Former Black Sticks captain Gemma McCaw has made a career out of being fit and healthy, so she knows a thing or two about wellness. Each week Gemma shares her tips on how to live healthier, from getting started on your fitness to how to increase your water intake. This week she gives her advice on how to boost your overall happiness.
Striving for happiness is something we can all do, regardless of who we are, where we live or what we do. The way we choose to think and act has the biggest bearing on our levels of contentment and joy. Here are six simple yet effective ways to lift your spirits.
Quality not quantity with your friendships
Invest time and energy in your relationships. Sharing feelings and engaging in activities with close friends, relatives or your partner has a huge impact on improving happiness. Remember, it's the quality of these relationships that matters, rather than the size of your friendship circle!
Try and think glass-half-full
Cultivating a sense of gratitude boosts positive emotions and helps create connections with others. Practising mindfulness and savouring the moment in a non-judgmental way can help increase our happiness. Look for ways each day to be thankful, optimistic and show your appreciation.
Believe in something
People who practise spirituality – whether through friendships, cultural traditions, religious organisations or even sharing a belief with others – report feeling happier. Investing in something greater than yourself fosters a sense of belonging and connection.
Play to your strengths
Think of a time in your life when you were at your best. What enabled you to be like this? Whether it be through work, friendships or leisure activities, find ways to use your strengths. Those who do so for a purpose greater than just their own personal goals are happier.
Find your flow
Set goals that excite you and are matched with your skills. The key to finding our flow is creating a balance between what we're good at and what challenges us. Being in flow helps our performance, motivation and improves our mood.