. If they make you unhappy then cut your ties and be grateful that once upon a time, that was your friend and although you had some good memories together they are no longer right for you at this moment in time.
You are what you eat
Fill your body with food that makes it thrive. Think of your body as a car, it needs the right petrol to drive. You wouldn’t just put any oil in your tank?
Feeding your body the right vitamins helps it flourish.
When you eat fast food that has been heavily processed and mass-produced, you’re consuming all those chemicals that the food is surrounded with in that process. Why not try cooking from scratch at home?
It may take a while to begin with but you’ll soon get the hang of it. Sure enough learning this vital skill and taking a few moments to switch of while you concentrate on creating a meal will increase your mindfulness and level of satisfaction you get when eating it.
Rushed for time in the evenings? Check out our meal prepping hacks to speed along the cooking process.
You will rarely regret that time you said yes to joining a new sports club, to going out with a friend or helping out a charity.
Doing things in life creates fulfillment and a sense of achievement.
Whether it turns out to be a one-time thing, or a lifetime hobby it will always make an enjoyable memory you can look back on.
So, sometimes it’s a good thing to step out of your comfort zone and do things you usually wouldn’t.
Although it can be tempting to look to the past to gain insights, overtime time you can become to obsess over things that you can’t change.
Instead of constantly looking on how a past event has led you to feeling unhappy, take control of your happiness and work on what you can do now to change it.
Observe the past, target what your dwelling on and find a solution. Can you change this past event that is making you unhappy? If the answer is no, move on.
You’ll stop feeling helpless and start feeling more in control of your own thoughts and feelings.
Do you ever look into your packet of crisps to have another but realise you’ve eaten them all? Or reach your destination without remembering the journey? This is called autopilot.
When you do a certain action very often, you soon start to do it without thinking. This can be anything from your journey home from work and eating your packed lunch to washing the dishes.
Take a moment, breath and live in each moment. Take in the trees which you drive past, really chew each mouthful of your lunch and embrace the flavour, feel the bubbles from the washing up liquid against your skin.
When you switch off autopilot and begin to live every moment – even one’s as dull as washing the dishes- you’ll soon begin to appreciate life more, feel a sense of gratefulness for this amazing life we live and feel happier with your everyday life. We can’t always be on holiday by the beach, so it’s our everyday routine that counts.
Turn your screen off, go for a walk, listen to the birds sing and appreciate how truly amazing life is and be happy as you enjoy your unique journey.
Post work stress getting in the way of your zen? Check out our 7 Stress Busting Yoga Poses For After Work.