You might be the happiest soul on the planet, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting a bit more.
Here is The Art of Healthy Living‘s 10 step guide to happiness:
One hour of extra sleep
For those of us fortunate enough to live in the UK, hooray, the clocks go back this weekend, which means we get an extra hour in bed!
Exercise for 20 minutes in the morning
Studies have found that the first 20 minutes of movement after a long time of sedentary rest, provides the optimum health benefits. So, when you wake up tomorrow start your day off the right way with lunges, star jumps, press ups and sit ups, or if that all sounds way too energetic before you’ve had a cup of coffee, go for a little stroll around the garden.
Eat porridge for breakfast
Eating porridge in the morning is the best thing you can do to your body after it has rested and essentially fasted for eight hours. Oats are slow energy releasing carbohydrates, which help prevent spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. Not only that but they are a great source of magnesium and research has shown that magnesium-rich foods can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well as helping to prevent against heart attacks and strokes. They are also really filling, so have a bowl of warm, tasty porridge for breakfast and it will keep you going until lunchtime.
Spending money on other people
We all know how great it feels when you buy a present for someone and you see how their eyes light up when they open it. It truly is one of life’s simplest pleasures. You don’t need to spend much, even the small things like buying your elderly neighbor a newspaper or buying your child a packet of stickers. When people receive an unexpected gift, you are showing them that you have spent time thinking about them and what they like and that, my friends, is priceless!
Getting some ‘me’ time
Managing to grab even just 10 minutes of ‘me’ time a day has been scientifically proven to be beneficial to our health and wellbeing. How you spend that ‘me’ time is entirely up to you; it could be:
- Having a bath
- Going for a walk
- Sitting in the garden
It is essential for us to centre ourselves and concentrate on what our own mind and body is telling us; a time for gentle reflection, self-awareness and mindfulness.
Hugs are great aren’t they? They make everything better, make you feel loved and when you give someone else a hug you are helping spread that joy. Neuroscientist, Paul Zak, claims that eight hugs a day is the optimum number of hugs needed to feel most content and neurologist Shekar Rama says,”They can have a powerful impact on the human psyche, making us feel happiness and joy. And it doesn’t matter if you’re the toucher or touchee. The more you connect with others — on even the smallest physical level — the happier you’ll be.” Hug, anyone?
Looking back through old photos and videos can boost your mood considerably, in fact by more than a chunk of your favourite chocolate bar! Open University researchers carried out a study that investigated the effects on a person’s mood when they were subjected to different factors. You would imagine that eating chocolate or listening to music would be the winners, but in actual fact looking at old pictures was the factor that stood out by a mile, making people 11% happier than they were beforehand.
Well, not specifically roses, but if you wear floral scented perfume or surround yourself with floral odours, scientists from Rutgers University in New Jersey believe that you will be three times happier than if you were to smell other scents. The perfect excuse to go and buy a bunch of flowers, or if you drop enough hints, maybe the husband will buy you some!
Try new things
The excitement and adrenaline rush that comes with the thought and practice of trying something new has a wonderful effect on our bodies. Not only is it good for our minds; helping it learn, working it hard and exercising the brain, but it is also great for our wellbeing and sociability, which all aid positivity and confidence levels.
Surround yourself with happy people
If your friends and family are happy it’s very difficult for you not to be. As a human race we tend to flock towards like-minded people, so if your social circle are generally content, happy and positive, it’s highly likely you will be too.