3 Grand Essentials To Happiness In Life

Happiness is a state of mind; a state which can shift from pure contentment to complete dissatisfaction in any given moment. This change in perspective can be triggered by a number of outside circumstances seemingly out of our control; unexpected news, the loss of something dear, an ill-mannered interaction with a stranger…

At times our discomfort is prolonged and happiness can feel like a distant memory. I remember the overwhelming feeling of complete sorrow in the long months that followed my Dad’s death. I was a sinking ship. Afraid of marring others with my grief, I’d hide my devastation beneath a brave face, but on the inside I was an empty vessel lost at sea. If I knew then what I know now, I would advise my nineteen-year-old self to honour her feelings; to be unafraid of reaching out and asking for help.

If you are feeling bereft, try not to stuff down your emotions. Be kind to yourself and trust that this feeling will pass. It may not go away entirely, but as sure as the tides ebb and flow, so will your state of happiness. Nothing in life is constant. As rocky as the oceans may seem, the tides will settle in time. So don’t lose heart. It’s not your job to control the weather – life is unpredictable. But we can learn to navigate the storms, we can learn to stay afloat instead of drowning.

We can begin with the three essentials to happiness.

Something to do:

This could be as simple as petting your dog; making a start on a long neglected project or planting some vegetables to harvest in winter. Participating in life brings us back to the only moment we have – NOW. It is now that we are free from the binds of the past and worries about the future. For me, writing, walking in nature, and belly laughing with loved ones always brings me back to a state of gratitude for the moment I’m in.

Something to love:

At our core, we are pure, unbounded love. Therefore, not to love is a slow death to the soul. Yet many of us forget that we cannot give away what we don’t have. Love begins first with oneself. Not in a conceited self-righteous way, but in a way that is non-judgemental and self-accepting. When we truly love ourselves, we are able love others unconditionally. Make a promise each day to look in the mirror and say with deep compassion: “I love you.” Watch how that love flows outward to others.

Something to hope for:

Studies have shown that those who practice optimism and gratitude live longer, healthier lives. Hopeful individuals repeatedly show reduced levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Hope instills a sense of faith that everything will work out for our highest good. You don’t have to be religious to have faith in a higher power. You can have faith in yourself; faith in a loving Universe, faith in others, faith in a non-denominational Divine guidance. In short, faith and hope free us from the shackles of limiting beliefs, bringing a sense of peace to even the darkest of days.

Today, take the time to do something you love. Reflect and give thanks for this moment. Trust that everything is precisely as it is meant to be, and keep the faith.

In love & light,

Hayley xx

 


Top Tips To Get Through The Holiday Blues

In the wake of the Christmas mayhem, we may find ourselves feeling run down and depleted. A combination of rich foods and beverages, seasonal stress and holiday overwhelm can all begin to take their toll on our wellbeing.

I know I’m not alone in feeling this way, so I wanted to share some of my top tips for surviving the post holiday blues.

1. Be Extra Kind to Yourself

Post holiday blues can leave us feeling like Ebenezer Scrooge. To avoid appearing like a complete misery-bags, we dawn a false smile in hope that no-one will notice. After all, it’s Christmas, we’re supposed to feel happy right? But it would be naive of us to think that just because it’s Christmas, all of our worries and frustrations will simply melt away. Granted, there’s no need to take our feelings out on others, but we can be extra kind to ourselves during the holidays. If you need some time out, go for a walk, take a bath, or nestle down with your favourite book. Allow yourself the time to do nothing. The holidays are as much about connecting with yourself as they are about connecting with your loved ones. Your family will much prefer you happy and rested over frantic and crazy! So relax, and go easy on yourself.

2. Stay Nourished

Many of us forget that the shops are only closed for one day over Christmas. We fill our cupboards with enough food to feed a football team for a week, and then end up gorging on left overs in the days that follow. It’s ok to loosen the reigns (and trouser buttons) a little over the holiday period, but as soon as possible, try to get back into a normal eating routine. Rich foods and beverages are devoid of nutrients, and contrary to what many believe, alcohol is a depressant. Too much is likely to prolong our holiday blues and leave us feeling despondent. So remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. If you really don’t want to waste all of that food, try freezing some. Or consider making up some food parcels to gift to those in need. You’ll feel much lighter in body (and spirit) for doing so!

3. Set Healthy Boundaries

We can often find ourselves overcommitting during the holidays. Before we know it our schedules are jam packed with outings, visits and gatherings galore. This can leave us feeling stressed, overwhelmed and cranky. It’s important to set healthy boundaries, especially with your time. If you want a day to do simply nothing, say so. Self-care isn’t selfish, it is essential. You needn’t explain your reasons, nor do you need to make up excuses. Be firm. You can communicate your wishes with love without feeling guilty about it. And you’ll also be reminding others that it’s ok to rest during the holiday too!

4. Spend Some Time In Nature

Nature is therapy. One of the quickest, fastest, surest ways to feel replenished again is to spend some time outdoors. Whether it’s a short stroll around the block, resting on a park bench, breathing in the salty sea air or hiking in the hills – there’s something about Mother Nature’s healing vibes that revive and uplift. Often the holiday blues has us cooped up inside, especially if we live in the Northern Hemisphere. But whatever the weather, spend some time in nature today and feel those holiday blues melting away.

5. Be Thankful

For some of us, the Christmas season can leave us feeling blue, especially if we’re remembering loved ones passed, or attempting to relive our childhood memories of Christmas. But just as surely as the seasons change, so do our experiences of Christmases past and present. We should try to release our expectations of what a good Christmas should be like, and instead focus on the things that we are grateful for. You might even want to write your gratitude list in a journal and read over it whenever you’re feeling wishy washy. Maybe you can  invite others to share one thing they are each grateful for over dinner? Focusing on the things that make us feel joyful and happy is a great way to shift our perspective and feel better about life.

It’s important to remember that you’re not alone in feeling this way. The holiday blues are a normal part of adjusting to the changes in our routine as well as the seasons. So be kind to yourself and others. As much as possible try to count your blessings and look for the small things to be grateful for. If you really can’t shake your blues, be sure to reach out to someone you can trust and let that person know how you feel.

I’d love to hear your tips on how to feel better about the post holiday blues!

In love and light,

Hayley xx

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