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6 Secrets To Being Perpetually Happy

Who are we to argue with science?

It’s International Day of Happiness and to celebrate it we’re doing the obvious duh, and getting happy. Good news is, happiness is mostly a choice. Just like you can train yourself to become a morning person and you can trick yourself into being healthier, it’s possible to choose to see the positive side of things, too!

Here are the 6 habits of highly happy people that you can easily adopt

1 Note to self

‘My housemates and I wrote down a whole lot of positive affirmations and put them in a bowl. Things like, “Just by being alive you have made the lives of others so much better” or “Every hurdle I jump over builds my self-confidence and resilience”. They’re kind of corny but also true, and really make you feel good or inspired. Every morning, we each pick one and try to keep it in the back of our minds all day. Saying it in a dramatically mystical voice when you pick it out of the bowl makes it extra powerful, too, I think.’ – Karen, 26

Read: #AskAthena: ‘How Do I Gain More Self Confidence?’

2 Get into the ‘flow’

You know how time flies when you’re having fun? When you’re fully immersed in something, not paying attention to time or your to-do list, you’re in what psychology calls a ‘state of flow‘. It’s pretty rare though. Just look how often you get distracted or look at your phone at work or while watching something mindless on Netflix.

To achieve a state of flow, you need to do an activity that is voluntary, enjoyable, requires some skill, is challenging but not in a way that will overexert you, and has a clear and achievable goal. This is person-specific, but will be something like playing a sport or some kind of creative hobby. Think about when last time that time ran away with you (in a good way) and do more of that as often as you can.

3 Exercise endorphin release

‘I work out three times a week, every week. It took me a while (like, years) to realise the direct link between feeling happy and exercising, but now it’s so obvious. It’s hard to drag yourself to gym, but think of it this way: Do you ever, ever regret working out? No. Literally never. Whenever I feel myself wanting to bail on my morning exercise session, I ask myself that question to give myself a reality check. Then I enjoy those exercise-induced endorphins people are always talking about for the rest of the day (they’re real).’ –Nicole, 28

Read: 7 Thoughts All First Time Exercisers Have

4 Let it go

Happy people don’t play the victim or feel sorry for themselves. When something upsets them or someone wrongs them, they go, ‘Oh, well’ and move on. Practise this the next time things don’t go your way. Like when you’re stuck in a really long line at the bank and everyone behind the counter has gone on lunch, or the waiter forgets your order. A happy person will recognise that while it’s annoying to have your time wasted or feel mistreated, it’s not the end of the world. Choose to just let it go.

HIV-positive, dating

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5 Limit your Sam Smith time

‘I used to start my mornings by reading the news and listening to the radio on the way to work. I started watching funny videos or reading light-hearted pieces and listening to sing-along music instead and it’s actually crazy how much it affects my mood! Be aware of how much negative media or even sad music you expose yourself to and limit it. No matter how much you love Sam Smith.’ – Bianca, 29

Read: 5 Steps to Enjoying Where You’re at Right Now

6 Pass it on

It’s been scientifically proven that doing things for other people is good for your health, your longevity and your general happiness. And who are we to argue with science?

Happy people know that the gift of giving is better than receiving. You don’t have to sign up to serve soup at an old-age home every week (although that would be really nice of you TBH). It could be something smaller like doing your parents’ grocery shopping for them or cooking a meal for your friend who’s having a tough time.

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