We all want to be a little happier right? I believe that lots of little changes can feel us make a lot better about ourselves and life.
Here are 10 suggestions for changes you can make that will make a difference:-
1 - Squeeze in an extra hour’s sleep
Generally, eight hours’ sleep each night is accepted as the optimum amount of shut eye. However, as the Sleep Research Centre at the University of Surrey found out in a 2003 study, just one extra hour each night could improve your immune system, lower your risk of diabetes and cancer, and make you more mentally agile.
2 - Stop smoking
Improve your health and save money? Sounds like a deal that’s too good to be true. But with the recommended retail price of a packet of 20 cigarettes being around £8.50, against around £5 to £6 for an e-liquid cartridge, now might be a great time to switch to e-cigarettes. Your lungs will thank you for it almost immediately, rewarding you with clearer breathing just days after your last puff of tobacco smoke. My brother did this over a year ago and has honestly never looked back.
3 - Spend 20 minutes exercising after getting up
The University of Bristol found that people who exercise before going to work are more productive and experience less stress than those who skip going to the gym. Jo Coulson, Research Associate in the university's Department of Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences, said that workers, 'performed significantly better on exercise days and across all three areas we measured, known as mental-interpersonal, output and time demands.'
4 - Eat porridge for breakfast
Not only is it a slow-releasing source of energy that ensures you feel fuller and therefore more alert for longer, but the carbohydrates in porridge oats trigger the production of serotonin. This is the substance thought to be a major contributor to a sense of calm and happiness, and will help to make you feel better able to cope through the day.
5 - Do things for others
Helping others is not only good for them, it’s beneficial to us as well. It gives us a better sense of wellbeing and can make tangible improvements to our circle of friends, our family or our local community. The giving doesn’t have to be financial - you could offer your time to volunteer, or help out by providing your particular skills. The Guardian suggests doing three small things today: give away your change, pay someone a compliment and make someone smile.
6 - Spend time with happy people
Harvard and University of San Diego researchers found that each overtly happy friend in your social circle increases your own happiness by about nine per cent. They found that happier people tended to be at the centre of their social networks, and that those networks were often filled with other happy personalities.
7 - Meditate for 15 minutes a day
Meditation has been shown to boost the brain’s cortex, which is responsible for emotions and sensory awareness. The thicker the cortex grows, the better you’ll be at dealing with feelings of anxiety. Not sure where to start? Download the Headspace app and work through meditation sessions designed for modern life. We did this for a while and it really made a difference - just 10 short minutes really helps you relax and put things in perspective.
8 - Try new things, now
People who try a variety of new experiences are more likely to retain positive emotions, whereas those who tend to keep to the same routine are less likely to do so. So for a more positive outlook, sign up to something new today.
9 - Go outside more
As the London School of Economics discovered, more time spent outside means a happier you. 'Being outdoors, near the sea, on a warm, sunny weekend afternoon is the perfect spot for most. In fact, participants were found to be substantially happier outdoors in all natural environments than they were in urban environments,' the university’s report said.
10 - Wake up and smell the roses
A study carried out at Rutgers University in New Jersey found that those in a florally scented room used more happiness-related words when asked to describe three life events.
What do you think? Even if you just choose a couple of these options, I think they will make a real difference to your life.