woman feeling happy

How to be happy: 7 tips for feeling that inner glow

Pharrell Williams once sang a whole song about it, there’s a whole list dedicated to celebrating it, and there’s an entire movement focused on making more of it happen.

Being happy is something we can all do. But for one reason or another, it’s not something we always feel. According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, people’s anxiety and happiness has improved, but their life satisfaction has gone down.1 But the good news is, happiness is something that can be worked on, simply by replacing every day negative habits with more positive, uplifting ones. Before we talk you through how to feel happy, it’s important to flag that one person’s definition of happiness is different to the next. For instance, taking the dog for a walk may make you feel happy, but doesn’t appeal to everybody. What’s more, going for a massage or learning something new can also be some people’s idea of happiness, but not necessarily others.3

Feeling happy is very much a personal thing, but once you’ve sussed out how to make yourself happy and start to embrace these things, then you should have a smile on your face!

How to be happy

Happy hack 1: Enjoy an uplifting smile

Yes, that’s right, break out into a smile! Smiling actually happens to make our brain release dopamine, which actually makes us happier. If you feel low, smile to yourself (if it’s in a mirror, even better) and then see how you feel afterwards.4

Happy hack 2: Do more of what makes you happy

Taking part in hobbies and activities that you genuinely enjoy can support your mental wellbeing. And it doesn’t have to be anything too elaborate or expensive either. Having a long, hot soak in the bath or giving yourself a pedicure may make you happy. Or seeing friends or baking a cake could lift your spirits.5

Happy hack 3: Get plenty of sleep

You’ll be amazed at just how much our mood can be influenced by our sleep levels. Getting a decent night’s sleep every night and sleeping enough (around 7 to 8 hours for adults) is key to our overall health, brain function and emotional wellbeing. When we’ve had enough sleep, we tend to have more energy to do things.6

Happy hack 4: Be grateful for what’s going on in your life

Feeling thankful for what you have instead of what you don’t have is incredibly powerful. Gratitude is also an incredibly positive thing, so the more you focus on it, the more you’re bound to feel positive about yourself and your life. Some people even keep gratitude journals to keep their minds focused on feel fortunate for what they’ve got and have already achieved.7

Happy hack 5: Pay somebody a compliment

It’s a really positive thing to do! Acts of kindness can make us feel satisfied and brighten somebody else’s day while also giving us happiness in return too. But don’t just give compliments for the sake of giving them, you need to mean them and deliver them with a genuine smile.8

Happy hack 6: Do some exercise

Yep, that’s right, get moving and get that heart pumping! As well as helping us keep fit and stay in shape, regular exercise can release feelings of stress and give us an endorphin boost. It doesn’t have to be too strenuous either, it could be as simple as going for a walk or starting your day with some stretching exercises.9

Happy hack 7: Eat well

Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help us feel healthier, not to mention boost our self-esteem because we are putting nutritious stuff into our bodies. Eating healthily can also provide our brain and body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to function well.10 (For more information read, ‘What is a balanced diet?’) Even just thinking about being happy can make you feel happy. Now you’ve read the hacks above, are you feeling it yet? We’re hoping you are… In the meantime, for more best practice insight, check out this article, ‘How to build up self-confidence.’

Last updated: 21 August 2020

Sources
  1. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/bulletins/personalandeconomicwellbeingintheuk/june2020
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-be-happy#overview
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-be-happy#overview
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-be-happy#daily-habits
  5. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/feel-better-and-happy/
  6. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-be-happy#daily-habits
  7. https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2019/08/13/how-to-be-happy/#2baa4f3813f9
  8. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-be-happy#daily-habits
  9. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-be-happy#daily-habits
  10. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/feel-better-and-happy/
Mental Health