I think it is important to have joy in our lives and find ways to live in these more positive mindsets. If we have more joy and happiness then this can help to boost our inner positive hormones. When we feel joy in our bodies it is because of the release of dopamine and serotonin, two types of neurotransmitters in the brain. Both of these chemicals are heavily associated with happiness. It has been proven that people with clinical depression often have lower levels of serotonin and this is why GPs can prescribe people anti-depressants to help boost serotonin levels.

Besides the amazing feel-good response that joy can bring, it can also help us enhance more positive emotions which in turn will bring more good things for our brains and bodies. Here are a few of the benefits that being happy can have; it lowers stress hormones, helps ease anxiety and depression, and improves our immune system. Feeling some positive emotions every day has a big effect on our happiness and well-being, and it doesn’t just stop with us, it can help how we are in other areas of our lives too.  The amazing benefit of happiness is it can improve your relationships with other people, as people like being around happy people. Also, we feel more able to positively interact with people when we are happier and that will get a better response and connection with the people in our lives. It can enhance your productivity, as we are more productive when we are in a positive mood. It is great to get things done and enjoy more positive experiences, also it can help our stress levels as being up to date with things can reduce those internal feelings of anxiety and stress. Another positive by-product of being happy and joyful is that it can promote better health behaviours – it is shown in studies that happier people engage in more exercise.

So many benefits, so maybe it is time to bring more joy into our lives. Now we can just strive to do things that make us happy, laugh and bring us joy, but we can also do other things that can help us too. “How can I be more joyful in life” is a great question to pose ourselves. We are all unique so finding our way is important, but here are a few ideas that might help you. I think it is good to help us form new long-term habits of happiness so setting yourself a new daily positive routine may help you achieve more happiness in your life. Here are some of the things you could add to your new daily routine.

Smile. You tend to smile when you’re happy, so find things that make you smile. Enjoying yourself by doing things that are good for your emotional well-being can make us happier and so in turn smile more. Simple activities like meeting with a friend for a catch-up, having a soak in the bath or enjoying a funny movie with the family can make us feel happier.

Try to avoid things that seem enjoyable at the time but come with a negative aspect and in the long run can make you feel worse, things like drinking too much alcohol or eating junk food both fall into this bracket.

Exercise. Exercise isn’t just for your body it is for your mind too, so setting daily mind and body exercise routines will help. Do some exercise, even moderate exercise releases chemicals in your brain that lift your mood. It can help you sleep better, have more energy and keep your heart healthy as well as making you feel happier.

Choose an exercise that you enjoy, it can also help to exercise with a friend as it can be more fun or listening to music, or watching a funny movie can boost your inner joy too.

Get plenty of sleep. If we have not slept much then we are nowhere near as happy as when we have got a good night’s sleep. It is around 7 to 8 hours of sleep on average that most adult needs for their body and mind to be fully recharged and rested.  If you struggle in getting to sleep you could try writing a to-do list for the next day before going to bed, it is a great way to clear your mind ready to sleep.

Eat and drink with your mood in mind. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables as they are full of vitamins and minerals that help your mind feel healthier, this good diet helps your brain and body work more efficiently as well. Making healthy choices about your diet can make you feel emotionally stronger as you feel you are doing something positive for yourself which helps to boost your self-esteem. You can also limit your alcohol intake. I know when things are tough it’s tempting to drink because it numbs painful feelings, but it can leave with negative side effects for several days for some people. It can exaggerate some feelings and make you feel angry or aggressive, but also it can make you feel more depressed and anxious. Why not say no and choose something healthier and uplifting instead.

Practice gratitude. Create a gratitude journal and write about those positive things that the day has brought you.

Give a compliment. Being nice to others can help us feel better as a person, it makes others happy and it can make you feel better about yourself.

Manage your stress levels. If you have a lot of stress in your life, find ways to reduce it, you can look to manage your time better and take control of your time, this can effectively reduce stress. Also practising hypnotherapy, meditation, relaxation and breathing techniques can help If you have feelings of anxiety or stress. You can try out all these things on my MindHealth App.

Also, stop putting yourself down, this won’t make you happy at all or solve the issue you’re dealing with. Why not tell yourself something positive instead as this could help your mood and boost your self-esteem?  How about treating yourself as your valued friend, in a positive but honest way, this can make a massive difference to your mood.

Acknowledge the unhappy moments. Talk and share, it is so important to not hold onto things, whether it’s with a friend, family member, or counsellor. It helps you to release tension, rather than keep pushing it inside. It helps you to strengthen your relationships and connect with people.

Get your new way of living in place to help you have a good foundation to start letting happiness and joy grow in your life, allowing it to be felt from the inside out. Sara

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