You only got this one life, and why shouldn’t you spend that laughing and smiling like a goofball 24/7? You are the master of your own feelings, and if you choose to spread positivity around you, you will see that come back to you ‘just like that‘.
My number one priority and New Year’s resolution this year is to be happy and grateful for everything and everyone around me. I think everyone can relate to having trouble upholding the positive attitude in any situation and constantly reminding yourself of what you are grateful for.
It is a habit that has to be practiced over and over again until it feels natural to do so.
I tend to struggle with mood swings, seasonal depressions and PMS, which is all very natural. But at the same time, I have come to the conclusion that we are our own master of how we react to a certain circumstance. In short: We control our own feelings, whether we like it or not.
Of course, you are allowed to have that ‘one day a month where you feel like absolute crap’, but other than that, I have learned that there is really no excuse not to be happy.
So, this year, I choose happiness. I think it is good for my soul.
Here are quick tips on how to become happier this year. Try to implement these tips into a routine, or seek to this list whenever you are feeling down.
1. Create a fun morning ritual
Whether it is listening to your favorite song, while brushing your teeth, or having prepared delicious breakfast the day before, create a fun, new morning ritual that really gets you jumping out of bed each morning.
I found this list of morning rituals really helpful. It suggests healthy rituals like meditating, stretching and smiling at yourself in the mirror for 30 seconds. These only takes a couple of minutes and are worth a try it if the end result is a happier, healthier you.
2. Wear the colors that make you happy
Fashion is all about expression. Think about what your go-to outfit says about your personality. Too many people wear black all the time – a color that can be very stylish and chic – but question yourself whether it actually makes you feel happy to wear.
Finding your happy color is rather simple. Think about what color you can look at all day, and that perhaps holds a happy memory in your heart. E.g. wear yellow if it reminds you of sunny summer days, and wear blues if you love the ocean.
For a pick-me-up, I like to wear white or pastel colored clothes because it reminds me of a clean and a clear mind. Pastel pink, in particular, reminds me of cotton candy and happy feelings.
3. Give a compliment to a stranger
There are so many reasons why you should give a compliment to a stranger, now challenge yourself to actually do it. It is suggested that tiny acts of bravery lead to bigger ones, which will turn you into a more independent, out-going, and generally, a cool, person.
Who does not love that person at an event, who does not only stand super tall and confident but also has enough excess energy to give compliments to others, like “Wow, I love that dress you are wearing!”.
Be that person, and feel the difference. I am very much a believer in The Law Of Attraction, and that whatever positivity you send out, comes right back at you, in one way or another.
4. Find new workouts that excites you
When I finally decide to work out it is so, so important that that the workout is something that I will look forward to, otherwise, I might not do it at all. It might just be the way I am – I like to be entertained 24/7, otherwise, I get bored with what I am doing – but I think a lot of people feel me on this.
I like workouts that are not monotonous (e.g. running is not my thing), and exercises that build lean, long muscles instead or bulky ones.
Hot yoga, for instance, excites me because I feel super tough being able to get through one class. I like feeling more flexible after each time I go and sweating all toxins out of my system makes me feel like superwoman.
Related: Hot Yoga, Hot Body: Why Hot Yoga Is The Perfect Workout For Cold Seasons
Pilates, and in particular, Blogilates on YouTube, has worked wonders for me. Occasionally, whenever I feel like losing a few pounds, I will do her videos for a certain period because I know it is good for my body in a very effective and fun way. The workout calendars and monthly challenges are super easy to do at home, and I can always rely on feeling sore the next day – in a good muscle-tensioning way.
5. S-M-I-L-E more
Smiling is proven to make us happier, and less likely to worry all the time. Even faking a smile can do the trick for us, even when it might not feel genuine.
I think we all should keep in mind that just a simple smile to a stranger can make the person’s day. Spread positivity and it will come right back at ya.
6. Watch uplifting and funny TV shows, and quit the rest
I watched tons of TV shows in 2015 in different genres, but when I really think about it, did all of them make me feel genuinely happy? No! I was devastated when Damon and Elena had to part their ways in Vampire Diaries (crying and sobbing the whole evening), and it made me realize that a lot of the shows that I was watching sometimes made me feel like crap.
And even though I love some of the dystopian shows like The Walking Dead, they often make me question the horrible world that we are living in, and I really do not like that feeling.
I’ve realized that this year I want to cut down on shows and movies that make me feel down, and those that give me nightmares of a zombie apocalypse. Currently, my go-to comedy TV show is Jane The Virgin.
7. Surround yourself with good and positive people and spend as much time with them as you can
Positivity spreads: one person’s good mood affects the next. Try to identify which of your friends you feel the happiest around and spend as much time with them as you can.
Socializing is essential for a good mood, mind, and brain. If you feel that you are surrounded by toxic relationships, establish new ones. Attend a personal development event or another event that shares your interest, and challenge yourself to introduce yourself to the person you are sitting next to. Who knows, this person might just be your next best friend, study buddy or business partner.
8. Write down your blessings before bed
As we are caught up in work and studies, it is easy to forget the things around us that we should be truly grateful for. Writing down your blessings, will not only allow you to reflect on the day but also make you notice all the nice things around you that you may not realize are even there. Do not take the life around you for granted.
Though writing down what you are grateful for can be easier said than done. I have been there, and it can be difficult to know exactly where to start. A trick that made this much easier for me is the 5 Minute Journal App, which lets you reflect on the day, write down how it could be improved for other days ahead and list what you are grateful for.
Remember there is so much to be grateful for, and it is often not good enough to only say that you are grateful for it – you actually have to feel it. It is a happy feeling spreading through your chest that you have to practice to begin with. Here is a list of 66 things to be grateful for, to get you started.
9. Read positive books, that will inspire you to do good
I have always loved reading, and in the last couple of years, I have slowly shifted my interest from fiction books towards non-fiction self-help books. I find reading psychological/self-development books very inspiring as to how we can live our life in a happier way and move toward our goals.
Books as The Secret, The Power, The Awakening Course and Miracles Now supply you with tools that are worth learning and implementing into your life. If you are not into books, listen to the audio version while you are on the go.
Related: 3 Life-Changing Books That Will Help You Build A Killer Confidence
10. Think and speak only good things when looking at yourself in the mirror
Accepting who you are and how you look is generally a life-long challenge if you are not 100% satisfied with yourself (and really, who is?). Practicing acceptance is a fantastic way to become more confident and happy.
Many successful and happy people give compliments to their reflection in the mirror each morning. It may feel weird at first, but generally, I think it is an incredible idea to give yourself a small pep-talk before you start your day.
Again, you are in charge of your emotions, so you cannot rely on others giving you a positive pep-talk each morning – you have to do that in order to give love and appreciation to yourself.