GOOD MORNING TO YOU ALL. It’s Monday again! Woot.
I’m sending you a bonus newsletter this week to give you a taste of what the *paid subscribers* receive in their inboxes every Monday. So, do hit reply to this email and let me know if you like the idea of getting Monday + Tuesday happiness hacks newsletters, or if you’re more of a give-it-to-me-Tuesday-only kind of gal.
I’ve hit my happiness research quota on this post (pat pat on my back), so please give her a read in-between your meetings and making lunches for your kids and your HIIT workouts. I’m even going to be so bold as to ask you to bookmark this bad boy. It’s just that good.
Let’s hop to it.
Studies show the more connected you are, the happier you are. This connectivity has many facets — the connection to yourself, to others, to work, to nature, to exercise, to food, and to animals.
The kicker to these happiness tricks? No one else can do them for you. As with any self-development-make-me-happier tactic, consistency is key.
Today’s post was inspired by the brilliant minds behind Women’s Health with a few personal experiences sprinkled about.
Here are 6 Expert-Backed Tricks For A Happier You
1. Engage in Good Girl Gossip
Fact: More gossiping correlates with greater social support. It’s no wonder why we adore the art of chatter so much, but here I’m talking about good gossip, aka talking people up, speaking about them in a positive light, praising them for doing something you admire, and sharing THAT bit of gossip with your girlfriends over drinks.
In an interesting study conducted by researchers at Staffordshire University, 140 participants were asked to talk about a fictional person positively or negatively — those who described the character positively reported higher levels of self-esteem, concluding:
“Speaking positively about fellow humans can have a corresponding effect on your self-esteem.”
Essentially, you’re reversing your 16-year-old-self habit of gossiping in the hallway about the new girl flirting with your boyfriend, and replacing that icky gossip with good girl gossip to your friend about how excited you are to have met your wonderful new neighbor.
2. Challenge Negative Thoughts with Positive Thoughts
We can’t escape every negative thought that pops into our heads — I’m not good enough, I look disgusting today, I’ll never be able to make the money I want — but we can control (and minimize!) them.
Dr Sarah Vohra, consultant psychiatrist, author, and Women’s Health columnist says this:
“You might not be able to stop every negative thought that comes to mind about your body image and abilities, but what you can do is challenge that thought so it doesn’t hold so much power over you.
If your instinct when you look in the mirror is to reel off a list of flaws, challenge yourself to match each negative with a positive; this doesn’t have to be an aesthetic quality, it can be a positive trait you possess, like being kind.”
3. Dwell on the Good in Your Life
It’s easy to focus on what’s going wrong in your life (you need a new wardrobe, you don’t have a Range Rover, you’re pissed off about your work schedule). But something magical happens when you dwell on what’s going right in your life in place of the daily annoyances we all feel.
The takeaway: When you make an effort to look at the bright side of things, it helps you stay focused on the positive — and makes the negative aspects seem way smaller, possibly even irrelevant.
4. Eat (Alone) as Self-Care
“Eating alone is a way of saying, ‘I’m important,’ says Dr Jen Nash, clinical psychologist and creator of online nutrition programme The Eating Blueprint. “It’s treating yourself as you would a friend or partner and it’s good for your self-esteem, which we often underestimate the importance of when it comes to countering low mood and anxiety.”
I love this slice of advice. Taking the time to cook a meal (or order one) for you that is nutritious and delicious is such a small-but-mighty way to remind yourself that you matter. And it’s fun.
I’m going to add to this to eat alone WITHOUT YOUR PHONE. Honestly is a wonderful, simple experience that allows you to eat more mindfully and actually refuel.
5. Make Peace with Yourself by Mending Your Relationships
You know that ick feeling in your body? The one that swirls its way from your gut to your chest to your throat? That feeling is called guilt. Cousins of guilt include shame and regret — aka feeling bad about something you’ve said or done, and wanting to make it right.
Usually, we feel this way because we are good people! And good people make mistakes, too. So, apologize to your friend. Make that first step in rekindling your relationship with your mom, and start realizing that strong, healthy relationships are what makes life great.
Another way to bring more peace into your daily life? Meditation. Meditation creates new pathways in your brain, making it easier for you to feel joy. 5 minutes a day is all this takes, and meditation can be whatever you want it to be, so long as it’s keeping you mindful, grounded, and relaxed.
6. Remember Your “Why”
Why do you work, exercise, and spend time with people you love? Because it gives your life meaning. This doesn’t have to be some philosophical answer. Your Why can be because it makes you feel better, plain and simple, whatever “it” is.
My Whys are different depending on what area of life I’m focusing on. My Why for exercising is that it makes me feel good (and consequently, look good).
My Why for launching my (future!) clothing brand is three-fold — (1) Having my own business is important to me. It’s my way of showing myself & others that I’m capable of running a fun and valuable business that fashion-focused women can benefit from. (2) I want to show women the incredible power that dressing up has on your mindset — which I possess the personal experience (and science!) to back that bold claim up (3) I want to have fun in what I do for my income, and clothes and creating and shopping have always been a form of fun and life momentum for me.
What is your Why?
Engage in good gossip
Challenge negative thoughts with positive ones
Dwell on the good in your life
Eat alone, without your phone
Fix the wrongdoings in your relationships
Remember your WHY, and carry it out
Thank you for reading today.
Please let me know what you’d like to read about next. Also! What are your favorite clothes & products that lift your mood when you’re feeling ew? I want to know! I’m testing out different Feel Good experiments for columns, and love hearing what other people do to boost their confidence and feel-good vibes.
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