9 ways to feel happier today
Posted by Nicola Elliott
What does happiness mean to you? It’s a funny one isn’t it? It means something different to everyone.
This International Day of Happiness (coordinated by our charity of choice Action for Happiness), we asked a group of busy women for their small steps that make a big difference to their mood.
1. DITCH THE GUILT
‘We’re all juggling so much that if we take a “time out” moment for ourselves it always comes loaded with guilt. When I’m at home with my son, I feel guilty I’m not working, when I’m working, I feel guilty that I haven’t seen my son enough! If I ever take a moment for myself, to run a bath or read a magazine, I feel guilty that I’m not being productive. If we let go of the guilt all those things become so much easier, nicer and it makes me sooooo much happier.’ Sadie Reid, founder of Hip and Healthy
2. MOVE YOUR BODY
‘Try and be active, even when you’re having a rough day, or you’re super tired. Go for a walk, hit the gym or try some yoga, it always helps me. I’ve had some stressful times over the last few months with setting up my business and being pregnant and staying active in some way shape or form has certainly helped my happiness levels.’ Nicole Clewer, founder of Dash Fitness
3. PRACTISE GRATITUDE
‘Gratitude and appreciation are our keys to being happier more often. The more we put our attention on things that we are grateful for, the more we are able to focus on what we have and not what we don’t have.’ Katia Narain Phillips and Nadia Narain, authors of best-selling Self Care For the Real World
4. GET OUTDOORS
‘Spending time in nature makes me happy. There's something restorative about being by the sea or taking a walk through the woods. It's the chance to disconnect from the digital space and to connect with myself and other people. I always feel energised, fulfilled and at peace.’ Jayne Hardy, author of Blurt it Out and The Self Care Project
5. HAVE A PROPER BREAKFAST
‘Having a proper breakfast at the table with my hubby and son is my favourite part of the day and no matter how busy we are, I protect this ritual. Even if we are running late and only sit down for five minutes, it helps me start the day in the right way with good food for energy.’ Kim Palmer, founder of @clementineappuk, an app for women who want to worry less, be more confident and sleep better
6. LISTEN TO MUSIC
‘Find a tune that makes you smile or one that reminds you of good times. Play it every day. Visualisation helps us to feel great about ourselves and boost our own confidence. As an old DJ I know too well how familiar songs generate positive feelings especially when we’re juggling the ups and downs that everyday life throws at us! My current favourites are Chaka Khan's “I'm Every Woman”, Solange’s “Cranes in the Sky” and Paloma Faith’s “‘Til I’m Done”.’ Sunita, coach, HR expert and founder of the Lucky Things Meet Ups for women
7. SMILE AND LAUGH MORE
‘Smiling has a massive effect on our brains and bodies, releasing endorphins, dopamine and serotonin (feel good neurotransmitters). It’s simple, costs nothing and is effective! There’s a great quote from Thich Nhat Hanh “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy” sums it up perfectly.’ Mary Meadows, Badass Life Coach & qualified NLP
8. INDULGE IN SCENT THERAPY
‘I treat myself to an extra couple of minutes in the shower when I can, using a lovely oil or rich scrub on my shoulders and arms. These few extra minutes now and again make me feel so much happier. I think of it as scent-therapy!’ Sonia Haria, beauty director at The Daily Telegraph
9. TELL YOURSELF IT WILL BE OK
‘Tune in to your “inner elder”. She’s telling you that you can take your time, you've navigated this before and it is going to be ok. Great things blossom from self-compassion.’ Suzy Reading, Neom Psychologist and author of the Self Care Revolution
Want to hear more about taking action for a happier world and joining the Action for Happiness movement? Take a look at NEOM’s chosen charity Action for Happiness.