how to be happier

5 Steps to A Happier Life

Ladies, I’ve been there. I know how hard it can be so critical with yourself that you can barely look in the mirror. The reality is that a lot of our troubles stem from comparison causing us to feel like our life is incomplete - so here are a few of my favorite tips to get you out of your mind and into a happier life.

  1. Unfollow anyone famous for having “the perfect body”- For me, looking at women with flawless bodies only made me feel shitty about myself. Who wants to have the thought “ugh I could never look like that” 10x a day? So I unfollowed every. single. person who has an account purely to show off their bodies. I now try to focus my time on people who have more to give to the world than booty pics.

  2. Spend less (or no) time with any person that doesn’t bring you joy- For some reason, we all do this. We follow people on social media that make us cringe, or we hang out with people we don’t really like being around because it's the polite thing to do. The truth is that you don’t have to do anything you want, and that means that you don’t have to follow someone on instagram just because they follow you, or because you’ve known them forever. Give yourself permission to let go

  3. Stop listening to sad songs- This one is pretty self-explanatory. Most sad songs were written during a dark time in the singer’s life. Naturally, hearing the song will bring you back to a sad time in your life. There are of course times where you’ll want to listen to sad songs, but I try to never have them on my playlists.

  4. Ditch your dark shows- OK, this is easier said than done. This is coming from someone who loves dark shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Nip/Tuck, Orange is the New Black, Harlots, and The Handmaid’s Tale. I’m also someone who has a lot of nightmares, which I noticed an increase in frequency after watching these shows, and my husband said “what do these shows bring to our life?” After thinking that through, he was right. I still watch GoT and a few others, but I try to not have more than one depressing show at a time. I’ve taken a strong liking to lighthearted rom-coms and The Bachelor.

  5. Go outside- There’s a thing called “forest bathing” where you take leisurely walks through the forest and there are all sorts of health benefits- check it out. It’s pretty cool.

7 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Mindset

From time to time, we all get sucked into believing that we have been dealt an especially difficult hand of cards. When struggling to get in touch with appreciation and gratitude for the life we’ve been given.

  1. Write 1 happy thing each day- Start a daily journal and write down one thing that brought you joy.  For each day of the year, mark at the top of the page the day and the month, and as your first entry, write the year and what brought you joy. For example, mark the top of the page with “January 1,” and as your first entry, write “2019- Boss gave me a shoutout during our company meeting.” Some days will be rough and you will feel like there isn’t anything good to reflect on, but focus on the good pieces from the day, even if it's that you got a compliment on your outfit, or you started binge watching a new series on Netflix. Then, in future years on that day, you can reflect back on what happened that day in previous years. It’s an instant pick-me-up.

  2. Announce your love of the little things- Science shows that saying things aloud stimulates the part of our brain that makes us believe something. Saying something aloud not only puts us in a good mood and makes us happier, but it also makes the people around us happy, which in turn makes them want to be around us more. For 1 week, try announcing when you see or experience something you like, like walking outside and exclaiming “what a gorgeous day!” or telling a friend “I’m so glad we got together, I’ve missed you!” and notice how others will naturally flock to you. People like to be around positive people.

  3. Take mental photographs- Living in such a digital age, where everyone is attached to their phones, it can be hard to ‘unplug’ and fully immerse yourself in what’s going on. So, if you’re with a group of friends you haven’t seen in awhile, take a group picture when you first get together, and then ask everyone to put their phones away so you can truly catch up. After those initial pics, take mental photographs so that you can reflect on these happy memories from “the good ol’ days.” Promise me you won’t be that group of girls at the bar where every. single. person. is buried in their phone, k?

  4. Give compliments- When you give a compliment, you'll be surprised how many you receive. Compliments don’t just have to be about superficial things like hair or clothes, in fact, I would urge you to focus on compliments stemming from deeper aspects. “I love those shoes!” may make someone’s morning, but hearing “You always know what to say to make me feel better” will make someone’s week.

  5. Spread love- The answer is always love. Want more friends? Focus all your energy on being a source of non-judgmental love, and you will attract all sorts of people. The energy you put out into the world will come back to you tenfold, and no one ever looked back on their life and said “I wish I let more people knew how much I disliked them.”

  6. Acknowledge your feelings and let them drift away- We are entitled to have any & all emotions without guilt. Thoughts and feelings are not the issue, acting on those thoughts and feelings is what causes turmoil. So instead of running from the things that plague us, feel them, acknowledge them, allow yourself to explore why you’re feeling this way, and then let it drift away. Alternatively, you can get in the shower and imagine your negative thoughts, attitudes, and emotions are rinsing down the drain.

  7. Keep things in perspective- This is probably the most important concept on this list. It’s incredibly easy to get lost in our own self pity, especially in an age where the majority of the people we follow on social media are giving off the perception that they live the “dream life.”