Lately, I’ve been thinking about the word happiness, and what it means to different people. To some, it could be finally having a certain amount of money in their bank account, or finally getting that dream job they’ve always wanted. For others, it could be finally becoming debt-free, or feeling their baby’s first kick.

Life throws its curveballs, so happiness isn’t an emotion we wake up everyday and automatically feel, which is in fact challenging, and this is where the bulk of the work comes from. This is the point where you decide to either allow yourself be crushed by your circumstance, or fight the tough battle, using positivity as your main defense weapon. I’m not saying it’s easy, but you have the power to calm the storm. It’s by making a constant conscious decision. It’s by calling yourself back home, whenever your catch your mind beginning to take the negative route. I’ve compiled a list of ten daily habits to help kick-start your happiness journey, and also keep you in a better headspace.

Sleep more: You’ll be amazed at the wonders of getting enough sleep. A relaxed mind is a sane mind. Research says it’s best to have between 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

Meditate: Sometimes, we feel like there isn’t enough time in twenty-four hours to take a break, but you can always create time. A good meditation could be as short as five minutes or as long as twenty minutes. Find somewhere quiet, and allow your mind take you on a journey to a serene place. I like to imagine myself on the beach, watching the sunset. I do this in the bathroom before waking my kids up for school, and also at bedtime, when it’s all dark and quiet.

Smile: Smiling is good medicine for the soul. It feels good when you smile at someone and they smile back.

Read: There is no such thing as reading too much. The more you read, the more you learn, the more you learn, the wider your horizon becomes. Reading one or two pages of a content you love helps awaken your mind. I love to start my day with motivational books and positive affirmations.

Don’t overthink: Overthinking is a bliss-killer. Continue to feed your mind with positive thoughts. You can do this.

Be grateful: A grateful heart is a happy heart. Think about all the things in your life you’re grateful for, which brings me to my next point.

Keep a journal: Think of your journal as a friend, or a therapist. Write about the good days and the bad days, write your accomplishments, your goals, your fears, your wins (big and small), and your plans for the future. Write about even those things you don’t think makes sense. I read my journal at the end of every year. It’s like my little gift from me to me. It helps me keep track of how much I’ve grown and whatever else in my life needs improvement.

Spend less time on your phone: We live in a digital world, but we can’t shake off the fact that social media has just as much cons as pros, a tad bit more pros than cons, in my opinion. Consciously and subconsciously, we feed our minds with negative things, through hours of scrolling through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. This pattern isn’t only unhealthy, it does damage to your mental health. Unfollow accounts you find depressing and unmotivating. I like to call it ”decluttering”, and I take it very seriously. It doesn’t matter if someone is a friend, a family member or work colleague. If their content makes you unhappy, unfollow them. I advice logging out of social media every now and then, but if that’s not an option in your case, being in control of the content you see on your timeline goes a long way in improving your mental health.

Self-care: Make time for yourself. Self-care could be many things. It could be a warm bath after a long day at work, or simply relaxing on the sofa, listening to your favorite jam, or watching your favorite T.V show. Self-love could be indulging in your favorite skin-care ritual, or spending a few bucks on a full body massage. The choices are boundless.

Spend time with your loved ones: A good conversation ultimately lightens your mood. Hang out with the people in your life who bring joy and good vibes. Laugh hard and have a good time.

Happiness is: programming your mind to choose positivity, no matter how uneasy life may be. It’s finding joy in the simple little things in life. The road to happiness isn’t always a smooth one, but you are one tough cookie, aren’t you?!

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