Good morning Beautiful Hearters!
How are you doing today? How's your day going?
It took me a while to write this article, mostly because I was trying to work on my happiness as well while writing it.

So, let's talk about being happy.
Are you happy right now?
Because you know, becoming happy is an inside job and sometimes it's not as easy as it may seem. But there are some little things that can help us become happier.

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This is Part 1 of the article in wich you'll read about daily and weekly habits that can really help you boost happiness.

Read Part 2 here:

So here we go!

❖ THINGS TO DO DAILY:

➽ 1. Smile!

We smile when we're happy, but the truth is whether you're happy or not - smiling will elevate your mood. It really is a two-way street, smiling reinforces happiness, just as happiness causes smiling. It happens because smiling causes the brain to release dopamine, endorphins - which are associated with pain relief, and serotonin - which is associated with happy feelings.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should go around all day with a fake smile plastered on your face. But smile as often as you can! Anytime you find yourself feeling low - crack a smile and see what happens, starting your day with smiling to yourself at the mirror will do the trick too.

PSSSST, it's also not a secret we look prettier when we smile! That's a bonus too.

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➽ 2. Exercise More Often.

Well, it's not like our brain is the only organ that deserves to be happy. But at the same time exercising is, just like smiling, a two-way street - it causes the brain to release chemicals called endorphins that elevate our mood. Regular exercise will not only help you reduce stress, feelings of anxiety and symptoms of depression, but it'll also boost your self-esteem and happiness.

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You really don't need to start training like crazy right now, because the truth is even a small amount of any activity will make a difference. (Because if you overexert and throw yourself into a strenuous routine, you’ll just end up frustrated and sore and that's not the point!)

So, don't stress about it, just chill and for example:

  • take a walk around your neighbourhood every night after dinner,
  • start your day with 5 minutes of stretching,
  • sign up for a beginner’s class in yoga or tai chi.

I'm sure you have some activities that you once enjoyed, but that have fallen by the wayside. Take a second to think about what was fun for you to do, whatever activity it is, it'll work more effectively for you if you actually like it.

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➽ 3. Get More Sleep!

It's been proven that the more sleep you get the happier you are. Just a single extra hour of sleep per night can make you feel better.
Sleep is not only good for emotional well-being but also for health and brain function. Most of us need 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night to feel rested, but if you notice you have to fight with the urge of taking a nap during the day - it's deffinitely your body telling you it needs more rest.

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Tips fot good night sleep:

  • keep your bedroom dark, cool, and quiet,
  • invest in some good bedding, it's totally worth it,
  • go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (including weekends),
  • treat the hour before you go to bed as your quiet time - take a bath, read, meditate or do something relaxing,
  • don't eat heave meals or drink alcohol before you go to sleep (the at least one hour rule applies here)

It's also a good idea to write down how many hours have you slept and how you felt after - it might help you to notice how much hours of sleep you need to feel rested.
And if you constantly have problems with falling asleep, it might be a sleep disorder - in that case it's important to talk with a doctor and get a proper treatment.

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➽ 4. Make Better Food Chioces.

Food choices have an impact on our overall physical health - eating healthy foods gives our body and brain the energy it needs to be healthy.

Few rules to follow:

  • eat fruits and vegetables, lean meats and proteins, whole grains, nuts and seeds as often as you can,
  • lean meat, poultry, legumes, and dairy are high in protein and release dopamine and norepinephrine - which means they boost energy and concentration.
  • avoid simple carbs, foods high in sugar and starch - the energy you get from them is short and you’ll crash,
  • avoid highly processed or deep-fried foods - they tend to leave us feeling down.
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➽ 5. Be Grateful.

It's been proven that gratitude is good for everyone, not only it helps you become more positive, strengthens your relationships with others, and encourages compassion, but also it reduces anxiety and depression.

So, try to start each day by acknowledging just one thing you’re grateful for - you can do it while you wait for your alarm to go off, while you brush your teeth, while you do your hair or make up.
Also keep an eye out for pleasant things in your life, it doesn't matter how little or big they are - with time and practice you'll become more aware of all the positive things around you.

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➽ 6. Give Compliments!

I bet you know that saying: "Throw kindness like it's a confetti."
Well, it turns out that by doing it you'll not only feel more satisfied and give your happiness a boost but you'll also brighten someone’s day.

Remember to catch the person’s eye and say it with a smile, so they know you mean it. And if you compliment on someone's physical appearance, make sure you do it in a respectful way.

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➽ 7. Take A Deep Breath.

I bet you know how it feels to be tense - your shoulders are tight, and you feel as though you just might “lose it”.
In this situation the best way to calm yourself down and reduce stress is taking long, deep breaths.

So, next time it happens follow this few steps:

  • close your eyes and focus on thinking about a happy memory or beautiful place,
  • take a slow, deep breath in through your nose,
  • breathe out slowly through your mouth or nose,
  • repeat it several times, until you feel better and calmer.

PSST, counting to 5 in your head with each inhale and exhale might help you with taking slow, deliberate breaths.

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➽ 8. Acknowledge Sad Moments.

No one’s happy all the time and bad things happen to everyone - that's just life.
So if you get a bad news, make a mistake or just have a bad day and feel sad, don't pretend you're happy, it's not healthy - just acknowledge the feeling and let yourself experience it for a moment, then think about what made you feel this way and what can you do to recover.

Sometimes the solution is really simple - deep breathing exercise, a long walk outside or talking it over with someone might help.

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➽ 9. Keep A Journal.

It's not an easy thing to keep a journal, but it will help you a lot when it comes to analyze your feelings, organize your thoughts and make plans.

If putting certain things in writing is difficult for you and makes you nervous (it's like that for me), you can actually shred the paper when you’ve finished - because it’s the process that counts.

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➽ 10. Face Stress Head-On.

It’s impossible to avoid all of the stressors - because sadly, life is full of them.
So, when you can not avoid it, remind yourself that everyone has stress - you're not alone with this and others also have to deal with this feelings.

Remember that you are stronger than you think you are!

You can try to tackle the stressor head-on instead of letting yourself get overwhelmed.
It might probably mean you'll have to put in some extra work or finally initiating an uncomfortable situation, but the sooner you'll do it - the sooner the pit in your stomach will start to shrink.

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❖ WEEKLY THINGS TO DO:

➽ 1. Declutter.

I know it sounds like a really big project and something that will deffinitelly take a lot of time, but just 20 minutes a week can have a big impact.
I mean really, you can do so much in 20 minutes!

Start with tidying up a specific area of your room - your closet or that drawer that you wanted to tide up but it got out-of-control. Set a timer on your phone fot let's say 15 minutes and focus on that one area. Put everything in its place and get rid of everything that’s not serving you anymore.

Now use the 5 minutes that has left to walk around your room and put away whatever stray items end up in your path.

Use this simple trick anytime you feel like your space is getting out of control.

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➽ 2. Meet With Friends.

It's not a secret that having close friends makes us happier - we're all social beings. But the truth also is that sometimes it it can feel next to impossible to make new friends, esspecially when you're a young adult.
Just remember that it's not about how many friends you have - it's about having meaningful relationships. It's better to have one or two people you can always count on than lot's of friends who don't really care.

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So anyway, how to meet more like-minded people in your area?
Try to get involved in a local volunteer group, local animal shelter, or take a class that you're interested in (bonus is you can also learn a new thing there!), andchances are people out there are also looking for friends.

Also, many studis have proven that companionship doesn’t have to be limited to other humans. Being around pets offers offer similar benefits.

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➽ 3. Make Plans For The Week.

At the end of every week sit down and make a basic list for the following week. Blocking out time where you can do laundry, go grocery shopping, or tackle other projects will really help to quiet your mind - even if you don’t stick to the plan.
Moreover, you don't have to have a fancy planner to do it (even do fancy planners make it more fun), just a simple piece of scrap paper in your pocket or a sticky note on your computer will do the job.

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➽ 4. Unplug!

If you haven't done it for a longer while, you'll be suprised how much difference it makes when you just forget about your phone for a while and let your mind wander free for a change.
You can read a book, exercise, meditate or catch up on your favourite TV shows and just relax, take a walk and pay attention to your surroundings - be sociable or be alone, the choice is yours, just be in that moment and relax.

It's best to turn off all the electronics and put those ear buds away for at least one hour once a week. Trust me when I say they won't run away anywhere and still be there for you later - if of course you'll still want them.
But if it's too daunting for you at first - doing a shorter amount of time several times a week will help too!

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➽ 5. Spend More Time In The Nature.

According to many studies, spending just 30 minutes in green spaces can help lower blood pressure and depression.
You don't have to actually travel far, the green space I'm talking about can be anything - from your own backyard, a rooftop garden or your neighborhood park. So basically it's any place where you can appreciate some nature and fresh air.

Oh, and psssst, outdoor exercise is also a great idea! It'll give you some extra benefit.

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➽ 6. Practice Meditation.

It's not as complicated as you may think - you can just simply sit in quiet and listen to your thoughts for 5 or 10 minutes.
Even the deep breathing exercises can serve as a form of meditation, but there are so many other methods of meditation to discover and explore (some involve movement, focus, spirituality, and some are a combination of all three) - so don't limit yourself.

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➽ 7. Consider Going To Therapy.

Firstly, just know that it isn't any shame to ask for help and go to therapy when you think you need it.
It also isn't any news that we get happier when we learn how to cope with obstacles and therapists are trained to help people improve those skills.

You don't need to have a diagnosed mental health condition or overwhelming crisis to seek therapy, so if you feel overwhelmed and like you're just hitting a brick wall - try speaking with therapist on weekly basis.

And no one said there's any obligation to continue once you start - if you don't "click" with one therapist, you can look for another one.

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➽ 8. Find A Self-Care Ritual.

We live in a really fast-paced world, so it's easy to neglect self-care and forget how important it is to take care of yourself.
To live a happy life we not only need happy mind, but also a happy body. It does a lot for us - it carries our spirit, thoughts and passions through this world, so don't you think it deserver to get some extra love?

Make time to take care of yourself - put it in your planner if you must, but do it as often as you can.

And it can be anyhting you love to do and enjoy, so go right now and set aside for example: a night to put on your softest pijamas and watch a movie from start to finish, or take a long and hot bath, or adopt a skin care routine that makes you feel indulgent.

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And that's all for now!
Part 2 is coming SOON! I hope, haha.
Wish you a great day ahead! Take care! xx, L.

Don't forget to check out my previous articles here:

Pssssssst:

"Sometimes you think if you try hard enough to make every decision perfectly, you think you can possibly ace life and never make mistakes. But it’s normal to make mistakes. If you’re out there and you’re being really hard on yourself right now for something that’s happened, or messing up or feeling embarrassed, it’s normal. That’s what going to happen to you in life. No one gets through unscathed. We’re all going to have a few scratches on us.. Please be kind to yourselves and stand up for yourself, please.”

- Taylor Swift

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