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Sunday 19 August 2018

13 Ways I've Been Living A Happier Life

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I know it's easier said than done, telling someone how to lead a happier life. You can't really. Let's face it, we all have our own problems going on and we are all fighting battles people know nothing about. I have a love-hate relationship with the internet, on one hand, it's the best thing ever, but on the other hand, people wrongly judge people every single day. Remember, the girl on Instagram will be fighting battles too, she may just choose not to share them and that's okay. It's a tough one because it can obviously be damaging to pretend things are okay and only show things through a filtered lens online but, I personally enjoy Instagram for what it is and take it with a pinch of salt, knowing that the people behind the photos have stories too, I quite like going there to escape but for example I find Twitter scrolling can make me feel really negative if I read the wrong thing. Recently, I've found my moods have been massively lifted and there are a few things I've been doing which have been helping with that. This isn't me telling you how to be happy because only you know what will make you truly happy but, these are a few little things that are brightening my days and lifting my mood at the moment and I hope they'll help you too. 

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Reading Books - I'm embarrassed to say I read my first book in over a year this July. We booked a family holiday, the first family one we've been on in a year (last year was a disaster and my Grandad was incredibly unwell) and I bought myself a book in the airport - a physical, actual book. I love books, I always buy them and I've always been a big reader but it's having the time to read them, or, making the time. We live in such a switched on world, a world where I always feel I could be doing more, or ticking something, anything off my to-do list. But what about our wellbeing? The book I did choose to read, taught me so much and I keep finding myself referencing it or referring to it so it's obviously left a mark in my mind. It's made me want to learn more and read more. Your wellbeing is so important and it should come before anything. This book will change your life and switch your mindset! Read: self-confidence and self-love tips. 

Time Away - This takes me onto time away. Obviously, the family holiday was amazing, it was one of the first trips I've been on in a long time that wasn't a work trip and whilst I am incredibly grateful for work trips and wouldn't change them for the world, it still is work and that includes pressure and stress and no downtime. It's important to take a step back and take actual time off, whether that's a Saturday afternoon, a weekend near to home, a staycation or, go wild and fly to the Bahamas. Refresh, recharge and find your happiness. If you can't go abroad, just take an hour to yourself on a morning, have your own morning ritual or routine, whether it's a walk with a podcast in, listening to the ocean, watching the sunrise, doing a workout. 

Out Of Office - I was always scared to put my out of office on. I felt as if I'd lose opportunities, people would stop emailing me but actually, I now use it to limit my stress. I find we live in a world where people expect a response immediately and we are all busy. Remind yourself: it is okay to take a few hours or even a day to reply to something, sometimes life or other urgent work/admin gets in the way. I have my emails hooked up to my phone and laptop which means I could technically be answering emails anywhere and everywhere but I personally prefer to sit at my desk and answer them properly, you shouldn't have to be replying within seconds to everyone and people shouldn't expect that from you either - don't be so hard on yourself. Even a little out of office saying 'I'm in meetings today' has calmed my stress levels so much because then I don't feel the need to get back to people urgently. Read: 5 ways to tackle stress. 

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Listening To Podcasts - I've started listening to podcasts, finally and wow, where have they been all my life? Podcasts have revolutionised my life. I feel as if I'm learning so much without actually trying, I'm just soaking up the information on topics I'm passionate and interested in without using all my brain power. I've been listening to them when driving mainly and have been listening to business podcasts as well as health and fitness podcasts. My mind feels amazing afterwards! 

Walking - I've been walking more, particularly when I'm at home. I've always been a lover of walks but again, walking takes time and I prefer to walk with someone rather than alone. When I'm doing meetings, I'll walk between my meetings and try to avoid getting taxis. My Grandma always said 'you've got legs, so use them if you can' and I always hear her in my head. It goes without saying that exercise is SO good for the mind, I haven't done a whole section on this because I've always worked out, but taking an hour out of my day 3-5x per week and heading to David Lloyd (my gym) can leave me feeling like I've had a full therapy session, exercise is SO good for my mind I can't even explain. I use the Health app on the iphone and check how many steps I've done and for some reason it makes me feel so accomplished haha. After a long evening of working on my laptop all day, I'll head out with my Mum or a friend and wander around in the golden light. Nothing beats stretching my legs and breathing in the country air, it's moments like that, where you allow the world to slow down and take a pause from every day stresses that make me so happy. Try and have more moments like that. 

Meeting New People - I love meeting new people and recently, I've met so many positive, wonderful people who've given me all the happy vibes. We can often get trapped in one circle and start to feel comfortable but actually, there are so many wonderful people in the world and we always have room for new, good people in our lives, you never know how much they may inspire you. Read: 6 ways to feel motivated. 

Having Time Offline - I am trying to have a little bit more time offline, even if it's just whilst I'm on my spin bike or taking a Saturday afternoon off to relive childhood memories and head to a local park. My mind is constantly switched on and I've been much happier when I've switched my technology off. 

Planning My Schedule - I'm a lil bit of a control freak so I like to have my schedule (to do list and gym schedule) planned as in advance as I can so I know what I'm doing with my week. I work for myself so new things pop up all the time, it's totally fine but for some reason, it makes me feel so calm knowing my to do list is organised and I can shut my laptop and remove all the thoughts from my mind before bed. 

topshop red jumpsuitLess Scrolling - I've been really firm with myself when it comes to scrolling. On Instagram, I only follow people who I want to follow so I scroll endlessly on there, chatting to people and spreading the love but I do find my Twitter timeline can be really negative. The best thing? To either stop scrolling on it so much or, unfollow/mute the people who make you feel negative. It's totally okay to have a little moan or have a bad day or even raise awareness for important topics, the world isn't rosy all the time, but if someone is making you feel unhappy/anxious when you read their tweets on your timeline and it's changing your mood? You know what to do. 

Sharing Compliments - This takes me onto sharing compliments. I actively comment on peoples Instagrams more now and it's SO lovely and feels SO good to spread some love. I was told by a teacher once 'always try and compliment someone at least once a day' and you know what? It works, it makes me feel so happy, giving love back. You're making someone elses day too and it only takes a little bit of effort out of your own day, use that power. To take this even further, you can give to charity. Charity is a VERY personal thing and I support a few very close to my heart (Behind Closed Doors, Mental Health UK, PoTs, ME Action, Leeds Cancer Centre) but the other day I put loads of hampers together to give to them so they can raise more funds and it's something I want to do more of this year, it really does feel great giving back. Turn any negative feelings into positives by giving to someone else who may need it. 

See A Health Professional/Speak To Someone - This is a bit of a different one but if you are struggling, reach out to someone. Whether it's a friend, a family member, a teacher or a health professional. I can struggle quite badly with health anxiety and I plucked up the courage to see my doctor, who then sent me for a scan, I went to my scan and spoke openly to the nurse about my anxiety and I feel 1 million times better for talking to her but also, for getting myself checked out and taking action. I'm not saying it's easy but you'll feel so relieved once you've been to the doctors if it's a health problem or/spoken to someone if you are struggling with something. A problem shared is a problem halved and remember, if there is something seriously wrong with you, it's better to know so the doctors can treat it. 

Surround Yourself With Good People - It's so cliche but it's true. In January I decided to cut people out who haven't really been there for me or who haven't treated me right. I didn't argue with them I just gently fizzled things and wow, it was the best thing I did. If someone has ever made your feel on edge, anxious, upset, stressed... ask if your life would be calmer without that. My happiness, mind and life has got so much better since doing that. Read: how to deal with friend heartbreak. 

Learning New Things - I think the reason I love podcasts and reading is because it's made me realise, my mind isn't switched off now I've graduated and I can still learn new things. It's exciting though because I'm not learning modules I'm not interested in, I'm learning about the things I'm passionate about. I also started a personal training course with Train Fitness purely to enhance my own knowledge and study something I wish I did a degree in. I'm doing a distance learning course and can do it in my own time, under my own steam. The art of learning new things and things I genuinley care about is giving me so many happy kicks. 

Stop Caring What People Think - Last but not least and it's taken me a long time to get to this stage, it's definitely not an overnight thing... I've stopped caring what people think so much. As long as you are happy with your life and you know what you're going through, who cares what strangers or other people think about you? You have one life, live it. Don't waste it worrying about the opinions of others who are probably wrongly judging you anyway. Do what makes you feel happy and if people aren't adding to your happiness, sometimes you may have to subtract them from the equation.

There we have it guys, I hope you liked this post. I truly have been feeling so much happier recently and these things have definitely helped. We cannot avoid bad days and stress but there are ways of coping with them, so if I'm having a bad day, I'll make time to go for a walk or go to the gym, I'll call a friend and have a giggle. Remember: rainy days make flowers and a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor. Be kind to yourself and others, we never know what battles people have faced to get to where they are today or, what battles they may currently be facing. BIG LOVE.

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Lots of love, Em x

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