‘Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared’ (Buddha). Our happiness can be so heavily influenced through the ideas of other people, through sharing our own experiences, knowledge and suggestions. Now, I’m no expert, but I do have some points to share with you which I believe will have an impact on how to create your own happiness. So get yourself comfy, it won’t take long and see what you think.
1. Accept your flaws. Ok, I understand why you might think this is nothing to do with being happy, but it does. Flaws. We all have them, every single one of us. Even Beyonce and Ryan Gosling have their flaws (granted, they probably differ from those of you and I, but they exist nonetheless!). If you can first identify your flaws and begin to accept them as part of who you are, you’ll begin to find new ways to look at them. For example, my flaws – I worry, all the bloody time, about almost everything. This used to be such a problem, and I’ll be honest – sometimes it still can be. But it’s also highlighted who the incredible people are in my life that are there for me. Being a worrier also means, in turn, that I am a fantastic planner which means I can be great at organising things! Another flaw of mine which I have been told many times, is that I’m ‘too loud’. I used to view this so negatively, until I realised actually no, this is a great thing – it means I’m energetic, excited, enthusiastic, passionate, comfortable and confident. Try to think of your flaws as not being flaws, but being part of who you are. Remember that they are subjective; what you may hate, another person will love. Trust me, I’ve learnt through experience.
2. Learn to be happy on your own. I don’t mean sitting alone, in your room, blasting ‘walking on the sunshine’ trying to force yourself to smile (although, there is nothing wrong with a one man dance party!). Take time to be independent, figure out how you like to spend your time doing things you love that don’t always rely on other people. That might be through having a long bath (or shower, no preference), listening to music that you like, it could be baking, writing, shopping, gaming, reading, talking – even going places on your own (honestly, people realy do not give a shit. Nobody notices.). Learn that you can be in a great mood through your own personal decisions, not those of others.
3…and then begin to share it with others! Once you’ve established your sassy, independent woman (or man) persona, don’t be afraid to share your experiences with other people. That way, you know it’s something that you can enjoy either alone or in company. Sharing something you love will make you love it even more. You can then have a balance between doing things in your own down time and making plans to do them with whoever you like! In my own experience, I love to write. Writing makes me happy. I can write in my own time and then choose to share it with other people. You never know who is sharing the same interests as you!
4. Be aware of the people you surround yourself with. Point 3 leads me quite nicely into this one. I cannot stress the importance of being around the right people. Like I said earlier, we are so influenced by those around us. If for any reason, people in your life are pulling you down, making you feel like shit, stressing you out, making you doubt yourself, making you feel bored or if you associate them with something bad, do not hesitate to, let them go. Get rid. Bitch, bye. Delete their number, unfollow their social media so you’re not reminded of them, be brutal. If you cannot think of a positive influence they have on your life, do not waste time on them, in the hopes that ‘they might change’. The fuck is the point in waiting for someone to be a decent peson when there’s plenty of them already walking around? Surround yourself with people who make you laugh, who make you smile, who don’t let you down, who make plans with you, who put effort in with you and who make you feel bloody fabulous!
5. Don’t act your age. I feel like too many people take life too seriously and lose their sense of fun and excitement. We were all kids once (funnily enough) and we all had moments of immaturity and silliness and we were playful. I say, what stops us from still having moments like that now? Ok, we can’t spend all day playing with lego and running around in the garden and making a mess about the house (but it would be fun, let’s be honest), but who’s to say we can’t do things that encourage us to be kids again? Be silly, talk in silly voices, buy a marshmallow shooter, laugh over episodes of Spongebob and find joy in the little things. Make time to play and take time off from being a grown up every now and then and see how much fun you have!
6. Find your ‘thing’. Everybody has something that they find complete joy in. Whether it’s spending money online shopping, being creative, being inquisitive, or binge-watching episodes of Come Dine With Me (we all love that though, surely?). Explore your interests and find the thing that makes you tick. What can you do for an hour or so that you know you’ll really enjoy? Could you turn your interest into something regular, like joining a club or society? Could you even make a career out of it? For me, I’m creative! Drama is my passion, I love to go to the theatre, I want to perform more. But I also love coming up with pieces from writing prompts (if you’re the same, I recommend ‘642 things to write about’, you can buy it by clicking here ), I love singing and music, I bloody love colouring books! But I also love to go out shopping for the day, or drinking with my friends. Find your thing and enjoy every second of it.
7. Exercising (don’t write this off…see what I mean first!) Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to join a gym or sign up to a marathon. ‘Exercise’ is such a broad term and it’s scientifically proven that exercising makes you feel happier; when you’re actively exercising, your brain releases ‘endorphins’ which are there to make you feel good! This can be achieved through so many things – have sex, make up a ridiculous dance, walk somewhere instead of driving, join a ‘Clubbercise’ group (more info here – you won’t be disappointed!), do some work with your mum or dad, assemble IKEA furniture (that can be bloody exhausting) or keep it simple and go running for 10 minutes. Exercise doesn’t always have to be half an hour of you hating life, questioning why you can’t breathe – in fact, you should enjoy it so do it through something you want to do. Don’t join a gym just because your entire Facebook feed is about the gains life and doesn’t shut up about it; join something that will make you feel good!
8. Be realistic and give yourself a chance. You are going to have bad days. It is going to happen. You’ll feel sad or deflated or angry or anxious or anything else that’s the opposite to feeling good. This. Is. Normal. You’re not Superman, you’re human (apologies if I’ve just broken reality to anyone). Your body and your brain will be affected in so many ways and you will feel so many different emotions. What’s important is that you know how to power through it. Let yourself be sad, but know that you can pick yourself up afterwards. It can be something simple like a phonecall, watching a movie, even having a nap! Don’t be harsh on yourself for feeling down about something. I promote positivity as much as I can, but I know I’ve had days where I haven’t even wanted to get out of bed and that’s ok, because I know that the negative feelings will pass. It’s just how it goes. Don’t criticise yourself for not being Sally Sunshine every minute of every day for the rest of your life. Let yourself feel your emotions, but power strongly through them and look forwards – you’ll soon be smiling over something again, even if it’s just a puppy meme or a Buzzfeed food vid (I have so many of them saved it’s unreal…).
9.“Happiness is the art of never holding in your mind the memory of any unpleasant thing that has passed.” You can’t let yourself be happy if you’re always holding on to things which prohibit that. In the words of Disney princess, Elsa, let it go (we could all learn a thing or two from Disney, I don’t care how old you are). Once the unpleasant thing has happened, and it’s passed and been dealt with, screw it up, turn on the fire and chuck it in (metaphor.. not promoting fires before yous get all reckless). Forget about it. We have a magnet on our fridge that says ‘don’t look back, you’re not going that way’ (I mean, I never look back when I’m at the fridge, all I’m looking at is what’s inside…). But my point is, don’t cling on to the negativity. Your happiness is there, don’t suffocate it with unnecessary, pointless, buzzkill dramas.
10. The Happiness Planner. This last one is a more specific, personal one. Last year, I filled out something called ‘The Happiness Planner’. You would not believe how much I learnt, It encourages you to write down good things in every day, things you’re excited about, you can rate your moods for each month, write down what you are thankful for, set yourself goals and there’s section for daily planning and to-do lists too. It revolutionised organisation for me and taught me that every single day holds something good. While every day may not be a good one overall, there is still good in that day somewhere… you just need to spot it. The Happiness Planner comes in several options – there’s the 100 day planner, with no dates, so you can fill it out as and when you please, or there’s the 365 day planner which you fill out for a year. Their website also have printouts that you can try and there’s an app available to download. I couldn’t recommend this enough. For more information, click here.
Ultimately, it comes down to you. The things I’ve talked about have worked for me. They’re my own experiences and ideas. They might not work for everyone, in fact they probably won’t, but if I can help 1 person find 1 idea to make them smile more, I’m happy. Feel free to comment any of your own ideas, I’d love to read them. As always, thanks so much for taking the time to read this; you’re a legend. Be kind, have a laugh and fall in love with your life. I shan’t keep you any longer, off ya pop!
*This post was not sponsored by any of the products or companies mentioned*