You may have heard that saying, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” This is so true – and some battles are bigger than others. I am currently going through a bad patch myself, and I’ve sought ways to make my world better and brighter, and how to try to affect those around me positively. Here are some “happiness” tips from yours truly:

1. Say something. If you see something that pleases you – someone’s hairstyle, noticing somebody doing something good (like picking up a piece of litter, or holding the door open for someone) – SAY SOMETHING! Kindness begets kindness. Say to that person, “Hey, that was so cool, I saw you throw away that litter – thank you!” It will make them smile, I assure you. Or saying something to someone who’s made an effort in their appearance, “Wow, you look fabulous!” It may get a funny look coming from a stranger, but HEY! I promise you they will not forget your kind words in a hurry.

2. Be friendly. If we’re ALL standing in a queue at the shop or the bank or the ATM, make conversation. You’ll quickly learn if the person isn’t up for a chat, but I feel like, when someone starts talking to me, that I’ve been noticed. It’s like, hello why yes, I AM a human being and thank you for recognising that and taking the time to speak to me. You may just find they’re that handy plumber you’ve been meaning to call, or that you’ve started a conversation with them right when they’d lost all hope in the world and your speaking to them has brightened their day.

3. Do things that make you happy. And it doesn’t always have to cost money. Go for a walk, take a swim in the sea, sit outside quietly and feel the sun on your face. Small things go a long way. Contact an old friend, start a new hobby. Meditate – quieten your mind and thoughts and just breathe. READ! Reading is my favourite escape – it helps to have the app at my fingertips.

4. LET GO. This is a big one. We all have these things that linger and plague us. Start a process of letting go. Personally, what I do, is throw a shell into the ocean. I am lucky enough to live and work right next to the beach and I clap eyes on the ocean every day. I think about the thing/issue that is bothering me and transfer all that negative energy into the shell and launch it into the sea. It’s therapeutic and although it may seem a little airy-fairy, there is a certain satisfaction in catapulting that damned shell into the depths of the raging sea.

5. Don’t do the things that make you feel like crap. Something I am guilty of is over committing and then either letting someone down, or running on empty myself – both not great outcomes! So don’t do the bad habits that give you bad results. Admit your shortcomings, take ownership and don’t do the things that make you feel horrible. This includes things like: looking up people on social media that you know you shouldn’t, and over-indulging – whether it’s junk food or alcohol – try to keep everything in moderation. And surround yourself with people who appreciate you, who want your company.

6. Don’t compare yourself to others. They may be on chapter 10, but you’re only on chapter 5 – it’s not comparing the same thing. Allow yourself to accept your current situation and your current space in time, and be at peace with it. MAKE PEACE with it.

These are just a few daily encouragements I use, to face a new day. Life is a wonderful thing, if you allow it to be. Free yourself, and make your own life a bright and happy one!

And don’t forget to smile, it makes the world wonder what you’ve been up to!