I read an article once by Hannah Borno stating that 95% of our behaviour is habitual, so I put it to the test. For one month I decided to do everything differently, from what I ate, to the route I walked, to the social activities I did, to the music I listened to, and so on. Would this help me find my inner happiness? It was incredibly tiring having to think of new things all the time, as most of what we do is unconscious, but a wonderful way to unlock creativity! I learnt it’s beneficial to have a balance of new experience and regular habits that make me feel good anyway.
How to find inner happiness
We have built-in habits that support us in life and ones that work against us, holding us back and sometimes damaging our health. From my years in personal development and teaching yoga I have discovered the following 5 habits help to regularly connect to inner happiness:
1. Make a list of 50 things that make you smile & plan to do one a week or month
The habit of planning something fun for yourself regularly, that you know will make you smile, will naturally uplift and empower you. You are taking control of your feelings and making sure you’re looking after yourself.
As the Prayer of St Francis says “It is in giving that we receive”. Giving to others is the most rewarding experience especially when you are doing it from the heart rather than out of duty. Whether that’s your time to volunteer regularly, random acts of kindness, your love, donating money to charity, find something that you feel drawn to in your heart
Every day ask yourself “what am I grateful for today?” and come up with at least 5 things. The wonderful thing about this habit is the more you look for gratitude you the more you notice. It’s impossible to be sad when you are in a state of gratitude
4. Move your body
Find a regular energetic exercise practice that works for you. Moving your body really helps to change how you feel. You might find something with music too adds an extra boost.
5. Buy experiences, not material things
It can be easy to fall into the trap of shopping to make ourselves feel better, but how long does that feeling really last? Instead, invest in experiences that you’ll enjoy and create happy memories.
It takes 21 days to create a new habit so stick with it and soon you’ll be doing it without thinking!
I’ll be sharing more about happiness throughout the weekends of our Happiness and Yoga Retreats. A weekend full of yoga, journaling, relaxation, and exploring what makes you smile.
Louise Gillespie-Smith is a life coach and yoga teacher based in Brighton.
Join Louise on our new Happiness Retreats and learn new habits and tools to be a happier person.