By Astrid Longhurst, life & body confidence expert, coach, and author.
Life is a series of moments and opportunities for us to be more mindful and appreciative of our experience of living. However, many of these moments are wasted when we find ourselves waiting for something else to happen. It’s so easy to get lost in the more mundane aspects of our lives such as waiting for the kettle to boil, cooking a meal, tidying up, going out shopping, or making the bed.
These are often the times when we tend to “check out” in our heads and find our thoughts drifting to what we haven’t achieved or what we need to do. We may find ourselves ruminating about what the day has brought us or what someone has said to us that made us feel a bit off centre.
Switch on your conscious awareness
However, this can be easily changed by adding in micro moments of happiness into your daily tasks, so that you maximise every moment of your life. You can increase your happiness levels by actively adding in more of those joyful, kind or loving moments throughout your day. Every moment is fresh, new and precious. And, as the saying goes, “One moment can change a day, one day can change a life and one life can change the world.”
Try out these five happiness hacks to lift your spirits and boost your wellbeing. If you feel slightly ridiculous as you are doing them it means they are working. This is because they are aimed at shaking up your usual daily routine, patterns and habits. Whenever we do something out of the ordinary, we become more conscious of the present moment. This helps to make us feel more alive and engaged in our life, rather than continually living by our old default position.
These five simple and fun mind & body happiness hacks can easily be slipped into your daily routines. They will have you smiling & feeling fabulous and you never know, they might become a daily part of your life!
1. Brew up some body love!
Instead of just waiting for the kettle to boil, try giving your face some angel kisses. Rub both hands together vigorously and then very gently, tap your fingers all over your face. Allow a soft smile to light up your lips as you bestow hundreds of these tiny “Angel kisses” on your skin. Finish off the exercise by placing your hands on either side of your cheeks and just cup your face in your hands. This is such an easy and loving movement to show yourself some love. It also helps to boost your complexion!
2. Wash away self-limiting thoughts
Every time you wash your hands imagine that you are washing away any self-limiting beliefs or negative thoughts. Imagine that the negative thought is in your hands and that the soap suds are clearing them away. As you rinse your hands, watch the soapy water going down the plug hole and imagine that old belief being washed away! Fabulous!
3. Do the “Funky Bin Strut”
Turn putting the bins out into an opportunity to strut your funky stuff and boost your body confidence! Make it a personal rule that every time you put the bins out you will walk as if the world belonged to you.
Stand up tall, shoulders back, heart open and take long strides allowing your hips to undulate from side to side as you step out with confidence. If nothing else, this will make you laugh which will boost your immune system!
4. Make happiness cakes
This is lovely to do with children if you are in the kitchen doing some baking with them. Tell them that you are going to make some happiness cakes and ask them what things they can think of that makes them happy. As you put the ingredients together get your children to stir in their happiness by saying, what makes them happy. For example, “I love my friends,” or “dancing to music makes me happy.” Once the cakes are baked, you can then share the joy of eating your happiness cakes with everyone!
5. Run a one-minute marathon
This is super fun! Run on the spot for a minute counting pretend miles as you go. Say out loud, “one mile, two miles, three miles, four miles etc, all the way until you have reached a total of 26 miles! Then throw both arms high into the air as if you have just crossed the finish line and shout out “YES! I DID IT!” Then bask in the euphoria, imagining you’ve just run a marathon! This is great to do with children too!
About the expert
Astrid Longhurst is a life & body confidence expert, coach, and author of two books.
Astrid began her career as a dancer and then became one of the first generation of plus-sized models, pioneering the way for women to look and feel great whatever their age, shape or size. She then moved into fitness, becoming the first size 24 fitness presenter, wowing the nation on GMTV where she gave hugely inspirational and popular workouts.
Astrid is now qualified in counselling and psychotherapy and in life, personal and executive business coaching. She helps women (and men) boost their confidence and self-esteem through coaching, mindfulness and meditation. She is also the founder of the Institute for Body Confidence Coaching, co-founder of Chakranetics™ – a mindful energy medicine workout, and successful author of Body Confidence (Penguin/Michael Joseph) and Romancing your body: How to fall deeply, passionately & wildly in love with your body and your life!