Started the year on a high? Or are you still in your PJs, working your way through the Quality Street? Wherever you are on the journey back to greatness, please allow us to introduce our team of Happiness Experts, each ready to lend a helping hand to make 2017 your best year ever.
So, where to start? Let’s start at the very beginning (post-Christmas reference to Sound of Music obvs). It’s all about getting in the right mindset, says the king of juicing, Jason Vale, aka the Juice Master and creator of the world’s biggest free detox (kicking off on Monday 9th Jan, btw).
Your life is a direct result of what you feed yourself, both physically and mentally. If you can get the head in the right place, everything below the neck will fall into place exactly the way you want it to.
Ooh, we like that. So, how do we become the master of our own minds? Life and business expert, and best-selling author Sara Davison shares the secret:
Use the remote control to your mind… we all have it but often we don’t realise it or don’t use it. Learning how to manage your emotions is the most powerful tool you will ever master. Take back your control of your life and you can make 2017 your best year yet.
Now who’s gone and lost the remote?? Ah, found it. OK, so now we’ve got the mind sorted, time to start planning 2017. Leading life coach and Daily Express columnist, Carole Ann Rice advises:
Get clarity on what you want and inch towards it daily but most importantly, be in the now and make the most of the present.
Makes sense. But what about if you’ve lost your mojo too? Maria Hocking, author of Strip Naked & Re-Dress With Happiness says it’s time to step out of that comfort zone and into something new:
Right now, think about three things that would excite you. Choose the one which excites you the most. A great tip: If you can’t choose between two of them, toss a coin, let it land on the floor and step on it before you look at it. Ask yourself, “Which one did I WANT it to land on?” Your heart will answer.
Heads! But what if we’ve done all of that, tried really hard and we’re still not happy?
The problem is not the problem, our reaction to the problem is the problem. When life does not go to plan, ask yourself this question, is it going to matter in 5 minutes? 5 days or 5 years? Probably not. Go outside and take a deep breath and remind yourself it’s all working out perfectly.
And breathe…. thanks Jo Soley, Brilliant Business Angel, feeling better already. Nadine Dash, founder of Dear Nadine, shares that things can always change for the better, even though it might not feel like it at the time.
See the positive in your situation and the environment will respond in your favour. You just have to set the intention to get the victory.
And it’s ok to ask for help too. @CAPuk (Christians Against Poverty) can assist:
Poor finances can affect your whole outlook, not to mention your relationships and even your health. Take back control! Free sessions are available across the UK to help you draw up a flexible household budget and help you stick to it. Put your postcode in here and see what’s available near you.
Next up is Justin Wall – coach, youth mentor and provider of inspirational conversations. We already.
Happiness to me is having a vision for your life which will have a positive impact on both you as an individual and all those you come into contact with.
Talking about connections… anyone looking for love this year? Charlotte Lewis, founder of The Love Life Agency, says the secret to a happy relationship starts with us:
Truly value and love yourself first…. If you know your worth as a person, potential partners will have no choice but to see that too. We have to learn that we must feel whole, secure and a valued person on our own, before we enter a relationship, in order to give it the best chance of success.
Book us a table for two at the First Dates restaurant at once! Laura Hollywood, mental wellness expert, agrees – we need to give ourselves a few more hugs:
The one thing I think really helps people is self-compassion. There is much research showing that the more self-compassion we have, the greater our emotional wellbeing and less anxiety, depression and stress. If we allow ourselves to be human and not expect perfection, it helps us stay motivated even when we make mistakes, so we don’t become discouraged and stop trying.
All about reducing the stress levels then. Life coach and Huffington Post contributor Pamina Mullins has a tip for us:
All the brain plasticity research confirms we can rewire our brains. So be very mindful what you make a priority and focus your attention on during the year ahead. Your mental air space is prime real estate. Leverage it wisely! It can create miracles – or an almighty mess!
Mess we don’t like. Financial mess can make people unhappy – something Squirrel is on a mission to change:
Get on top of your money and you get on top of your life. Squirrel is an app that helps you manage you money better and avoid over-spending. Create a budget, stick to it and never have to worry about getting caught short.
(Editor’s note: Whoever thought of that brand name deserves a pay rise this year. *doffs cap*)
What else can help reduce ‘mess’? Judith Romain, complementary therapist and psychoanalyst, recommends this strategy:
Use a board with a list of pros and cons. What is important and what is less. By using this as a priority list, you allow for the free flow of energy which can help alleviate overload. Good if you have a chaotic mind. Take the time to do a weekly audit and evaluate the outcomes.
Wise advice there, thank you Judith. Kevin Mincher, founder of Unstoppable Teen, thinks commitment is the way forward:
Stop stating preferences and start making proper decisions where you really commit to the things that wil actually make this your best year ever.
Kevin, you had us at ‘best year yet’. But do we actually need to commit to a goal? Amie of My Body Fabulous thinks so:
It was British Prime Minster Edward Smith-Stanley who first said ‘Those who do not find time for exercise will soon have to find time for illness’. We are all busy but make 2017 your year to move. My top tip is to get a pedometer and try and hit 10,000 steps every day.
And you know what, it doesn’t need to be scary either. Chantal Di Donato, Founder and Health Coach at Live Lean Health explains why 2017 is the perfect time for change:
Our bodies want to be healthy; that is their default setting! We make it hard when our lifestyle is not based on abundance, but we can change that! It is a step-by-step process that will bring huge rewards in the end and this is how we create health! I believe 2017 is a great year to initiate changes, in its numerology path, it is a “1” (beginnings) and there is no better time to start something new and better!
And when you’re passionate about something, good things happen, right? Damien Clarkson, co-founder of vegan and conscious living festival Vevolution shares his thoughts:
Like all people I face struggle. Acceptance of that struggle is important and a belief that if you follow your passion and put positivity into the world you will overcome – that helps me find happiness. I try to do that through Vevolution, a festival for the kind and curious, the people who want to enhance their lives and make the world a better place.
OK, we’re cooking on gas now. And we’re loving it. We should show our gratitude.
Use a gratitude journal! Until you can be happy with what you have, you won’t find satisfaction with anything new either!
Betsy Pake, author, speaker and entrepreneur
Thanks Betsy, we’re very grateful. Now time for a takeaway from personal trainer, Alan Levi,
Gratitude is the attitude. Every day write down 10 things for which you are grateful that day (best to do this at the end of the day). What we appreciate, appreciates and the more we put our focus on the good things in our life, the more goodness and abundance we see in the world around us. As Tony Robbins rightly points out – it is impossible to be stressed and grateful at the same time.
Let’s repeat that one more time. Gratitude is the attitude. BOOOM. OK, so what about if there’s been one too many takeaways of a different kind? Sereen Ford reminds us that of the saying that abs are made in the kitchen:
Start by focusing on what you can eat, not what you can’t. By setting goals of what you want to eat more of, rather than less of, you are focusing on the positive aspects of food and therefore moving forward to changing your habits long-term.
We can do that. More nutrition advice to digest, this time courtesy of Victoria Tipper Nutrition.
My number one tip? Improve digestion. It’s really important to chew food thoroughly and take your time when eating. Many of us tend to eat quickly when we’re very hungry so regular snacks and eating mindfully will help relieve this.
Again, achievable. We’re feeling happier already. Keeping it simple for us is SBS winner, The Fit Mum Formula, with this handy tip.
Keep it simple. Eat more vegetables. For weight loss, half your plate should be vegetables for a main meal.
Common sense, right? Right. Time to get moving.
Prioritize two or three workouts every week. These are your immovable ‘happiness’ workouts. The ones you need to stay mentally sharp for other challenges in your life. Schedule them as you would revenue generating work meetings. In the big scheme of things, they are.
Karen Lisa Laing, writer, columnist and co-director of Fit School
Happiness workouts. Two words that we’ve never thought go together, but we have a sneaky suspicion Karen may help us find joy in the gym. Finally.
Another one that likes to move it (move it) is Lisa Jane of Wildcat Fitness, winner of Best Fitness Blog at the Health Blog Awards 2016. She says:
Move your body every day! Pick an activity you enjoy – running, yoga, dancing, swimming – it all counts. Exercise releases endorphins which can help to regulate hormones and improve sleep quality, making a happier and healthier you.
So, that’s our 24 tips to happiness all neatly rounded up. Everyone feeling like this now?