The path to happiness means different things to different people. But to many it’s all about living a more wholesome existence. This doesn’t just apply to the food you eat, but how much you exercise, who you spend time with and how you look after yourself. If you take care of your body, then often the mind will follow suit and you’ll not just be a better person, you’ll feel better too.
With the chaos of the past 12 months you may have lost contact with friends you care deeply about. Have a think about who they are and just get in touch. It doesn’t need to be about anything specific, just a quick ‘hi, how are you?’.
When you’re with them, switch your phone off. Giving them your full attention will make the occasion feel more special for everyone.
If you find someone makes you feel particularly good about yourself, make sure to spend as much time with them as you and they possibly can. In all likelihood the feeling is reciprocated and you’ll both be in a better frame of mind for having seen each other.
The more new things you try, the more memorable your experiences of life will be (you can always remember trying something for the first time). It’ll also make you feel like you’re living life to the fullest, so have a think about the hobbies, courses, and so on, you’d love to have a go at, then get them booked. Life’s too short to wait.
To make every day special, aim to do something meaningful in every 24-hour period. It might be listening to a song you love, walking a friend’s dog, cooking a great meal or calling someone you love.
And if you’re worried memories might fade over time, keep a diary of your activities and feelings, and make sure you take lots of photos too. If you ever feel down in the future, these happy memories could lift the spirits once more.
This needn’t be a chore – it can be invigorating. Set aside a few minutes each week to get rid of things you don’t need or want anymore. You might find you clear your head of clutter at the same time.
Decide what no longer makes you happy then choose where it needs to go (a charity shop, a friend who will appreciate it more than you do, and so on). And it doesn’t just apply to clothes, jewellery and books. You might find a relationship isn’t working for you, in which case ending it might be the thing that leads to greater happiness (once talking things over with them has failed).
Prioritise your physical and mental health by cutting out bad habits such as smoking, drinking heavily and eating fatty foods.
Make a self-care plan and you’ll have a base from which to improve your life. Make sure it includes the food you should be eating, the time you must get to bed in order to achieve eight hours of sleep per night, and the amount of exercise you’ll need to feel healthy and wholesome. And don’t forget, if weight is something you have been struggling with or have been seeking other means of change, there are medical procedures that can also help.
You don’t need to do anything drastic to make yourself feel significantly better. Often, lots of little changes phased in over time can change your whole mindset to a positive one and can change your body to the healthy one you always dreamed of.