21 Ways to Be Happier TODAY

When life sucks, things aren't going according to plan, or you're just having a bad day, happiness can seem like such an arbitrary, ethereal concept.  But what if you could do one small thing to feel happier?  And then, what if you made doing at least one small thing a daily habit?  How much happier could you become just by doing something tiny every day, or twice, three times a day?  Here are some of our favourite happy boosters.  Treat yourself and feel happier - today!

1. Spend half an hour doing exactly what you please.  Read, nap, bake, meditate, take a bath, just forget the to do list and do what makes you happy.  Fill your own tank before you fill everyone else's.

2. Get outside.  Walk in nature and take in the colours, the smells and sounds.  Breathe deeply and smile.

3. Nurture a relationship.  Take the kids to the park or the beach or the woods.  Have a proper conversation with your friend or your mum.  Spend some 'quality time' with your partner.

4. Make a list.  Set a goal for this week, month or year and plan baby steps towards achieving it.  Write the steps in your diary and commit to them.

5. Take a bath or shower with essential oils like jasmine, geranium, frankincense, lemon, orange, bergamot and rose.  Make your own mixture to taste and add it to a carrier oil like almond.

6. Jasmine oil can also be applied directly to the pulse points or chakras for a boost.

7. Use your favourite plate or mug and have a tea break.  You could even make a full afternoon tea and invite friends or family to join you.

8. Listen to relaxing music, or dance along to something more uplifting.  draw the curtains if needs be and really go for it!

9. Smile - to yourself, at the mirror, at the dog, at a stranger, at your family.  Just smile.

10. Say no.  If you take on too much, commit to saying no to one demand or invitation today.  Spend the time saved to treat yourself instead.  Go to the cinema, watch a DVD, go for a long walk, visit an old friend.  Saying no is fine, and means you can do what you want to do.

11. Learn a new skill.  Take up baking, salsa, rock climbing, knitting, Spanish or car mechanics.  Spend some time today researching what you need to do or who you need to contact.  Order a book or sign up for a course.

12. Do something out of your comfort zone.  Explore a new town, try something new, face a fear, take a risk.  You'll think you're invincible afterwards!

13. Practice mindfulness.  Forget tomorrow, concentrate on right now.  Look around you and really take it in.  Focus on your child, your home, your cat, and choose to feel happy.

14. Buy yourself some flowers.

15. Count your blessings and think about what's great in your life.  Start a gratitude journal, or simply think of three things you are grateful for or have enjoyed today before you go to sleep.

16. Stop worrying.  Don't spend all your time thinking about what could happen and ignoring now.  If there is something you can do about a situation, act, if not, put in your worry pile.  Write down your worries and take them out once a day or week to worry about for half an hour, then out them away, and stop worrying.

17. Turn off your phone/tablet/laptop.  Stay away from social media for an hour, an afternoon, a day.  Stop comparing your life to everyone else's and concentrate on what's real - for you.  Choose to be happy.

18. Make a plan.  Find a play or exhibition you'd like to see and book tickets, book time off work for a holiday even if you spend it at home, plan a day trip somewhere new, book a cheap hotel in another city, plan a big walk or hike.  Try to plan something for each month so there is always something to looks forward to.

19. Look back.  List all the amazing things you have done, all the times you thought you couldn't but did, all the challenges you have met, all the obstacles you have overcome.  Pin it to a kitchen cupboard and be proud of yourself.

20. Stretch, jump, practice yoga, move your body and breathe better.  Just five minutes will give you an instant boost.  Go to the gym or exercise in the sunshine if you can.

21. Make a healthy meal or snack.  Eat a rainbow of fruit or vegetables, and really savour your food.  Turn off the TV and eat at a table.

Happiness isn't about the big stuff, think small, little things every day, little moments of joy.  Choose happy.

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