I’ve always been a glass half full kind of person, but recent years have seen me learn to value this more. Whenever I meet someone who has been ground down by stress and the pressures of ‘adulting’, I think about what it is that they’ve lost sight of. So, here are my top tips for bringing a bit more happiness into your own life.
Telling someone you love their style, a particular part of their outfit or the colour they’re wearing can really lift someone’s day. When someone compliments me on my outfit or general colour coordination it makes me happy that my selections have also made them happy. If you feel moved to comment, sharing your happiness can be infectious. However, do bear in mind that approaching strangers won’t always bring them joy and be prepared to back off if it looks like your compliment is coming across as creepy. If in doubt, comment on something that looks like they’ve chosen it that morning, rather than a more permanent feature like a tattoo. People telling you every day that they like your skin? Probably a bit creepy.
Be kind to others
Never forget that there are probably loads of reasons why someone is behaving terribly. They might have had a shitty day at work, they might have a sick child, they might have parents who never say ‘I just want you to be happy’. You don’t know someone else’s problems so try to treat everyone like they’re having the world’s worst day and you’re trying to cheer them up. It might not pay off – some people really are just horrid – but generally you’ll end up brightening someone’s day and then you’re both happy. Life’s too short to be mean to anyone who’s not repeatedly proven themselves undeserving of kindness.
Make time for the people who bring you happiness
This one is very important. Don’t spend too much time with people who take a lot from you and give nothing back. They’re not worth it and will only cause you stress and upset. Instead, spend your time with people who love the things you love, make jokes that have you in fits of giggles, or who are simply so easy to be around that you never worry about making plans with them or having to reschedule. Make time for the people who energise and lift you, the ones who leave you feeling better even when you didn’t share your worries. And remember that you’re not a bad friend for saying no sometimes.
Take joy in the little things
I’ve already written (and updated) a blog post on the things that make me happy, and it’s an important list to check in with once in a while. Do you love the colour yellow, the smell of lavender or the feeling of writing with a really good pen on a thick pad of paper? Whatever it is, keep it in mind and come back to it when things are bad. Things that up my happiness levels on a daily basis these days include: coordinating my outfits so that even my nail polish matches, saying hello to the woman who gives out free newspapers at the station, correctly guessing that someone will get off the tube at Canary Wharf and nabbing their seat, walking up escalators, scheduling ‘me time’, leaving my smart phone in my handbag, ignoring Facebook, jumping over puddles, and taking a moment to look up.