Start a Happy Habit
New Year is all about starting new things and embracing a ‘new you’.
So what better way to kick off 2016 than to cultivate a happy habit? And just like any other habit, the trick is you simply have to do it every day – wake up every morning making a conscious choice to be happy. Who cares if it’s cold, dark and rainy? Your sunny disposition will be enough to warm up any room! As this is easier said than done, our other tips below can help work towards your happy habit.
Banish those blues by writing a gratitude list each day, picking at least 20 things you are grateful for. It can be difficult at first as you may struggle to come up with so many - but that’s the point. We often look for big, life changing things to make us happy and we miss the little things, like the smile from the dishy bus driver or the delicious smoothie you had for breakfast.
It turns out that the simple act of smiling, (even when you don’t feel like it) sends a message to your brain that you’re happy. And when your brain gets the happy signal, it pumps out all kinds of feel good endorphins around your body until you are actually feeling happy. The opposite effect goes for frowning, so turn that frown upside down and smile away those January Blues!
Go for an Endorphin-Inducing Walk
Research shows that exercise is a mood enhancer but it can be tough to get out and active, especially in the winter months. The trick to exercising regularly is simply to enjoy it. If the gym isn’t your idea of fun, a leisurely walk around your local park or a nearby national park in the UK or Ireland is a great way to enjoy Mother Nature and some fresh air, all the while getting those endorphins pumping. Alternatively, you can try cycling to work, doing a few sun salutations, or even a dance around your bedroom. Whatever you choose, it doesn’t have to leave you sweaty and in pain, and it can be as little as 20 minutes a day. If you enjoy it, you’ll do it more often.
Be Good to Yourself
The season of indulgence and merriment may be over but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. January’s the time to switch from the naughty, to the ‘nice to yourself’ in healthy eating and wellbeing.
Juice Bars are all the rage - but one serving could set you back as much as £4. A juicer investment this January can help you be healthy but also allow you to discover loads of new juice combinations you couldn’t afford to try before.
Studies have shown a lack of Omega 3 can be linked to depression so trying out recipes using spinach, chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans which are high in Omega 3 can help beat those blues.
Just being nice to people can make you feel good. Pay the bus driver a compliment. Help a stranger carry their bags. Offer your last mint to someone on the tube. Do a silly face for a toddler. Sending some goodness out into the world can help cheer someone else’s day up and make you feel good inside.
Try Something New
Babies and children are frequently experiencing things for the first time, which means they’re still stimulated and curious about the world. As adults we’re so familiar with our routines that we often live on autopilot, and lose that sense of wide-eyed wonder that makes life so exciting.
Just by doing something completely new, we can trigger that excitement again. There are loads of network groups where complete strangers with the same interests come together to do the things they love. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people and to try anything from street photography to scuba diving. If you’re up for it, someone else out there will be too.
Having a change of scenery can help clean out the cobwebs and stimulate the mind as you explore a new place or culture. Whether walking the breath-taking landscapes of the UK & Ireland or immersing in a city break, there are an array of destinations to escape to and help you beat those January blues.