5 ways to practise happiness

5 ways to practise happiness

Natalie Hemengül
Zurich, on 13.02.2020
Translation: Eva Francis
Being happy is something we can practise and cultivate. How? Here are my tricks to promote a positive mood throughout the day.

You probably know that being happy is a state of mind. But that’s easier said than done. The following five tips have helped me consciously lighten up my mood and create more space for the joys of life.

The sound of the morning

A good day starts with a good morning, right? How you kick off the day is crucial. For me, this means no Instagram – no more pictures of supposedly perfect people in their supposedly dreamlike homes or on their Bahamas holidays. Instead, I listen to a «Good Morning Playlist» with songs that immediately make me happy. Showering and dressing is simply more fun with music playing in the background. I’ve also changed my alarm tone: soft and natural sounds make it easier for me to get up. Hard and aggressive sounds, however, make me angry.

Companions

It's easy for your thoughts to fall into a downward spiral on your way to work. Therefore, I’ve decided to use my time wisely and listen to self-help e-books or motivational podcasts. This silences my nagging, inner voice and creates a positive, productive mindset.

No news is good news

Murder, abuse, gossip – there’s no worse way to start the day. That's why I’ve banned all news apps from my smartphone and don’t read any free commuter newspapers on the train. This might seem a bit extreme and comes with the disadvantage that I often don't know what’s going on in the world, but to be honest, I’ve never missed out on any important news. I might just find out later than everyone else.

Install reminders

It doesn't always have to be a prominently placed tattoo of a meaningful saying that reminds you to focus on the beautiful things in life. Little things work just as well: friendship bracelets, lucky charms or wedding rings, for instance. How about using your smartphone for this purpose? My lock screen features colourful wallpapers that are full of uplifting messages. Whenever I check the time, I see these positive reminders. Remember to change your wallpaper regularly, as you’ll get used to a picture and stop noticing it. There’s a huge selection of wonderful wallpapers on Pinterest.

If you have a good nose, identify fragrances that you could link to pleasant experiences. I bought a new perfume on a holiday and wore it for the rest of my stay. Back home, whenever I spray it on, I'm reminded of the great time I had. The same works with essential oils, which you apply several times during the day.

If you spend a lot of time at the office, putting up photos is a great idea, as it makes sure your happiest moments and loved ones are close to you. A wall of happiness – that's what I call it – looks good at home, too. What I do is collect pictures on a magnetic grid and add concert or musical tickets as souvenirs. I also have a happiness folder on my phone, which includes my favourite photos and gives me instant access to these great memories.

Keep smiling

Make yourself smile throughout the day. What works for me is looking at memes: they're sure to make me smile or even laugh out loud. Something as simple as thinking of something you're very grateful for might also work. These little smile breaks work wonders for me.

Keep your eyes open: reminders to smile are found on everyday objects such as a coffee cup.
Keep your eyes open: reminders to smile are found on everyday objects such as a coffee cup.

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Natalie Hemengül
Natalie Hemengül
Editor, Zurich
As a massive Disney fan, I see the world through rose-tinted glasses. I worship series from the 90s and consider mermaids a religion. When I’m not dancing in glitter rain, I’m either hanging out at pyjama parties or sitting at my make-up table. P.S. I love you, bacon, garlic and onions.

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