5 game-changers that will make you a happier person.

I think sometimes we're guilty of waiting for certain things to have happened before we allow ourselves to 'be happy'. 

Like, when I get that dream job, I'll be properly happy. Or when I get down to X stone and fit in that outfit, I'll start my happy then. You don't have to wait a moment longer my friend. Because things happening don't decide happy. You decide happy.

In fact, you can start feeling like a happier person within the next 24 hours. True story. Here are five game-changers you might be interested in;

No. 1: Log off

This is a biggie, and arguably the hardest. Which is why I put it first tbh.

The fact that social media can be detrimental to your mental health isn’t new information to us anymore. We’re all acutely aware of how much a mindless rabbit-hole-scroll can affect how we’re feeling. But sometimes it’s just impossible to stop right? It’s like a full-on addiction that’s eerily reinforcing itself.

Random notifications and the endless flow of information on our feeds stimulate the production of two main chemical rewards – dopamine and oxytocin. Dopamine causes us to search, seek, and desire novelty – which naturally makes us curious to explore and consume new information. Oxytocin, known for its ability to affect feelings of intimacy and bonding, is the stimulant for good feelings of love, empathy, trust, and compassion
— Alexandra Dempsey, Freedom Matters

So this is actual science. The chemical reaction is real.

If we get our ‘hit’ from the occasional comment/like/share on something we post on social media, we so easily overlook how sh*te it made us feel 10 minutes ago in a heartbeat. It’s like all’s forgiven and instead you’re left wanting more. And herein lies the problem that’s affecting your happiness.

Luckily though, there’s a bunch of clever people out there that have ironically made apps to help you get a grip. I’ve personally recently downloaded Onward, and from what I’ve seen of it, I love it, and the set-up process is genius. 👌🏻 It’s given me some real food for thought in how I’m choosing to spend my time, and I already feel more empowered, more in control and that I’m focusing my day on more real-world happiness. This isn’t any kind of endorsement either, there’s a bazillion awesome apps out there doing a similar thing so feel free to hunt around, this is just one I’ve had some real fun playing with and wanted to share with you.

No. 2: Take responsibility

Or more like, don’t blame anybody else for you not being happy. 

Of course people in life are gonna p*ss you off. They might even push you to your very limits. But you STILL have control over how you react to that. Of course you also might endure/have endured the most horrendous of experiences and have a lot more to contend with than most, but you STILL have control over how you respond to that. Y’see, your happiness is a result of YOUR decisions and YOUR habits. NOT from other people’s actions.

Being unhappy isn’t a result of how much your parents might’ve messed you up with their questionable parenting, or perhaps how your job is so stressful you can’t see a way out. Sure, those things are freaking hard challenges to overcome, but ultimately, the buck always stops with you.

How do I know this? Because there are people with supposed ‘dream’ jobs and fat bank accounts who are miserable or commit suicide, and there are people with crazy-difficult jobs or unimaginable physical disabilities, who see the joy in everything and are an absolute treat to be around.

Blaming your parents or your job, or anything outside of yourself, is an excuse. It’s a habit you’ve allowed yourself to practice because it takes you off the hook. 

Now if this has struck a chord with you, this may sound like some kind of telling-off-rant, but it’s the complete opposite. It should be the best news ever! How empowering and magical is it that YOU are responsible for your choices, your habits, your happiness? No-one gets a look-in from now on, no matter what happens in your future, you’re armed with the knowledge that you’ve chosen to be happy in it. Now that’s game-changing.

No. 3: Celebrate your wins

There’s no denying that we all suck at times; we fall, make mistakes, embarrass ourselves, put our foot in it, or maybe even feel like a bad person. It’s part of human nature. But you should never let any of those things affect your happiness and define you. Because they 100% don’t. 

If you find yourself eternally focusing on your shortcomings; how you’re not good enough for that promotion, how you’ll never be hot enough to be noticed, how you’ll never be skinny enough for that outfit – you need to try out flipping those thoughts on their head and celebrate your wins instead. And I mean daily.

Did you get up in time? WIN. Did you manage to feed yourself breakfast? WIN. Did you wait to hold a door open for someone? WIN. Did you try your best at work? WIN. Did you help out a mate that seemed to be having a crap day with a stormer of a text? WIN. Did you manage to refrain from scoffing your usual-six jaffa cakes, and opted for a more conservative three instead? WIN. 

You get the picture. They could be big, small or medium wins. But that fact is, you’re winning at life every single day, you’re just choosing to overlook the wins instead of celebrating them. The moment your day becomes more about noticing the stuff you’ve accomplished as opposed to the stuff you sucked at, your happiness game will be strong my friend. 💪🏻

No. 4: Fake it 

Your smile that is. I know I know, if it doesn’t sound stupid it sounds creepy, right? But honestly, even a forced smile can trick your brain into thinking you’re real-life happy. It's a fake-it-til-you-make-it kinda vibe.

And this genuinely works, I dare you to try it today. Double dare ye! 👊🏻 Take a walk outside around people, maybe it’s your usual walk leaving work or maybe it’s a trip to the shops. And just have a sneaky smile to yourself. Just a baby one to start. Then you're bound to have a wee laugh at yourself which counts as another smile. Now I’m guessing that no-one who’s walking alone is smiling. Seek them out and smile at them when you’re passing. It doesn’t have to be an alarming cheshire-cat-grin that makes them grip their handbag or back pocket tighter than usual, just a squint of the eyes and an upturn of the mouth’ll do it. A discreet "hey, you alright?" with your smile. Now repeat until you start getting some smiles back.

Now how did your happiness levels compare than your usual walk from work or trip to the shops? I’m pretty confident you felt a tiiiiiiny bit lighter, even if it was just from feeling like you’re making a tit of yourself. But still, you felt something right? Discomfort and awkwardness maybe too? That’s because you made a conscious change to be a happier person, and breaking old habits does evoke a different feeling. It’s supposed to feel uncomfortable because it means you’re growing. Well done you 🙌🏻

So stick at it, before you know it, you’ll be smiling, whistling and high-fiving folk everywhere, just ‘cause you're so damn happy! 

No. 5: Move it

Unhappiness loves nothing more than a sedentary vessel to really be able to take a stronghold (I’m talking being curled up in your onesie on a sofa, having not moved all weekend). So conversely, there’s nothing unhappiness hates more than an active body walking/running/dancing/swimming/enter-fave-movement-of-choice-here, correct? Correct.

And again, this is science, so there’s no denying this’ll work like a charm. It reduces stress, it pumps out endorphins (your happy juices), it gets you feeling better about yourself, it helps manage anxiety and depression. I mean it can even up your creativity.

But the tough bit is gathering the gusto to get up off the sofa and unzip that oh-so-warm onesie right? (I’m so with you here btw). So I got to some researching and found some awesome lil’ tips for us that I’m all over.

My three favourites are;

  1. Put on your workout clothes instead of your onesie. The first step very often leads to the second.

  2. Write down how you feel after a workout for future-demotivated-you. Use it as your motivation juice next time you feel the sofa calling.

  3. Make it part of your social life as a friend meetup. Whatever work you're doing with friends doesn't feel like work does it?

So you just need to hunt down that moving-thing that you like doing ’tis all. For me, it’s dancing in any capacity. I love it so much, I can literally dance for hours at full throttle and not even notice that I’m purple and about to collapse. But if you haven’t found your moving-thing yet, you’re in the coolest position of all getting to try them all out! 🙌🏻

I appreciate diving into all five of these by the end of today might be a bit too much game-changing for one singular day, so definitely don’t feel that that’s my recommendation. But seriously, what have you got to lose by trying just one? Worst case scenario, you use some time on something you haven’t thought of trying before. Best case scenario, you kinda like how it feels so you might try it again tomorrow, and the next day. And the next. And before you know it, BINGO 👉🏻 you're a happier person.

If you’ve got a buddy you think would lap this up, I’d love for you to share it with them so you can claim bragging rights in totally changing their game.

Until next week, stay happy gorgeous 💋

Big love and all the feels, Kerry :D