Here is how to be happy now…
There’s nothing worse, when you’re in a down mood, than to have someone tell you to cheer yourself up. After all, they’re not going through what you are, so what do they know? Well, actually, we all go through periods of being unhappy, so they probably understand more than you realise, but you can’t just flick a switch and turn your happiness back on, you need to take a few steps to make it happen. The first of those steps is to decide that you want to be happy. Once you’ve made that important decision, follow these ten steps and they will lead you back onto the path of happiness.
1. Put the past where it belongs
You have to let go of the past if you want to be happy. What happens in the past is an important part of each of our own stories, but what is happening right now is what is really important. Learn from the past, by all means, but don’t dwell on it and let it consume your every thought. File it away where it belongs, at the back of your mind, and get on with enjoying today the present moment.
2. Accept who you are
You are who you are, so accept it, and learn to love that person. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses, but that’s what makes us who we are. If you stop striving to be someone else, you will have far more time to enjoy being you.
3. Do the things you love now
Many people put off doing the things that they really want to do, because they are too busy, or they have too many commitments, but that means that they often end up never doing any of them. If you have an ambition to do something, why not do it today? Whether your dream is to do a bungee jump, or start up your own business; don’t waste any more time thinking about it, do it now!
4. Celebrate everything
Whatever else is going in your life, and however bad that is, there are always things happening around you that are worth celebrating. Take a walk in the country and breathe in the fresh air, listen to the kids laughing and playing in the park, and savour and enjoy that bar of luxury chocolate you know you shouldn’t have bought. There’s always something wonderful happening somewhere, if you open your eyes and look for it.
5. Practice gratitude
Count up your blessings, literally, every single day. Make a list of the things that you are grateful for and it will help to make you realise that you have a lot more than you thought you had. If you have food to eat, clean water to drink, and a roof over your head, that already puts you amongst some of the luckiest people on the planet. Everything after that is icing on the cake!
6. Get some exercise
If you’ve been feeling low the chances are that you haven’t felt like working out or taking any other form of exercise, but not exercising will only make you feel worse. Research has proven that exercise is so good for improving a person’s mood that it is now being used as a treatment for depression. Even just a ten minute walk will lift your mood. Try it!
7. Listen to happy music and watch comedy on the TV
What you watch on TV and what music you listen to can have a major effect on your mood. Choose happy songs and watch comedy shows on TV and it will make you feel happier straight away. What’s more, that happiness will last too. You could still be giggling to yourself about a good joke you heard, several hours later.
8. Spend more time with family and friends
If something awful has happened that has brought you down, you will need some time alone to heal, but don’t let taking that me-time become too much of a habit. The best way to get back on your feet is to be with people who care about you and who can make you laugh. Surround yourself with happy, positive people, and some of their happiness will rub off on you.
9. Help other people
When you are feeling down, helping other people can bring you a huge amount of pleasure and satisfaction. In one study, it was found that people gained far more happiness form buying a gift for someone else than they did from buying something material for themselves. You don’t need to spend any money, though, you could just volunteer some of your time to help someone.
10. Make plans for the future
You may not be able to make instant changes to your life, but planning ahead will make you feel happier about the future. Set yourself some goals for the future and plan to do more of the things that you enjoy. Even if all you have is a plan, at least you will know that you have something to look forward to and something to work towards.