With the sun now setting at 4PM I find myself holding back bursts of uncontrollable sobbing more often than ever before!! The good news is that we don’t have to let our exposure to Vitamin D dictate our mental well-being any longer. The fool proof way of achieving prosperity all year round is by simply changing your perspective from looking for happiness to creating your own happiness.
Creating your own happiness is no easy stunt – while shallow magazines and self-help novellas will tell you it’s as easy as drinking water, painting your nails, and exercising I’m here to tell you it’s not so simple. From someone who is well hydrated, maintains great nail health, and is relatively fit, creating my own happiness has been one of life’s greatest objections.
Perhaps we ought to spend less time painting our nails and more time putting in the hard work of building a long lasting, deeply connected relationship with our inner selves. Put down the glass of water and pick up a pen and get to work.
Without further ado here are my top three habits to creating happiness everyday!
1. Five Minute Journal
Everyone in my life is sick and tired of hearing me talk about the Five Minute Journal and I’ve only had it for a week. I heard about the journal from some very reputable mental health sources: YouTube beauty gurus and Instagram models!! Essentially the journal asks you to take five minutes per day in the morning to write down 3 things that you’re grateful for, 3 things that would make the day great, and your affirmation statement. Then at night right before bed you take another five minutes to reflect on three things that were amazing throughout the day and one thing that you wish you could have done differently.
If you want to save yourself $30 you could simply keep track of these thoughts in a regular notebook, or even a moleskin if you feel like indulging. But taking charge of your life by showing gratitude, making daily goals to improve your life, and reflecting on actions that could have improved your happiness are all great steps in achieving euphoria and monitoring your mental health!!
2. Challenge Negative Thoughts
I’ve spent upwards of 2 grand on therapy over the course of my life so let me save you the funds and tell you the secret to improving your life is consistently and actively challenging your negative thoughts. Any run of the mill cognitive behavioural psychologist will tell you the impact your thoughts have in dictating your feelings and thus your behaviours. If you can challenge your negative thoughts you essentially have the keys to unlocking the ability to change your feelings and radically change your behaviour.
Any time you notice your “self-talk” putting yourself down, take a moment to ask yourself if what you are thinking is actually true. For example if you think everyone hates you, take a moment to challenge that. What evidence do you have that anyone hates you? What evidence do you have that people like you? This simple act is a powerful way to build up your self confidence and overtime you will notice your internal thoughts will begin to change and in a matter of time your feelings and behaviours will follow suit.
Meditating is a gateway to mindfulness, and practicing mediation is a proven way to reduce anxiety! The more time we spend in the present, the less time we will spend worrying about the future.
Mediating is so so hard for me. I’ve dedicated at least one New Year’s resolution to practicing mediation for about 3 years and alas here I am still on the sophomoric side of mindfulness. Dedicating 5-10 minutes to sit with my thoughts seems like a set up for failure as someone who is constantly obsessing over everything. I find guided mediation to be the most effective way for me to get through it without losing my god damn mind. Some apps that I have found to be most helpful are Headspace and Insight Timer.
There are also books that you can read that can help you understand the concepts and benefits behind meditation. The one I’ve heard the most raving reviews from my yogi pals is called “Be Here Now” by Ram Dass (It has a cool cover so even if you never read it I imagine it would make a lovely coffee table book).
Speaking of yogi pals- yoga is an excellent way to trick yourself into meditating. This morning I rolled into my Sunday morning yoga class 15 minutes late, hungover, and with dripping wet hair – despite the anti- zen entrance, I left an hour later feeling re-focused and rejuvenated. Connecting your mind and body by spending time to just be with yourself and your breath is kind of strange but also an underrated way to improve your well-being!
p.s: Like I said, I’ve struggled with mediation and yoga mostly because I find it hard to justify spending time essentially doing ~nothing~ but breathing and experiencing little to no pay off after completion. Some advice I would offer up if you feel a similar way is to just meditate simply to meditate. Don’t have too many expectations and just do it for the process of doing it. Over time the results will come.
Those are my top three pieces of advice to create your own happiness.
It’s a tough time of year!! Remember that nothing blooms all year round!! Be kind to yourself!! Be kind to others!! Be kind to your arch nemesis!! Everyone is doing their best!!
If all else fails take some Vitamin D and hope for the best!!
Jacquie is a Feature Writer at Avenue24. For more of Jacquie, follow her on Instagram at instagram.com/jacquiened