Happiness is something we all want to feel more of. As an inside job, happiness is a feeling we can create given the right emotional circumstances, positive thoughts and supportive circumstances. The truth is you don’t actually need any one thing to make you happy…and it won’t last either if you don’t choose to love yourself first.
The simple act of mindfulness can bring you back into the present moment. These 17 mindfulness hacks will help to boost your happiness levels…
1. Remember Your Purpose
Having a sense of purpose in life will help you to feel empowered. When you know what your purpose is in waking up every day, it helps you to focus on your strengths, opportunities and life skills. Your life purpose should feel bigger than yourself and be a calling that your soul aligns with. Spending time in deep visualisation of what you want for your life is an essential method to doing more of what makes you happy.
2. Be Grateful
Gratitude and the act of being grateful for everything in your life is one of the most important tools you can use at your exposal. Psychology research suggests that gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness. The reason for this could be that you are focussing your attention onto feeling good about everything in your life. This is why happiness grows in this direction. Keeping a gratitude journal or writing about things you are grateful for can support your general wellbeing.
3. Wake Up Early
Studies show that people who wake up early experience improved general wellbeing and may even be more successful. While its not a conclusive correlation, waking up early gives you more time to get your tasks done. This is especially important before work as it gives you time to focus on doing your own tasks and daily activities with ease.
Lack of personal time is one of the biggest excuses people find for not writing their book for example, or not being able to exercise. Setting your alarm an hour or two earlier may help you to boost the amount of personal time you have at your exposal. This, of course, is essential for achieving personal success.
4. Spend Time Away From Your Phone
Taking regular breaks away from your phone’s screen is essential for your wellbeing. If you regularly spend time on your phone more than your personal commitments, then this will become your priority. By taking time away from your phone, you give your mind a rest from the constant onslaught of information overload that now dominates the 21st century. Making time for your personal goals is essential to living more on purpose as mentioned in 1 above.
Regular movement is essential to raise your feel-good endorphin levels and reduce anxiety and depressed moods. The good news is you don’t have to do hours of exercise to get these results – even brisk walking for 30 minutes a day can help you to easily burn between 200 to 600 calories in an hour. Not only can walking elevate your mood, it can increase your cardiovascular health and even reduce your risk of heart disease or stroke.
Relaxing your mind with regular meditation not only can help you to release stress, it can encourage a deep sense of inner peace. Developing a meditation practice can help you to maintain your inner calm when faced with various challenging situations. Meditation has been proven in various studies to help you to become more accepting of your situation, while reducing your anxiety, depression and pain.
7. Train Your Mind
One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to learn a new skill. The more you challenge your mind to learn new things, the more you will develop your gray matter. While you can’t develop new neurons, you can create new connections that technically result in more gray matter.
Practising a new skill can help you to train your mind to become more efficient at it. Whether its reading, writing, running, or learning to play an instrument – it takes time and dedication to get good at a new skill. The more you practice, the more connections you will make, resulting in more gray matter.Once you have a skill, make time to nourish it daily and it will reward you in return.
8. Do Something That Challenges You
One of the biggest things we can do for our own self-improvement is to do something that challenges us. If it doesn’t scare you enough, then maybe your goal isn’t big enough. Remember at one stage – everything feels challenging. Once you go out of your comfort zone, you’ll feel fearful – but if you stay with it, the situation becomes more comfortable. Think back to when you were a baby. At one stage even walking was a challenge, then you started crawling…and now you can walk. The same goes for anything new you wish to learn. The more you practice, the easier it will become – until it eventually becomes second nature.
9. Disassociate From The Stories In Your Head
You are not your past. You are not what people have told you many years ago. One of the most beautiful things about life is that you can choose from moment to moment, who you wish to be. Everything that happens to us creates a story that over time, becomes who we are.
Perhaps you were told you were no good at art or music, or people pigeon-holed you by a certain personality characteristic. Therefore this becomes the story you begin to run in your subconscious mind. The more you can disassociate from the negative stories in your head, the more you can begin to live in true personal freedom – choosing who you wish to be in each new moment.
10. Find Pleasure In The Small Things
People often falsely believe that they will only be happy or gain maximum satisfaction when they achieve big things in life – buying a house, getting married, having children, etc. What they may fail to realise however is that the real pleasures in life are happening right now – in the present moment. The small everyday pleasures can give us the most satisfaction.
When we place our attention onto the simple things such as spending time in nature, enjoying the taste and smell of a delicious meal or listening to a dear friend, we begin to realise that life’s real joys can equally come from big events – as they can from the everyday things.
11. Create Your Own Mindfulness Ritual
Being mindful takes practice. Its not something many of us are proficient in as no one really teaches us how to ‘stay present and enjoy the moment’. That’s why creating your own mindfulness ritual can give you a sense of self-discipline and focus to stay present and enjoy where you are right now.
Various ideas to stay in the present moment include:
– Wearing a watch and setting an alarm to remind you to do a habit consistently at regular intervals throughout the day
– Closing your eyes and focussing on a mantra or an image
– Smiling and visualising a beautiful moment
12. Be Gentle On Yourself
Be your own best friend and treat yourself with exceptional self-care. By being gentle on yourself, you give yourself a break. Many people struggle with their own self-doubts and personal criticisms. If you can begin to think more gentle and loving thoughts about yourself, you will begin to truly enjoy the moment for what it is. Being hard on yourself only sets yourself up for failure. If you create something or get involved in an activity and don’t feel you’ve been any good at it – let it go. Know that you have made good progress and you will do better next time.
13. Visualise Your Success
Everything you want begins by focussing and visualising your own success story. Creating a vision board is a good way to attract the things, people and experiences into your life that will truly make it feel good. If you can strongly visualise your own abundant success, you will begin to attract it to you.
This is the fundamental basis of the Law of Attraction however it takes time, persistence and most importantly good faith that everything is coming to you as and when it should. You need to learn to relax into your own success story and then you will live it – rather than simply dreaming about it.
14. Affirm Who You Want To Be
What you tell yourself is essentially who you are becoming. If you don’t tell yourself positive, uplifting and good things about who you are – then your environment will do it for you. To become who you want to be, focus on affirming it to yourself daily. Repeating affirmations such as ‘I am successful’ or ‘I am lovable’, and going into detail will ensure you make the affirmations as realistic as possible for you to achieve.
15. Get Creative
There are studies that show meditation can potentially help you to reduce stress. Mindfulness is also thought to switch on divergent thinking – meaning you are open to new ideas. Practising mindfulness can also improve your attention and make it easier to register novelty and usefulness of ideas.
Creativity comes in so many forms – from arts and crafts, to music, writing and so much more…what’s key is that you focus on something that brings you pleasure and joy. Practice it regularly and see how being creative opens you up to new ideas.
16. Listen To Music That Moves You
Music is a powerful force that can evoke emotions, thoughts, memories and ideas. A piece of music can have powerful weight on your consciousness. Perhaps you have a song that reminds you of a certain time in your life. Or evokes a sense of empowerment, intrigue or creativity. You can even create playlists of songs for triggering certain emotions – and choosing to feel good.
17. Remember To Breathe
Breathing plays a powerful role in our general wellbeing. By focussing your attention onto the breath, inhale and exhale. Observe each breath, focussing on the rise and fall of your chest or the sensation of air through your nostrils. Different breathing patterns can also evoke different emotional states – completely changing how you feel in the process.
A lot can change in a moment. Following these proven mindfulness hacks can help you to boost your everyday sense of happiness.