If you’re unusually happy today you join the seven billion people worldwide feeling the vibe of International Day Of Happiness.
It started in 2012 when all 193 UN Member states called for a more united front to make the world a better place.
Here’s our top 10 tips on how to feel happier that won’t cost you a cent.
1. Give and receive
Hugging produces oxytocin, the feel-good hormone and women produce far more.
It can help fight cortisol levels in the body and ultimately make us feel happier.
2. Pay it forward
Occupational health advisor Orla Barry has teamed up with Laya healthcare’s Healthcoach app offering customers personalised health and well being programmes for this day of happiness.
She said: “Our body and our mind are connected.
“Giving connects us to others, creating stronger communities. Paying it forward doesn’t always mean giving money you can give your time.”
Smile and the world smiles with you.
We feel better when we smile and according to the facial feedback hypothesis it’s all to do with body temperature.
It promotes positive feelings, with one study suggesting our facial expressions change the temperature of the blood supply to the brain, causing pleasurable feelings when the temperature dropped.
4. Writing a list
Clearing the clutter of your mind is a brilliant way to destress.
Get it on to paper and you immediately get it off your mind.
A great exercise is to write down three great things that have happened to you that day.
Making a list of things that you are grateful for can have a positive impact on your mood and level of happiness.
Thinking about the positive aspects of your life and being grateful for the people in your life creates a positive mood.
Volunteering is good for the soul. A recent study found as we get older volunteering has great benefits for us physically and emotionally.
Whether it’s taking time out to help at a local soup kitchen, knitting cardigans for a neo-natal until or heading to Africa to build shelters, you’ll make connections, change lives and feel good.
6. Give away old clothes
Giving is receiving and one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.
For Happiness Day, give something valuable to someone who can use it.
The Netflix series Tidying Up got the nation into a cleaning frenzy as Japanese organising consultant Marie Kondo advised us to give away anything that “didn’t spark joy”.
Ask a friend if they’d like your previously loved dresses or donate them to a charity shop.
When you see your tidy closet after the extras are gone, you’ll feel happy too.
Meditation controls anxiety and enhances self-awareness.
If you can’t sit in silence YouTube is awash with various series all free of charge.
Meditation is proven to promote emotional health, can help generate kindness and may even reduce age-related memory loss.
Ultimately you’ll feel happier if you quiet the busy mind.
8. Connect with others and lend a hand
Making time for those we love is the key to a happy life as the biggest gift you can give is time.
St Francis of Assisi said: “For it is in giving that we receive”, while Leo Tolstoy commented: “We make a living by what we get, make a life by what we give.”
Reconnect with those who have slipped out of your life or chat to older folk on public transport, you’ll make their day.
9. Get out in nature
A study published in the journal Environmental Science And Technology found just five minutes in nature can boost your self-esteem, which is linked to well-being. Analysing data from nature activities such as walking, cycling and gardening, researchers discovered for the first time that just a few minutes in nature is all it takes to make you happy.
10. Smell flowers
Floral scents can influence behaviour and famously lavender can reduce stress.
As babies, smell is the first sense to develop and our noses have six million detecting cells.
Floral smells are an emotional manipulator and boost our mood.
Our sense of smell sharpens in spring and summer with the air full of extra manure. So get sniffing.
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