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We all aspire to happiness don’t we? It’s a huge thing. Just take a look around the self-help section of your local book shop or search online and you will find a metric fuckton of books and posts promising to help you get happy.

Happiness can be a short-term feeling, a fleeting moment when you feel ecstatic. It can also be a more long term feeling, linked to successful relationships, contentment, and a feeling of being where you want to be in life.

For a lot of us, this feeling happens all too infrequently due to life getting in the way. And when something like menopause comes along, this disrupts things even more and can lead to you forgetting what it’s like to feel happy for a lengthy spell. We forget to enjoy the journey rather than the destination. I’m aware that that is a very woo phrase but it’s really true when you think about it! There are ways to improve your happiness levels though. Although the list is far from exhaustive, below are five actions that can help you bring a bit more happiness into your life:

☀️ Spend time in the great outdoors

We live in a really gorgeous world. It’s jam-packed with amazing views, plants, and animals. Getting outside and experiencing this can help bring about a feeling of calm and lift your mood. Studies have shown that just being shown pictures of nature is enough to improve a person’s outlook. In addition, getting out in the sunlight helps your body absorb vitamin D, decreased levels of which have been linked to depression.

🔥 Find a passion

Some people struggle to find one thing they love to do. Imagine going through life never experiencing any passion for anything! Go and experience new things and find that spark. This will help you to develop a love for something that may stay with you for the rest of your life.

🏊🏼‍♀️ Do some exercise

This might sound like an obvious one, but keeping fit and doing regular exercise is an excellent way to increase that feel-good factor. When you participate in any kind of physical activity, your brain releases endorphins, producing a feeling of euphoria. Added to this, your body releases antibodies that help fight diseases. This all helps to keep your mood lifted and your body healthy. Research has shown that ill-health is a major cause of unhappiness. Yes, there are some things you can’t control with regards to your health – like menopause! However, there’s a helluva lot you can do to improve and maintain it.

💝 Perform some random acts of kindness

Arguably, a truly altruistic act does not exist (remember that episode of Friends where Phoebe tries to prove to Joey that there are truly altruistic acts??). This shouldn’t hinder one person from helping another though. Studies have shown that helping others does make the helper feel happy. This might be because it helps bring purpose to their life, or it could be the knowledge that their act has improved another person’s life in some way. There are tons of ways you can help people. It could be something informal, like taking time out to help a family member or friend with something. There are other more structured ways to engage too though. For example, volunteering for a charity. You could also go a step further and help complete strangers by doing things like taping some cash to the parking meter so the next person gets some free parking or to a vending machine so they get a free treat. Pinterest is a goldmine for ideas on random acts of kindness.

⛔️ Don’t be so hard on yourself

Harsh self-criticism can lead to unhappiness. Learning to roll with the punches and move on is a great way to stop dwelling on the past. It also helps you to find answers to problems quicker. Dust yourself off, don’t over analyse, and learn to value yourself. Also, learning to manage your expectations of yourself and others will prevent you from reacting when situations don’t go your way.

These are just some ways that you can improve your happiness. Try one or try them all. Just go about your life with intention and look after yourself and others. Let the happiness in!

Hi, I'm Kerry. I'm a menopause coach for women who want to take control of their menopause and do it their way.

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