As an editor, I'm put in the glorious position of being able to learn a lot — thanks to the research I do for my print and online articles. But this year, so far, one of the biggest lessons I've learnt was not from any website or magazine but my fiancé.
He tells me often, "Being happy is a decision, it has nothing to do with how your day is going well or how well you slept. It's a conscious choice to be positive and cheerful."
I know what you're thinking: Easier said than done! That was my reaction too. But putting it to practice has paid off in surprising ways. And on top of that, there are other approaches to being chronically happy. How does one keep the good energy flowing and see the positives in just about everything, you ask? Let me count the ways.
#1 Be grateful
Life isn't always fair, but suddenly it seems a lot better if you look at your glass as half full. It's a mindset change that takes seconds; gratitude opens the door to feeling less 'badly treated' in life. Studies say grateful people love being kind to others, as part of the pay-it-forward theory. Try it today; give out compliments, buy someone a coffee, offer to pick up lunch for your colleagues. Not only do you feel better, you spread some cheer too. Everybody wins.
#2 Work out
Everything you've heard about endorphins is true, so why aren't you getting off your butt and producing some? Forget the gym if you must; run around the block a few times, or sneak in some leg lifts, planks and lunges before you hit the showers — in the cool, air-conditioned privacy of your bedroom — and get ready for work. Seriously, 10 minutes is all it takes.
#3 Be adventurous
As much as we are slaves to it, routine is truly the enemy. It leaves us lethargic, uninspired and predictable. Switch things up every chance you get; try a new route to work, join a club and meet new people, explore new activities, pick up a book about a subject you'd never think twice to be interested in, or sign up for a class to learn a new skill. When you're out of your comfort zone, you're a magnet for new experiences. And when you're invigorated, you naturally feel happier.
#4 Read more
We're so used to staying glued to our phones, we might as well make the content count. It's fun to Facebook and Snapchat endlessly, or browse the articles on here, but stretch your brain a little more. Push yourself to read long articles on sites like TIME or find something you like on GoodReads. Too used to watching stuff? Click your way to TED. There's much more to life than simply documenting yours 24/7— make it count in better ways.
#5 Smile more
This needs no explanation, really.
Photos: thinkfocuscreate.com, cabrerainsights.com