Smile! It’s the International Day of Happiness!

Did you know today is the International Day of Happiness?

Just the thought of this special day makes us smile, and we hope it does the same for you.

At Real Insurance, our key goal is to help protect your quality of life. And as part of this, we believe positive thinking – and happiness – are vitally important.

There’s a whole raft of research that shows that a positive outlook is good for us – strengthening our immune systems, cardiovascular systems, and our overall ability to handle stress.

So to celebrate the International Day of Happiness, here are five quick tips for living a happier, healthier life:

1. Take every opportunity to exercise

As well as making you look and feel better overall, exercise releases ‘feel good’ endorphins. If you exercise outside, fresh air can also work wonders for your state of mind. And while it’s important to make regular exercise part of your everyday routine, there are also plenty of ways you can do incidental exercises throughout the day.

For instance, this could include:

  • Getting off the bus a stop earlier than you need to, and walking the extra distance.
  • Taking the stairs at work rather than the lift.
  • Standing up and doing squats while you’re checking out social media, reading the paper, or watching TV.
  • Washing your car rather than driving to the carwash.
  • Going for a walk to get your lunch, rather than sitting at your desk
  • If you have kids, encouraging them to run around in the park (and joining them as much as possible) rather than watching TV together.
  • Giving the house a thorough clean! Even scrubbing the bathroom and vacuuming can be great cardiovascular activities.

2. Associate with happy people

A bad mood is catching! By hanging out with positive, energetic people, you’re more likely to feel good, and adopt a positive attitude yourself. Take a good look at your friendship circle, and think about how each of your friends makes you feel. Try to limit the time you spend with the ones who make you feel drained or who have a particularly negative impact.

3. Spread some kindness

While being on the receiving end of a favour is always nice, being generous yourself can also make you feel happy, appreciated and worthwhile. It could be as simple as cooking a meal for a colleague in need, remembering a friend’s wedding anniversary, or taking an elderly relative out for a coffee and a chat.

4. Break the habit

Like most things, it’s easy to slip into a habit of thinking negatively. Next time you feel a negative thought coming on, consciously identify it, and try to stop it in its tracks. Give yourself permission to think differently. After a while, thinking positively also becomes a habit. You’ll be amazed at how effectively you can re-train your brain to think optimistically, and what a difference it can make.

4. Take up a hobby

There’s something very satisfying and positive about being completely absorbed in an activity that you love, and which is just for you. If you don’t already have one, why not take up a new hobby? It could be joining a choir, learning to surf, learning a new language, taking sewing lessons, painting, yoga, or anything else that makes you genuinely happy. While it may take a little effort at first, you’ll soon start to reap the rewards!

So, what makes YOU happy? Is it dancing to your favourite song? Singing in the shower? Spending time with your kids? A date night with your partner?

Whatever it is, we want you to take a few minutes today to do something that makes you happy! Go on – you deserve it!

Real Insurance is an award-winning provider of life insurance.

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