IT’S hard to feel happy when there is so much devastation in the world.
Scrolling through the gloomy and often noisy world of social media can make it feel worse. Finding little pockets of joy might seem trickier than ever. But it doesn’t have to be this way. During difficult times, one way to find respite is to make a conscious effort to bring feel-good moments into your day.
Here are some easy ways to do just that.
Practice gratitude daily: The timeless practice of finding things we are grateful for works and many studies confirm this. It’s quick to do too. All you need to do is get into the habit of writing down three things you are grateful for daily. Perhaps, send a thank you card to someone who’s helped you or a message of appreciation to a loved one you care about. Even injecting more thankfulness into our daily conversations actively shifts our focus away from negativity which drains us.
Get yourself a sense of accomplishment: You don’t have to climb a mountain to do this, as small wins can fill your cup of joy. Perhaps, try cooking a new recipe to add to your repertoire or work on a project that needs your skills and talents, such as organising home improvements or writing. Doing something that you’re good at is a great way to feel a sense of achievement and boost your self-esteem.
Nurture meaningful connections: We are biologically hardwired for connection and deep down crave social contact. So, having close friends and the space to chat, unmask and be ourselves without judgment ultimately affects our happiness levels. When life gets in the way, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and not have time to see those who really matter. Who do you miss? Get in touch with them. Have a long conversation over the phone or make time to get together.
Spend time wisely: Often, we want more time, but don’t always use it wisely. Try getting up a little earlier, even 10 minutes to do something you love like read, stretch, soak up nature or eat your breakfast without rushing. Or take social media breaks. It can be shocking how much time we spend mindlessly scrolling on our phones. Getting up earlier and taking social media breaks gives you more control over your time to do the things that nourish your soul.
Help others: Research shows that the happiest people are those who have a positive impact on others. Let’s face it, there is something hugely uplifting when we leave people in a better place than we found them, so why not help someone today, like a neighbour, friend, co-worker, or charity.
Have fun: When life gets a bit too serious, you’re likely to feel exhausted or guilty about having a good time, especially with what’s going on in the world. Give yourself permission to have fun and do whatever makes your soul happy. Science shows watching comedy or moving your body through exercise or dance can release feel-good hormones, so why not bust some salsa or Bollywood moves around the living room, let yourself feel joy. As the great Maya Angelou once said, “We need joy as we need air. We need love as we need water. We need each other as we need the earth we share.”