How happy do you feel? It’s a loaded question, isn’t it? Because quite often in our pursuit of happiness, we can get all muddled up. We spend so much time overthinking it, we forget to recognise it and truly feel it.
Everyone’s emotions vary too. That is completely natural, and we all have ups and downs. You can’t realistically expect to feel overjoyed every moment of every day, although there’s a difference between this ebb and flow of emotions and depression.
This aside, we don’t have to be passive when it comes to experiencing normal mood fluctuations. We can choose to bump up our happiness factor. And if this intrigues you like it does us, read on to find out how.
Self-care ideas and being a happier person
Leading a happier life can come down to some simple habits, like taking care of yourself, communicating your thoughts and feelings, and nurturing your self-esteem.
It all sounds a bit like making lifestyle choices, and most things are easily within our control. Sometimes, however, life, stress and other things get in the way. But some mood-enhancing activities are a joy to commit to. Think about a pampering session for instance, which we're all over by the way. Or seeing your closest friends. By committing to simple self-care activities, you can work on your inner happiness at the same time.
1. Commit to a self-care routine
A pamper night with all the right elements is the perfect self-care ritual. But you don’t need to dedicate an entire evening to a warm bath and an at-home facial to look after yourself. (Although let’s be real, that does sound good, doesn’t it?)
It’s obvious to say that low self-esteem will affect your happiness levels. Although readjusting your thinking and improving your self-esteem doesn’t start or end with self-care activities, they can play a role. Committing to a healthy lifestyle and looking after yourself is one way to show self-appreciation.
2. Keep a mood journal
Do you love to write a diary? If you’re not a fan, this could be a bit more of a chore, but bear with us on it. Because writing down thoughts and feelings help us explore, recognise and become more aware of our emotions. It’s also the perfect way to give yourself a chance to focus on your experiences, and yours alone.
A mood journal is one way to do this. You don’t have to be Jane Austen to write one, because really, who is going to read it apart from you? Just taking a few minutes each day to jot down things like this can act as a powerful tool, helping you to unravel those troubling, nagging issues and get some clarity.
3. Look for that mood lifter
There are so many simple, and all-natural ways to boost your mood. And if you’ve already said a silent hooray to that thought, here’s another. Most of these are completely free.
For example, did you know that smiling has been linked to feeling happier? Frowning, on the other hand, can make people feel sadder. We know, marginal gains here! A forced smile might not change your life, but there are other mood-enhancing activities on the table. They include things like seeing friends, exercise, eating the right foods, (yep, foods can affect your mood,) and sleep.
4. Appreciate that happy mood
Gratitude is a big one on this list because phycologists tell us that gratitude can help you experience more positive emotions. So, yes, get that mood journal out from step two, and make sure to note down not just the bad things, which if we’re honest, most of us reach for habitually, but also to notice the happy moods and moments in each day.
That, along with showing thanks, and if you’re struggling to find the positives from today, finding and reflecting on a cheerful event from the past can all help to nurture happiness.
5. Work through a self-care checklist
If you want a full plan to tackle this, a self-care checklist allows you to work through both your physical and emotional needs. The important thing to remember is that everyone is unique, and what you need might differ from someone else.
By working through a checklist, going through the basics, you can refocus and find the areas in your life that need attention. At the same time, you can start to see what things make you happy, and what self-care ideas could slot into your life.