From Virgin CEO Richard Branson to hardcore science, we’ve rounded up the best tips to help you achieve the happiness you truly deserve this brand new year.
Make it a habit to be happy.
Virgin CEO Richard Branson along with a number of famous personalities and celebrities will release a book entitled Dear Stranger, which will be published by Penguin Random House UK. It aims to help people dealing with mental health issues with its collection of letters tackling life, love, and happiness.
Branson’s own letter was also posted on his website. And this part is our favorite:
"Don't just seek happiness when you're down. Happiness shouldn't be a goal, it should be a habit. Take the focus off doing, and start being every day. Be loving, be grateful, be helpful, and be a spectator to your own thoughts,” he wrote.
That says it all.
Surround yourself with flowers
Happiness can be found in a bouquet of fresh flowers. A 2005 study from the Rutger University has long proven that flowers have profound positive effects on the behavior and emotional well-being of both men and women.
After 10 months of thorough research, experts have discovered that the mere presence of fresh flowers can boost one’s feeling of happiness, reduce feelings of anxiety and other known symptoms of depression, and spark a connection between people.
Use flowers as a natural happy pill whenever you’re sad. Feeling blue or under the weather? A bouquet of exquisite orchid arrangements on your desk or bedside table will make you feel tons better. Or better yet, don’t wait until you feel sad. Make it a habit to treat yourself to fresh flowers. Go for long-lasting orchid plants or check out your local floral shop for flowers in season with pocket-friendly tags.
Take better care of your health.
It could be our hormones out of whack or our body making us pay for the sins of our youth – neglect of a good night’s sleep, lack of sunshine, and relentless fast food binging. Our health can mess up our quest for happiness real bad. This year, promise yourself to take nutrition seriously, to put your gadgets down and really go to bed at a decent hour, or to finally take that spinning class at the gym you signed up for years ago. Do it.
Practice an attitude of gratitude.
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Martin Seligman, Robert Emmons, and Michael McCullough, have found that being thankful makes you feel more optimistic about yourself, your life, and other people, but makes you less of a target for depression, stress, and coronary artery disease, too.
Be a plant parent.
Gardening is a well-established stress buster. However, if you don’t have the outdoor space and the time to start a full-blown flower or edible garden this year, why not adopt a few pots of houseplants for a start?
As your Instagram feed would tell you, more and more people are becoming self-confessed crazy plant persons these days. Do you know why? It’s because aside from being super addicting (once you get a pot, you can’t stop!), having plants near you feels so good, too.
And no, we’re not just imagining it. It’s based on actual science. According to experimental studies done in various settings – including work, school, and hospitals – plants have amazing benefits, such as helping to lower blood pressure (systolic), increase productivity, boost creativity, and lessen anxiety.
It’s no wonder they’re turning their spaces into a jungle. Interested? We recommend succulents and hard-to-kill houseplants like the Zanzibar gem or the ZZ plant as a good place to start.