Monday blues? Find happiness on the cheap & make small changes!

Today is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year  according to studies, and yesterday was the coldest night in three years, and we’re all broke because it’s January and it’s week three of trying to put into practice our ‘new me’ new years resolutions and it sucks!…..Is there anything else I can think of to cheer you up?! Yes Indeed! It’s doesn’t all have to be so gloomy and depressing – because it’s all about the tiny changes we can make every day to be happier and they don’t have to cost much at all  – in fact they can be totally free. I’ve been reading lately that we should make these tiny changes so small that we don’t really notice them or identify them as arduous but we will still be able to affect change and be happier. So what am I going on about? Ok here goes:

I’ve been reading a few articles recently, one in the January edition of ‘Psychologies’ Magazine and another in the Metro paper last week that happiness and putting new years resolutions into practice can be easier than we think.

Let’s start with the article I read in ‘Psychologies’ – this article was all about how we should make tiny new years resolutions instead of big, massive changes that are really hard to stick to.  Why? Because if we make massive new years resolutions like – loose lots of weight, or go to the gym four times a week, or study for an extra 2 hours each day etc then we may find these drastic changes hard to commit to and then when we ‘break’ our resolutions we can feel like we’ve failed which makes us feel worse. So it’s better to make really small changes but do them regularly. So for example, it could be getting off the bus a stop earlier on your way to work to get some extra exercise, cutting out that coffee from Starbucks to save some extra cash, climbing the stairs instead of taking the lift or tidying up for 5 minutes on work nights. Here’s one of the examples the article gives – waking up 10 minutes earlier to have your morning coffee and putting pen to paper (it could be writing a to do list or creative writing etc but the knock on effect is it will get your creative juices flowing or get you more organised.) It might be that we make bigger changes as the year goes on but the general idea is to start off making really small changes.

The other article I read last week was in the Metro entitled ‘Happiness? It’s all about your undies.’ When I first read this I thought what on earth do undies and happiness have to do with each other (unless of course you have a serious wedgy causing major discomfort in which case you most certainly will not be a happy bunny.) The article was all about how we should pretty much live each day as if it’s our last and don’t save your special undies for a special occasion, instead where those damn undies TODAY, because TODAY IS the special occasion. Again, it’s all about making small changes that can increase our levels of happiness. It could be wearing your favourite clothes more often rather than saving them for the weekend or special occasions or ‘getting done up in full make up every day.’ The article also touches on the importance of gratitude to shift our perspective, especially during the tougher months like January. ‘This is the perfect time to remind yourself why you are brilliant……It might take a bit more effort but get out of bed and be happy that you don’t have tooth ache or be thankful that you can get out of bed at all. This puts you in a different mind set for the day.’

So we need a big spoonful of gratitude – yes, you guessed it  Mary Poppin’s style, some small, tiny, little itsy bitsy changes that we can implement regularly, perhaps even daily and we should wear our best undies more often.

It’s always reassuring to hear that research completely backs up the fact that we don’t need a Ferrari, or lots of cash, or have to go to the gym six times a week to be happy. Phew.

Do you have some cheap and easy ways to feel happier that you can share? I’d love to hear them – just comment below.

BANKSY

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