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5 Hacks to Happiness

05 Feb 2016

Feeling the blues? When life's downside and mishaps sometimes get the best of us, feeling alone or in a dark place is most likely to follow. But with these 5 easy hacks into happiness, your silver lining could be just a daily step away.

1. Keep A Gratitude Diary...

...or send a daily message to a loved one with a quote expressing your appreciation. Start each day by simply jotting down one thing that you're grateful for or alternatively, end each day by writing one good thing that happened to you that day. Like most forms of art, writing is often described as therapeutic and proves a great way, if not the best, to communicate what you have a hard time saying aloud. In addition, recent research suggests that keeping a gratitude diary can significantly contribute to improved sleep, a greater immune system and of course, increased joy.

2. Get Outdoors!

Whether you're heading outside for an afternoon stroll to your local cafe, walking the dog or sprucing up that lovely garden of yours, keeping in touch with nature proves highly beneficial for greater health and wellbeing. By spending just 10 minutes in the sun each day, you'll naturally attain the recommended daily dose of Vitamin D that your body needs. As Vitamin D increases the amount of serotonin in your brain, it's able to elevate a person's mood and to reduce fatigue, both of which, interdependently contribute to greater happiness. So basically, get out there and have some safe fun in the sun!

3. Exercise

It's no secret that exercise is one of the best and most important everyday practices there is in achieving greater health, prevention against various diseases and attaining balance in most aspects of your life. On average, a mere 20 minutes of exercise per day is sufficient enough to make a person happier and more productive afterwards. This is mostly because during exercise endorphins and the protein BDNF are both released within the brain, where results include reduced tension and mood elevation. And the even better part is that exercise isn't a chore but instead, it's an integral part of living a healthy lifestyle that you can and should enjoy. So, you don't have to workout at the same time every day - you just need to find the right time.

4. Switch Off

Do your mind and body a favour and unplug when you can. While technology is seemingly at the core of our day-to-day lives, excessive use can create unwanted stress, sleep deprivation and can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression. A significant majority depend on their mobile devices each day where a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO), trouble finding time alone and over consumption can stop us from releasing creativity, keeping productive and most importantly, feeling content with the life we presently have. We may not be able to switch off at all times since technology is part of our progression, but we can make simple yet effective changes. Such as, avoid checking your phone or logging into Facebook until you're ready for the day ahead, and spend your lunch breaks outside or go for a walk instead of sitting down and eating in front of a screen. These unplugged moments allow you to find solitude, keeping you more in touch with reality and help you to be content as you work toward a balanced lifestyle.

5. Share The Love

Speaking of being more in touch with reality, there's no better way to do so then to help out someone in need. Volunteer at a local shelter or a non-profit organisation, give back with 2 hours of community service or contribute to International NGOs like Amnesty International and Oxfam where you can reach out to those who need your attention most. By having social awareness and by seeing how other people in disadvantaged communities live, there's no doubt that you'll be more appreciative of the life you have and to see the world around you with perspective. After all, they do say that being content is the key to happiness...

It's time to get your happy on!