International Day of Happiness - Tips For A Happier You
Today marks International Day of Happiness and this got me thinking how happy am I? I'd say I'm pretty damn happy and although the levels of my happiness can fluctuate depending on whether the trains are delayed or if I've had an argument with my wife, I would still say that I'm generally happy.
According to the Happiness report (I can't believe there's such a thing either) you are more likely to be happy if you live in Scandinavia with Finland, Norway and Denmark topping the poll. Us Brits came in at 19th place out of 117 countries on the list which surprised me as we're notoriously a miserable bunch!! There were no surprises at the bottom of the list with Syria placing as the least happiest place to live.
The report relies on asking a simple, subjective question of more than 1,000 people in each country.
'Imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom and 10 at the top.
"The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?"
The average result is the country's score - ranging from Finland's 7.6 to Burundi's 2.9.
In this blog I look at some tips that can help you to be happier, regardless of where you live.
Early To Bed, Early To Rise
Allow yourself to have more rest. It can be difficult in this modern era when you're working long days and I too am guilty of not getting enough sleep (just last night I only had 3 and 1/2 hours sleep) and I've really been noticing the effects of sleep deprivation both physically and mentally.
Doctors recommend between 6-8 hours sleep a night for a healthy functioning brain and body. Do you ever find yourself feeling agitated or easily annoyed when you haven't had enough sleep? Remember the more rested you are the better you're likely to feel and the happier you can be.
Technology is now a centre point of most of our lives and it almost seems as if we can't live without our latest Facebook update or we can't eat a meal without posting it to Instagram. I can still remember having to walk to the payphone, in the cold, in my pyjamas to have a private conversation with my then girlfriend. Or making weekend arrangements on Wednesday with my friends and then hope that everyone would remember what you'd agreed. You can now live your life through your phone and if you need it, you can guarantee there's an app for it.
Sometimes, we see a distorted view of someone else's life, making us feel inadequate or that our life is somewhat inferior to theirs which can in turn affect our own happiness.
Feel the benefit of switching off your device for set times during the day and looking up and taking in the world around us. The sights we'd often take for granted or the moments we'd miss with our kids.
The mind is a powerful tool that ultimately decides our emotional state. Outside influences, such as those that happen around us can directly affect our own emotions or feelings, if we let them. Think of a time when someone has barged into you perhaps when travelling to work which has made you angry or upset when you were maybe otherwise happy. You're only as happy as you choose to be. So choose to be happy.
Surround yourself with happy people, like attracts like so if you're always in the company of miserable people chances are you're going to be miserable.
I don't mean you have to get down on your knees and give thanks for every little thing however be grateful for the things you enjoy in life. For me, its hearing how well my daughter is able to read or getting back and playing hide and seek with my son before he goes to bed. I'm always grateful that I'm able to do that and I always look forward to returning home to be able to do that.
Do Something Nice For Yourself
Taking time to take care of yourself or to do something nice for yourself will make you feel happier. It could be taking a bath or investing in yourself by attending an evening class doing something that you have an interest in outside of work.
I personally have a couple of hobbies (too many if you ask my wife) that offer me escapism my guitar and I've recently joined a magic club.
Happiness is an infectious thing generally the happier you are the happier the people around you are.
Many years ago I attended a comedy workshop hosted by Tony Allen. One exercise that stuck in my mind was 'to make a stranger laugh every day.' It was uncomfortable at first however, you can affect someone's mood positivel just by talking to them (this is the basis of hypnosis).
Pay someone a compliment or ask them how their day is, you'll often be surprised.
That's it for thus blog post, I hope you have a wonderful, happy day and that you go out into the world altering peoples states.
Jason Simmons is a stage hypnotist and hypnotherapist Specialising in Anxiety, trauma and weigh loss. Jason is the author of the forthcoming books Tranceformation: A Mindset For Change and The Hypnosis Handbook