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We are officially in the middle of March! How crazy is that? Time seems to be going by so fast at the moment so this week we want to stop and take stock of what we have to be happy about. These days it’s so easy to get whisked up in the 21st Century pace of life and we can sometimes forget to enjoy ourselves and notice the beauty of life. It’s International Happiness Day this Thursday so H&H have got some fantastic tips to put a massive smile on your face!

Nature
Sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that can make us smile. This week, (wherever you may be in the world), make time with family and friends to get outdoors. Take some deep breaths and inhale the fresh air, after all it’s what keeps us alive! Stop and notice the little things; like flower buds ready to bloom or baby lambs leaping and bounding, or make a picnic and enjoy sitting on the grass! It sounds so silly but I don’t think we take enough time to enjoy the wonderful world we live in. Let’s open our eyes at look beyond the walls that surround us.

Gratitude
There’s nothing better than feeling grateful. It’s a sign that you are able to notice and acknowledge the positives in your own life. Before I go to bed, I think of at least three things I am thankful for. When work is stressful and nothing seems to be going right… just take a moment to think of all the good in your life. Whether it’s your family, your boyfriend, your job, where you live, or simply the fact that you are healthy. Gratitude is sure to bring you back down to the things that matter most.

“You” Time
It’s so important to spend time with friends and family, and quite often, a good movie with a girlfriend is the best cure for any lousy day! Having said this, spending time with yourself is also important for creating happiness. At least once a week, I like to set by an hour or so to focus on “me”.  Some weeks, that hour is spent indulging in a manicure, other weeks it’s simply spent soaking in an Epsom salt bubble bath whilst flicking through an array of dreamy interior magazines. Find something that you enjoy, and do it!

Exercise
Ahh the good-old exercise tip. Well folks, it’s true… exercise can make you happy. The word “endorphins” is a common word in the world of fitness, but what are they and how do they make us happy? Endorphins are our bodies’ natural drug and are released when we put our body under stress or pain (exercise is a form of stress on the body). They interact with the opiate receptors in the brain to help reduce our awareness of pain and stress. As well as “blocking” pain, endorphins also bring on feelings of euphoria! Your instant happy-fix is waiting!

Be More Selfless
I once walked passed two homeless guys looking rather cold and miserable, sitting outside a supermarket. I suddenly thought to myself “I’m going to buy them both something to eat”… so to their absolute shock, I stopped and asked if they fancied anything from the shop! They looked at each other in disbelief. I ended up buying two chicken and sweetcorn sandwiches (not the healthiest, but I wasn’t about to give them my long “healthy eating” talk!). The happiness they got from something as simple as a sandwich, gave me happiness too. Hip & Healthy want to challenge you to make at least one persons’ day a little bit brighter this week. Not only will they reap the benefits, but also so will you.

words by Molly Jennings

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