Write a gratitude list
“I take five minutes every week to write a list of five things I’m thankful for. It really helps me start the week on a positive note,” says life coach Rachel Nicholls. “I write things like ‘I’m fortunate to have such caring friends’ or ‘I love opening my curtains to see the cherry blossom on the trees’. Not only does it make me happy but it helps to nip any negative emotions in the bud”. Reflecting on past gratitude lists can also help you see how you’re progressing and put things in perspective.
Simplify your weekends
Don’t fall into the trap of spending your weekends running after everyone else in the family, seeing to their needs or drowning in a sea of housework. Instead think of the truly enjoyable things you’d like to do. For instance, you could see a friend for lunch, go to the cinema without the kids, go to a new art exhibition or have a spa afternoon. Go on, treat yourself!
Visualise, visualise, visualise!
Keen to achieve a goal – be it change career, find a partner, or jump out of an aeroplane? Well, the key to achieving your goal could lie in visualisation. “By putting aside a few minutes of every day to create a mental picture of something you want to achieve, you start to believe it’s going to happen, and belief fuels action,” says Julie Cawte, founder of flirtwithlife.co.uk. Studies show that if you visualise your goal, rather than just write it down, you’re more likely to reach it.
Laugh out loud
Research has shown that the health benefits of laughter are far-ranging. It can help relieve pain, bring greater happiness, and even increase immunity. A good belly laugh reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline) and dopamine, as well as exercising the diaphragm, contracting the abs and even working out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterwards. Now there are laughter yoga workshops springing up across the country, leaving you feeling healthy, energised and happy.
Find out more at laughteryoga.co.uk
Make your house a haven
For many people, home is where our heart is. So prioritise the rooms you spend your free time in. “So many people spend lots of money and energy creating the perfect dining room but then rarely use it to eat in,” says interior designer Holly Rogers. “If this is you, then consider changing the room into one you will use. Also, spruce up rooms that you do use by buying some new accessories – like throws, lampshapes and cushions”.
Get inspired at housetohome.co.uk