Breaking the Negativity Cycle – Reclaim your inner happiness

IMG_1769Who hasn’t had one of those weeks where you struggle to find any positives? Where everything just seems so unfair and even the little things seem to take their toll?

If you can honestly say ‘no, never happens to me’, then I would absolutely love to meet you and learn your secrets. If on the other hand, you’re more like me (and I suspect the rest of us), occasionally these weeks will rear their ugly heads and do their best to bring you down.

The great news is, it is entirely possible to break out of the negative cycle. Below is my list of top 10 instant mood boosters. I’d love to know what tips you have for boosting a low mood!

  1. Get up! Move! Do 10 star jumps, go for a quick run or make yourself laugh with a Zumba workout.
  2. Smile. It doesn’t matter if you’re smiling at a stranger, your family or even a rose bush as long as you manage a quick smile.
  3. Learn. Learn one new thing. Break out that sewing machine that you have had for ages and never mastered, learn how to properly prune your rose bushes or simply teach yourself a new French phrase. Delight in your own ability to learn a new skill.
  4. Give. Giving to others is my favourite way of maintaining my own happiness and I try to do at least one nice thing for someone else each day. Sometimes this may be baking biscuits for a neighbour, taking someone else’s rubbish bin in, donating to a good cause or simply calling someone, just to see how they are. Joy and happiness are contagious!
  5. Touch. Ok, so not all of us are the ‘touchy feely’ type. I know that I am certainly not. However, multiple studies demonstrate that humans are happier if they reaffirm their connection with others through the medium of touch. If you don’t already give your partner a kiss every morning and evening, start doing so. Give friends a big hug when you greet them. Touch is even a possibility to ensure better connection in the workplace, just ensuring that no-one feels uncomfortable and discretion is obviously exercised!  Lastly for this one; if you have kids, hug them! Whenever, wherever…
  6. Create. Indulge your inner creativity through whatever medium you prefer. Baking cookies, sewing, writing, welding… Your opportunities to create are limited only by your imagination.
  7. Cultivate. The rapidly growing field of biophilia demonstrates the innate human need for connection with plants. Cultivating a garden has been repeatedly proven to ward off the effects of old age, beat depression and provide a greater sense of community.
  8. Do. Ok, so you are faced with an absolutely insurmountable to-do list? Start. Do just one thing, cross it off the list and then take a moment to reflect on how good it feels. You’ve achieved something today!
  9. Be grateful. Every night, my husband and I play the gratitude game during dinner. If you’ve never come across it before, give it a try. The rules are simple; each person around the table is required to come up with at least one thing that they have been grateful for that day. It’s a great way to spark conversation and reflect on how lucky we are. *Warning* if you are competitive like our family, it can occasionally turn into a competition of who can be grateful for the most things 🙂
  10. Get off the treadmill. No, I don’t mean this literally; if running on a treadmill makes you happy go right ahead. I mean get off the debt treadmill, acknowledge that a fabulous pair of new shoes may make you happy for 10 minutes but will result in you feeling even worse when the credit card bill comes in.
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