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Easy ways to boost your joy levels on International Day of Happiness


by Erin Lindsay
20th Mar 2018

The 20th of March is recognised as International Day of Happiness, so although it’s the first day back to work after a long weekend, your buzz  does not have to be dulled. “Happiness” can be daunting and too often goal-oriented. Many people think situations like landing that new job; sorting out your finances; getting a boyfriend/ girlfriend will finally make them happy. But pinning your happiness on achieving these milestones isn’t always realistic and can put you under pressure. If you ask us, happiness should be about appreciating the little things and allowing yourself to be excited and joyful about the ordinary.

For the day that’s in it, we’ve gathered some of the best small ways to boost your happiness. Make today all about self-care.

1. Take a walk (long or short)

It’s nice that today turned out to be so lovely weather-wise. Granted, it’s Baltic, but the sun is shining and the crisp air makes for a great way to up your energy levels and clear your mind.

2. Rewatch your favourite feel-good movie

Whether it’s a rom-com, a high-school comedy or a Disney cartoon, there’s something about basking in the nostalgia of re-watching a favourite movie that just makes everything better. When Harry Met Sally or About Time are personal favourites of mine, but anything will do, as long as it takes you back.

3. Write down three things you’re grateful for

Something that keeps us from being happy day-to-day is our tendency to focus on the negative. The vast majority of the time, if you step back and look at things rationally, life ain’t all that bad. Put pen to paper and write down the things you’re grateful for, they can be as small or as big as you like. Maybe you’re grateful for the fact your mortgage just got approved, or maybe you’re thankful to your partner for saving the last piece of cake for you; it all works.

4. Cook your favourite meal

We can all agree that good food is a remedy for almost anything, and it’s also a scientific fact that it tastes better when you cook it yourself. Creating a gorgeous meal from scratch is always a sure-fire way to float your mind to happier places, and you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour at the end.

5. Dance it out

It is impossible to be sad when you’re jumping around your room like a lunatic to a good power ballad or a punk-emo throwback to your school days (yes I’m still mad into Paramore, no shame). You might feel silly at first but keep it going, and you’ll find a smile creeping in before the last chorus.

6. Give a compliment

Happiness starts from within, and as we all know from Roald Dahl, if you have lovely thoughts, they always shine through. How often throughout the day do we notice a co-worker’s new top or a friend’s new hairstyle and don’t say anything for fear of looking over-zealous? Compliments, as long as they’re honest and heartfelt, can make the person’s day and make you feel the warm and fuzzies too. A win-win.

7. Watch a blooper reel

Blooper reels are often more entertaining than the show itself and I’ve never watched one that didn’t make me feel heaps better. YouTube is full of them, and a good set of bloopers from any of your favourite shows is going to be a winner (Friends and It’s Always Sunny in Philadephia get me every time).

8. Treat yo-self

Now let’s be clear – I’m not telling you to irresponsibly spend your savings on a car just to boost your joy levels. But retail therapy does work, and as long as you’re sensible about it, buying yourself a gift that you’ve wanted for ages will stick a smile on your face for the day. You know, ‘life is short, buy the shoes’ and all that.

9. Be around animals

Being around animals is proven to make us happier in so many ways. They boost our self-esteem, help us to stay active and even looking at pictures of the four-legged cuties can lift our mood. Just spending time petting animals can boost our serotonin levels and that’s all the more reason to get out and around animals today. If you don’t have a pet yourself, see if you can visit a friend or family member who has a pet you love – that way, you get some social time with them too.

10. Get all dressed up and take some selfies

Sometimes all we need to get happy is to feel fine AF, and why shouldn’t you? There’s been criticism of “selfie-culture” and how self-obsessed millennials are.  But we all know the power of seeing ourselves at our best. Putting make-up on, doing your hair and wearing your glad rags can be just what you need to boost your happiness.

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