Just being generally happy with your life is without a doubt the biggest challenge you will come across. And it’s not as easy as it sounds. I hear a lot of people (who are extremely ignorant) suggesting that depression or anxiety is an “excuse” and the solution is to “just go out more” which is probably the worst advice I’ve ever heard. I think if you really want to be happy, you need to learn to be content with who you are. That’s a challenge in itself. But here are my tips on how to lead a happier life.
- Do what you enjoy
It’s so important that you do what you want to do, instead of copying what others might be doing. If your friends all like to go out clubbing on a Saturday night but you prefer to stay at home and read a book or even put your feet up and watch a bit of Strictly, well there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s two types of people: introverts and extroverts. It doesn’t really matter which category you fall into, as long as you’re doing what you enjoy doing.
- Find what you love and stick to it
I don’t want to start repeating myself here, but what I mean by this is to find a hobby or a talent that you didn’t even know you had. I’m one of those types of people who strongly believes that everyone is good at something, whether it’s whistling or juggling (I can’t do either, seriously) or being able to dance or sing. Or let’s say you really want to start drawing but you’ve never really picked up a pencil in your life. Let’s face it, we’ve all had that ambition of becoming a famous artist (mine was when I was about 10) but of course I soon found out that I couldn’t draw to save my life. But that doesn’t apply to everyone! If you want to pick up that pencil and attempt your first portrait, do it! If you want to start exercising and become a faster runner than Usain Bolt (it could happen to any of us) then do it! If you want to belt out that Adele song in public, do it! I think you’ve got it now…
- Be nicer towards others
This is so important because if you’re making horrible comments towards other people, it’s not likely that you’ll get any respect. In fact, chances are that people will just be horrible towards you. If you don’t like that girl’s dress or if she doesn’t live up to your standards of what is “attractive”, don’t talk about it all over social media to make her feel insecure. Just keep those cruel remarks to yourself and you’ll be doing everyone a favour. Pay more compliments, you’ll feel better, trust me.
- Invest in a notebook
It’s not for everyone, I know. But I’m not suggesting that you treat it like a diary and draw love hearts with the name of your crush inside. I mean, write things down so you don’t forget. I know we’ve got smartphones for that now but in my opinion, I much prefer to have everything written down in a notebook. Particularly, if you’re a writer you’ll really benefit from this as you can write down any thoughts or ideas. I’d recommend.
- Meet new people
This isn’t for everyone either, especially those who suffer from anxiety and prefer the familiarity and security from their own small circle of friends. But I think it’s always great to meet new people from different backgrounds who have completely different personalities as not only could you gain some close friends, I think it teaches us more about who we are as well. Now, there are many ways to meet new people and I know that most people do meet through social media (be careful that they are who they say they are, but if you’re not sure you could always contact the show Catfish – you’ll end up on tele) or you can meet people the old fashioned way – through friends or relatives. Or, and this is only if you’re feeling really daring, you could always go up to that girl or boy who you’ve casually said “hi” to a few times and ask if they’d like to go for a drink sometime. Coffee or an alcoholic drink, that’s your choice. The point is, try and speak to more people when you can. You’ll probably find that there are some really nice people out there (yes, I’m serious) so go explore!