Yes, It's possible!
Happiness looks different for everyone. For you, maybe it’s being at peace with who you are. Or having enough money in the bank or spending time with your friends and family. Or the freedom to pursue your deepest dreams.
Regardless of your version of true happiness, living a happier, more satisfying life is possible for everyone. A few tweaks to your regular habits can help you get there. And we all have our own crazy habits now don't we? So why not work on some positive habits being part of your daily routine?
Now you might think that it's easy for me to always be that happy girl because my life is like a pink cloud. Well, you couldn't be more wrong, but for me, happiness is the way I wish to live my life. Please read the 10 habits on how to be happy that work for me!
You tend to smile when you are happy, but it's actually a 2-way street. When you smile your brain makes dopamine, which makes us happier. When I go out for my morning walk I always smile at the people who are passing me by, I wish them a good day and you will be surprised at how many smiles I get back. And that will even make me SMILE even more.
Exercise isn’t just good for your body. Regular exercise can help to reduce stress, feelings of anxiety, and symptoms of depression while boosting self-esteem and happiness. I learned how important this was when I was recovering from my burnout.
Even a small amount of exercise can make a difference. You don’t have to train for a triathlon or go to the gym every day, unless that’s what makes you happy, of course. Just go for a daily walk, take your bike for a quick ride, do some yoga. Whatever feels good for you! Just MOVE.
Be a sleeping beauty
Sometimes I'm embarrassed to say how much I sleep! But, yes, I'm a sleeping beauty when it comes to my hours of sleep. Especially during wintertime, I can easily hit 10 hours a night. If you feel the urge to take a nap during the day, TAKE IT! Your body is letting you know you need it. Having adequate sleep is so vital for your health, brain function and it will lower your anxiety levels. And it also helps you to look better 🙂
Being grateful is probably the biggest number one that makes people happy. How come some people seem to have everything and still are not happy, while others who seem to have nothing live their lives in happiness and with gratitude.
As some of you know I lost both my parents a few years ago, and although their passing left me devastated and with the feeling of overwhelming emptiness, I've always been extremely grateful for all their love and for the memories I have of them. Grateful I was able to take care of them and grateful I was able to give back. Instead of sadness, I chose to be grateful.
You can also start each day by acknowledging one thing you’re grateful for. You can do this while you’re brushing your teeth or just waiting for that snoozed alarm to go off. With a little practice, you may even become more aware of all the positive things around you.
Speak well of others
My mum always used to say; if you have nothing good to say, please say nothing at all. It is so easy to speak badly of others, but it will not bring you happiness. Show some kindness and pay someone a compliment. Giving a sincere compliment is a quick, easy way to brighten someone’s day while giving your own happiness a boost. TRY IT!
Acknowledge the not so good times
A positive attitude is generally a good thing, but bad things happen to everyone. It’s just part of life. Divorce, losing a loved one, maybe you lost your job due to Corona as I did. We all get our fair share of bad things and life is not a fairytale for no one. But it's up to you how you handle your bad times.
Acknowledge the feeling of unhappiness, letting yourself experience it for a moment. Then, shift your focus toward what made you feel this way and what it might take to recover. Please don't get stuck in your dark times by always looking backward. Let the moment pass and take care of yourself. Remember, no one’s happy all the time.
My mum always used to say: Een opgeruimd huis is een opgeruimd hoofd, which kinda translates to ==> an organized home is an organized head. Does that make sense?
Decluttering sounds like a big project, but even 20 minutes a day can make a huge difference. Just focus on one particular area of the room, say your closet, or that out of control drawer. Put everything in its place and toss or give away any extra clutter that’s not serving you anymore. You can do this trick once a week, or anytime you feel like your space is getting out of control. I can assure you this will really uplift your mood! Remember what my mum said 🙂
See your friends
Humans are social beings and having close friends gives us happiness. Who do you miss? Take them on a coffee date or just speak with them on the phone (no texting!) Friends are your holy grail in life. They will get you through a divorce, they will dry your tears when you lose your job, they will comfort you when you are feeling down and they will probably support you in all your crazy ideas.
Remember you don't need tons of friends, you need to have meaningful relationships. And your companionship doesn't need to be limited to other humans. Having a pet is also a great source of happiness and they are great stress relievers.
Ditch your phone
Yes, I know. Making a living on social media and I'm telling you to ditch your phone. Give yourself the freedom to be offline. Unplug. Really. Turn off all the electronics for at least one hour a day. They’ll still be there for you later. You will be surprised at the difference it makes. On how many great ideas seem to pop up in your mind. Let your mind wander free for a change. Take a walk and pay attention to your surroundings. Be sociable. Or be alone. Just be.
Go into nature
Spending 30 minutes a day outside in green spaces will already lower your blood pressure and depression. Your green space can be anything from your local park, your own backyard, or a rooftop garden. Just anywhere where you can appreciate some fresh air and nature. For me, this means cycling to the local bakery to get some fresh bread (great source of happiness too!), going for an early morning run, or taking a long walk with my husband around the lake.
I hope my habits will help you a little on how I learned to be happy even in difficult times. How to appreciate little things in life and not to worry so much. And of course, I also have days where I smile a little less, but I always look for the things I'm grateful for.
Please feel free to comment below with the things you are grateful for and what makes you happy in life. I'm also more than happy to answer your emails in private.