How to Make 2019 the Year of Happy

Have you spent a lot of 2018 wishing that you were happier with your life and less stressed? A lot of the time, we take our happiness cues from the outside, especially ones that other people can see. And if we don’t meet these standards or ideals, we can quickly feel that happiness is out of reach.

Rather than getting your happiness from other people or in material things, it’s super important to recognize that true happiness has to come from within you. Ready to start finding your happy in 2019? Here are some tips for being happier and less stressed in the year ahead.

Tips for Finding Your Happy, Stress-Free Place 

Move away from negative thinking

If negative thinking is a problem for you, it’s definitely something you’ll want to change in 2019 to achieve your year of happy. Negative thinking can be a vicious cycle that leads to a lot of stress, anxiety and depression. 

Being in the present moment is super important for stopping negative thinking in its’ tracks. It helps to put some distance between yourself and the things that trigger your negative thoughts. It forces your mind to become aware of negative thoughts and take a step back from them so that they lose their power.

Reframing your thinking is also a good goal for promoting a happy, stress free life. Do you always tend to think negatively about situations? It can be a big challenge to flip this around and see the positive side of things instead. Start trying to put a positive slant on situations that would normally cause you stress and bring your mood down. For 2019, aim to reframe your thinking at least once a day. Over time, you’ll train your mind to look for the positives and encourage different thought patterns.

Immerse yourself in authentic experiences

Linking your happiness to outside factors often fails to achieve the happiness you desire. Instead of setting goals relating to money, status and other things that you think will make you more satisfied with your life, swap them for authentic experiences that make you feel genuinely happy. Focusing on things like your hobbies and friendships can help you feel the positive emotions such as joy, contentment and relaxation.

This has been backed up by a study carried out by a psychology professor at Cornell University. He set out to see whether spending money or having positive experiences ultimately made people happier. The end result? Experiences had the power to increase happiness. Partly due to the fact that we tend to experience them with other people giving more meaning and making them more memorable.

Practice self-acceptance

In a 2014 study that looked at “happiness habits”, self acceptance was one of the habits that was deemed most likely to lead to genuine happiness. We’re often a lot kinder to other people than we are to ourselves. If this is true for you, it’s time to change this.

Being kind to yourself is one of the best things you can do to make 2019 the year of happy but it can be difficult to achieve. Especially if you’re used to being negative about yourself.

If you feel you’re not good enough, you’re more likely to look outside of yourself for happiness. If you’re setting intentions around happiness in the New Year, it’s hugely important to work on self-acceptance first and commit to self-love in 2019.

Show compassion and gratitude

As you may know, gratitude and random acts of kindness have both been shown to improve happiness and life satisfaction. One of the reasons for this is the fact that it helps you to feel better about yourself.

Being thankful can have a major impact on your wellbeing and studies have linked keeping a gratitude diary to optimism, improvements in mood and better physical health. Having a more positive outlook on life can help to reduce stress and cut back on negative thinking, making gratitude a very underrated way to feel happier about life.

A gratitude diary isn’t the only way to feel more thankful. A few ways that you can embrace gratitude include: sending heartfelt and handwritten notes to people who have made a positive difference in your life, taking a walk in nature and feeling grateful for the natural world around you, and reflecting at mealtimes on the work involved in getting food onto your plate.

Try practicing these tips consistently and pay attention to how much happier you feel. Take one at a time so you don’t feel overwhelmed and that it’s just one more thing on your “to-do” list.  Once you get that down, move on to the next one.  

Here’s to your happy 2019!!

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