3. Allow Yourself to be Happy
We all want to be happy but there are days when it's easy to get sucked into negativity and despair. Days when nothing seems to go our way, when the craziness around us starts influencing our thoughts. Try to keep in mind that every day is a new opportunity for growth and well-being and try to employ these few strategies to help increase your levels of happiness.
- Let go of perfection. When you expect perfection from yourself or others, you set yourself up for disappointment. Nobody is perfect. On the road of self-improvement there will always be potholes and cracks. This is normal. Judging yourself for not being perfect is a major happiness killer.
- Eat more fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, miso, yoghurt and kombucha. Fermented foods help to look after your gut, which is where you produce serotonin; a neurotransmitter well-known for its mood-modulating capacity. By eating gut-friendly fermented foods, you will strengthen your body's ability to produce this happy hormone. Take a good probiotic. Recent studies are looking at probiotics as a way to treat depression and anxiety. A balanced probiotic gut makes it easier to produce hormones that flood the brain with positive feelings. To nourish your healthy gut bacteria, the best food sources of prebiotics (food ingredients that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria) include dandelion greens, raw asparagus, onions, raw garlic, banana, chicory root and Jerusalem artichoke.
- Watch your thoughts. As mentioned in tip 2, thoughts are very powerful. They can build you up or hold you back. Get into the daily practice of reflecting on your thoughts. If you notice a lot of negative self-talk, start taking action to consciously switch it around. This one action alone, even if for only a few minutes a day, can increase your happiness and decrease your stress tenfold. Give it a go.