Mindful steps to making yourself happier

Relaxed happy woman on swing swinging with gay abandon

Helping people live a happier, more fulfilled life is at the core of what we’re all about here at The Natural Health Hub. Achieving happiness is a matter of looking after yourself emotionally, physically and, we reckon, spiritually. Here are suggestions from Sue Leach, owner of The Hub, on steps you can take to think yourself happier – yes, that really is possible

It is a sad fact that many of us are not happy. In a 2018 survey by the Office for National Statistics people scored 7.5 out of 10 for happiness yesterday, 7.7 out of 10 for life satisfaction and 7.9 out of 10 for feeling worthwhile. That means just about a third of us feel we could be happier and more fulfilled, so it’s hardly surprising that one in six people between the ages of 18 and 65 were prescribed antidepressants in 2017 (the latest year for which we have figures).

At The Natural Health Hub we believe not only in making people healthier, but also happier and more empowered. How? Here are some suggestions. We do not claim to have all the answers – life’s very complicated and many things are sent to try our happiness – but just have a go at a few of our suggestions and we guarantee you can lift yourself from the doldrums.

Achieving happiness is a matter of looking after yourself emotionally, physically and, we reckon, spiritually. Spiritual is nothing to do with religion, or connecting with ‘spirits’… in our book it is about reaching deeper than the day-to-day, having good friends and finding something that is ‘food for the soul’. Sometimes that is nothing more than immersing yourself in something that is deliciously, irresistibly, viscerally fun and satisfying! For us it is exploring your spiritual side.

Think yourself happier

Other people and other things do not make you unhappy. Bad things happen, but if you are resilient and basically happy in yourself they will not get to you. Unhappiness is you allowing yourself to let outside influences get to you. Positive steps you can take to stop that happening include…

  • Gratitude

How many things do you have to feel grateful about? It’s sunny today, the blossom emerging on the trees, your health, your pets, a favourite song on the radio. Many of those who say they are do so because they have an attitude of gratitude. Once you start thinking through what you have to be grateful for there are plenty of reasons to be thankful. Keep a journal and jot down every day what you have to be grateful about – and savour those thoughts.

  • Live mindfully

Mindfulness is a fantastic tool – which becomes a way of life if you practise it properly – that enables you to live in the moment for the moment. You can shut out mind chunter, curb anxiety and stop your body and mind being in permanent fight or flight mode. We advise you do more than merely read about mindfulness, go on a course and get help to keep up the good work. It takes a bit of a change of mindset, and making that change is rather like embarking on regular exercise or adopting a healthier diet: sometimes it may hurt a little, and sometimes you will fall off the wagon! That’s all allowed and not beating yourself up because you’ve ‘failed’ is all part of the journey of living mindfully.

  • Think yourself happy

Yes, this really is possible. We at The Hub are great believers of making positive affirmations or mantras – these are a vital tool to a happier (and healthier) life. So choose your sentence: say, ‘I am happy, positive and potent’. The sentence should be in the present tense (no ‘I will be…’ or ‘Id like to be’), and it has more force if you include a threesome like ‘happy, positive, potent’.

Repeat this sentence regularly: at least six times a day, preferably out loud. Write it down in your diary, on a slip of paper to go in your bag, maybe under your pillow, on your phone. And repeat, repeat, repeat. Think purposeful, bold and vibrant for your affirmation, and that is what will come back to you in life – and say it like you mean it!

  • Smile!

Ever noticed how much happier you feel if you smile at people? Smiling activates the ‘feel-good neurotransmitters dopamine, endorphins and serotonin that help you counter stress and feel better – it doesn’t matter if you’re faking it either, your body doesn’t notice the difference! This not only relaxes your body, but it can also lower your heart rate and blood pressure and act as a natural pain reliever.

  • Avoid negative thinking

The motivational self-help guru Louise Hay caused a stir in the late-1970s by publishing You can Heal Yourself, her story of curing herself of an ‘incurable’ illness by confronting the underlying emotional reason why she had become ill. Sometimes holding onto negativity, dwelling on hurts and harbouring toxic thoughts can, we believe, culminate in sickness. As a homeopath I have had real breakthroughs with helping people overcome illness by enabling them to realise and come to terms with what their disease represents.

One lady suffering from fibromyalgia turned the corner on her treatment when she realised that this debilitating condition was her body’s way of saying, ‘Enough!’ to her family: ‘I cannot go on supporting you all and running a household like this any more.’

If someone has throat issues, it can be the body signalling that they are not saying something they’d like to, or should do: what is stuck in their gullet? An itchy skin condition may be a sign that someone is putting up with a constant irritation in life, cystitis that someone is ‘pissed off’ with something. You get the picture…