being happy in your own skin, especially after 50! Health and happiness and that sense of inner calm all seem to go together and I am convinced lifestyle, mindset and physical health are all interconnected. You really can’t have one without the other.
Happiness is an essential component of living a good life and, the good news is it’s also a learned skill and like all skills it will improve with dedicated practice. When you FEEL happier and better about yourself you are more likely to engage in healthy lifestyle choices such as exercising and eating nutritious food - plus you are less likely or maybe more able to resist the “bad” stuff - sugar, wine, beer, and junk food.
When we feel tense and stressed it has a direct correlation on how happy we feel and chronic stress, as we all know, is linked to gut problems, depression and Alzheimer’s. The happier you feel the healthier you will be. So how exactly do you become more happy if this is an area you struggle with?
Having purpose and material success seems to be ubiquitous, especially if you spend any time on Social Media. Purpose is important, we all need a reason to get out of bed in the morning, but material possessions come and go. As I travel through life I seem to need less and less and now live a minimalist lifestyle. I would rather spend my money travelling than buying the latest sofa from Instagram. But different ages bring different desires and the older I get the less I personally need. I heard a great quote the other day which was “having less doesn’t mean you are less”. How true.
We tend to rely too much on external factors for our sense of joy. It's the age old “ I will be happy when….” However, this can make us feel like the victim if circumstances work against us. If our happiness is dependent on external forces we are no longer in control. Happiness is an inside job and it’s a skill that can be developed, so we need to work on it daily.
Here are 4 steps to include in your daily happiness skill set:
WHAT ARE YOUR DAILY HAPPY HABITS
Write down the things that make you FEEL better about yourself and try to ensure you include them in your daily list of “things to do”. Mine are; 15 mins of yoga stretching, walking the dog, intermittent fasting, lots of salad and veg, the occasional glass of wine, listening to podcasts and reading.
CAN YOU TRY SOMETHING NEW
I am a newness junkie and I definitely suffer from shiny object syndrome. When I reviewed my life at the beginning of this year I realised I didn’t have any hobbies - you know, stuff you do just for fun! So my goal for 2022 is to teach myself all about organic and homemade skincare. I love the chemistry angle and it dovetails nicely into my business anyhoo. Double win for me.
DO YOU VALUE YOUR TIME
Time is the most precious resource we have so I encourage you to use it wisely. We all have different financial priorities and we should guard our time the same way we do our bank balance. I used to spend hours meeting friends for coffee and although some of it was fun, I never felt I was being productive. I decided to cut out all “coffee meetups” during the week so I could focus 100% on my business and it has made a huge difference to my productivity and general sense of happiness. I now only see friends at the weekend.
IT’S OK TO BE ALONE
Learning to enjoy your own company often comes out of necessity - divorce, kids going off to Uni etc, but it can contribute hugely to your overall sense of inner peace and happiness. It will give you the headspace to make some changes - maybe start a business like me or write that book or just try new stuff. Use mental stillness and reflection to think about what you want to achieve in your life. The list is endless and so are the opportunities.