International Day of Happiness

The 20th March is International Day of Happiness. So by way of celebrating I would like to share with you 6 top tips for a happier state of mind.

Before I go into what we can do to make us feel happier, it’s important to recognise, like anything, in order to experience the true value and benefit of something positive and happy we need to have experienced the down side to that feeling. Unfortunately we will all encounter some sad times!

It is important to recognise, no matter how hard it may be, in a normal state of mind, we have the power to choose to be happy, or to certainly focus on the positives in any given situation.

Viktor Frankl, a well known neurologist and survivor of the WW2 holocaust in Auschwitz said:

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

It may be hard to consider a positive state of mind from such an atrocious experience. This also isn’t to compare with our own state of unhappiness or happiness, as our feelings and how we deal with them are personal to us.

So if you are struggling to produce a smile today here are 6 top tips taken from the NHS website:

1 – Manage your stress levels

If you have a lot of stress in your life, find ways to reduce it, such as learning a few time-management techniques like the following:

. Work out your goals

· Make a list – keep it short/ don’t overwhelm yourself – helps keep you organised

· Write a to BE list

· Focus on results – what are you going to achieve as a result?

2 – Have a lunch break

I am so guilty of not doing this or I’ll eat while I’m working, but actually it’s counterproductive. Personal time gives you space to re-energise. Maybe go for a 30 min walk ready for a productive afternoon?

3 – Prioritise important tasks

Tasks can be grouped into 4 categories:

. urgent and important

. not urgent but important

. urgent but not important

. neither urgent nor important

Taking control of your time in this way can effectively reduce stress.

If you feel overwhelmed in dealing with lots of tasks and feel stuck when it comes to prioritising, perhaps do some breathing exercises. The Head Space App is great for encouraging short breathing sessions, so they don’t take up too much of your time, but help you re-focus.

4 – Enjoy yourself

Doing things