5 practical ways to boost your happiness

In honour of International Day of Happiness, we've got five simple strategies for picking yourself up and boosting your mood.

Everyone in life wants to be happy. Yet, with daily pressures and anxieties constantly being thrown our way, this isn't always easy.

Lysn psychologist, Noosha Anzab says being aware and mindful of your mood can help you to change it as soon as you feel down. "Many people are striving towards a sense of happiness in their daily lives, and by using some practical tools we can all elevate our moods in a matter of minutes."

Here are Noosha's tips to get happy:

Exercise

It's a no-brainer, but pounding the pavement - even slowly - can instantly turn your mood around. "It's truly a powerful tool for our mental wellbeing," Noosha says.

"Just 30 minutes of exercise can help us to release those feel-good endorphins which will, in turn, improve our mood tenfold. Sometimes exercise might seem like the last thing you want to do but force yourself to get outdoors and go for a walk or do some light training in your lounge room," Noosha advises.

Sleep

Never underestimate the power of some shut-eye. "Sleep is just as important for our mental health as eating or breathing is! Yet, it is often a very underrated tool and many people don’t realise the damaging effects lack of sleep can have on us," says Noosha.

"Sleep can affect our sensitivity to negative emotions, thus compounding any of these feelings we might have. Studies have observed that sleep-deprived people can fail to recall pleasant memories, yet can recollect gloomy memories easily," she explains. Interesting!

Spending time with loved ones

We're told that hanging out with your friends and family is incredibly beneficial for your mental wellbeing, but why?

"This contact helps to improve overall happiness and a sense of belonging," explains Noosha. "Studies have found that time spent with friends and family makes a huge difference to our happiness, even for those who would consider themselves as introverts."

Get outdoors

Getting some fresh air can both physically and mentally improve wellbeing. "Nature has a positive physiological effect on the body, helping to reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels which are linked to stress," says Noosha. 

"It can help to improve our productivity, focus and creativity, plus reduce mental fatigue and help fight depression and anxiety. What’s more, being in natural light is an instant mood elevator and can help us to sleep," she adds.

Practice gratitude

Being aware and taking time to acknowledge all the good in your life can make all the difference to your mood.

"In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness for most people, allowing us to feel positive emotions and relish good experiences," explains Noosha.

"A more grateful state of mind can help us to achieve a sense of happiness, whilst also allowing us to deal with adversity and building stronger relationships with those around us. Use daily practices of gratitude in the morning to start your day off in a positive frame of mind (which can often last the entire day)!" she advises.

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