If I asked you what makes you happy, I'm going to guess that a fair few answers would be to travel, sunshine (69% of Brits choose a Summers day as their number 1 mood booster), loved ones, seeing people you care about happy - another popular answer (according to 58% of us) feel happier or more optimistic when surrounded by bright and colourful surroundings. On a recent trip to Barcelona, I felt on top of the world, taking in the sites around me, the bright blue sky, the jewelled sea, the green palm trees and the yellow Catalonian styles houses, I couldn't agree with this mood booster anymore, nothing pleases the eye more than bright colours, it puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step. Imagine how much happier we feel when we draw the curtains in the morning and see a beautiful sunny day as opposed to a grey, drizzly day (which is something we see FAR too often here in the UK, *sigh!).
What's even more shocking, in the survey carried out by method is that 51% of Brits say they don't experience enough happiness in their daily lives, which I find easy to believe, even though it makes me sad. We get so caught up in the rat race, saving for a house, building a future for our family, pursuing a better career, working harder, working harder, working harder... until we almost forget what we're doing this all for. To live a happy life, it's so important to live in the now, to be thankful for what we have, to believe in ourselves and be proud of how far we've come.
Commissioned to mark the launch of the new movement 'the method way', method bought a colourful surprise to commuters in London to add some sunshine to their day. The design-led, natural cleaning brand asked commuters on the Southbank to clean to unveil a giant piece of 3D, biodegradable artwork of London's iconic buildings as beacons of light and colour, cool, huh?! I was on holiday when the event took place and was so gutted I couldn't make it, I would have loved to of snapped peoples faces of happiness as they unrelieved the artwork, sometimes it's the little things that make us smile, and in turn it can turn our whole day around. This art unveiling was the first series of activations as part of #themethodway, which is all about creating delightful surprises in a design-led, colourful way to make people smile. Because, after all, smiling is infectious, so let's spread a little love! <3
Psychologist Emma Kenny says that "Colour and brightness raises our endorphins and generally makes us happier." I'm sharing Emma's top 5 tips on the secrets to improve everyday happiness, it's time to reduce the stats, and allow us to inject happiness into our lives, in whatever doses they come.
1.) Spend time with people you love as this reinforces self worth and reminds us of how we are positively connected to other human beings. There is an abundance of research to support that the happiest people are the ones who make time for great relationships.
2.) Practice some mindfulness! Whether it's taking a yoga class, learning some meditation techniques or losing yourself whilst you bake or tend to the garden (my favourite thing to do to practice mindfulness is to get lost in a good book!). Any activity that helps us experience the present and brings us a sense of calm increases our happiness level.
3.) Carry out a random act of kindness! Send the old lady on your street a bunch of flowers, or buy the homeless guy a sandwich on your way to work. Research clearly supports the notion that giving to others makes us feel good about ourselves.
4.) Smile more! Seriously it works, aside from smiles being contagious which means other people will have their mood lifted by your positivity, physically it turns out our brain can't tell the difference between a fake and a real smile and automatically releases happy brain chemicals, so fake it till you make it!
5.) Do a digital detox! It's so important to have time away from technology and giving yourself a day to get back to basics is great for your mental health and wellbeing, so switch off your phones and switch on to life.
To find our more about how method will be brightening up the nation this summer (I for one, can't wait to see what they have up their sleeves next!), follow @methoduk on Facebook and #themethodway to join in.
So, girls! TELL ME... what makes you happy? What makes you smile? What little things make your day?
*This post was in collaboration with method, but it's a campaign that I'm whole heartedly backing, to add a little more sunshine to our lives! <3