Finally Smiling

In this blog post I’ll be exploring ways you can be happy again, especially if you have been feeling down for some time.

1) Recognise negative thought patterns and keep a log of them. Often, you don’t realise you are thinking in a negative way until someone points it out to you. Here are some negative thought patterns and alternative more balanced thoughts:

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2) Distinguish between your thoughts and the reality. Just because you feel negative, it doesn’t mean that the situation is negative. Remember that your thoughts aren’t necessarily balanced or true.

3) Recognise when you are ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. There is nothing you can do to change the past. You cannot predict the future. However, you can live mindfully in the present.

4) Set aside a time and a place to worry every day. If you have worries, write them down, then wait until your worry time to think about them and come up with a solution. A bench outside is a nice ‘worry spot’. Try not to worry at any other time.

5) Once a week, do something different. Meet a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Go for a long walk somewhere different. Write a story. Paint a picture. Bake. Do whatever works for you.

6) When you’re feeling low try distraction methods. Find other people, or go outside, or play with a pet. Just being around others can lift our spirits. If you can’t do this read a book, play an instrument or do some yoga.

7) Avoid comparing yourself to others, especially through social media. Try not to compare the reality of your life to someone’s highlight reel.

8) Unplug from your digital devices for a couple of hours before bed. Focus on your relationships with loved ones and winding down before you sleep.

9) Eat as healthily as possible, drink plenty of water, and make sure you get the right amount of sleep. Exercise and look after yourself. It will lift your spirits.

10) Connect with your spiritual self through mindfulness, meditation, or prayer.

11) Give to others, whether it’s through charity work or helping a friend in need. This will help you to feel good about yourself whilst also making a positive difference to the lives of others.

12) Value everything that you have. Think of all the people around you who really do love you, and say goodbye to the people who don’t. Live your days and your life with a grateful heart.

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