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Daily habits for happiness

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Published: 19 March 2021

University of Sunderland in London student smiling

Tomorrow is the International Day of Happiness! Every year, people around the world celebrate the little things that bring a smile to our faces.

As a university student, you’ll know there are a lot of pressures in your everyday life which is why it’s so important to build little habits into your routine that bring you joy.

So, for this International Day of Happiness, try out a few of our tips and start seeing the smile spread across your face!

1) Smile

Smiling is something you naturally do when you’re happy. But did you know that the act itself can make you feel better?

Each morning while your computer is loading up for your next lecture or assignment, try smiling as widely as you can.

By the time you log in, you’ll start to feel the effects.

This comes from chemicals called neuropeptides that are released when you smile. Neuropeptides help fight off stress, leading to better feelings.

2) Exercise

This is a common bit of advice people give about feeling happier, but it does work.

Exercise reduces stress and anxiety while giving you confidence and boosting your happiness levels.

You don’t even need to do a lot of it to feel good. Take a five-minute break from your next reading to do some stretches or a walk around your neighbourhood.

3) Sleep

Again, this is one everyone seems to know about. The problem is following that advice.

On average we’re meant to get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night.

When you don’t get a good rest, you’ll find it hard to concentrate which can lead to feelings of frustration.

Try turning off your phone, laptop or TV an hour before you go to bed. Reducing screen time has been shown to have a positive effect on your ability to sleep well.

4) Eat

Food has a major impact on our mood. That’s why eating specific types of food makes us feel better when we need an emotional energy boost.

So called ‘comfort food’ like chocolate, ice-cream and cakes might make us feel better for a short period.

But over time, the negative effects of unhealthy eating lead to problems that include poor mental health.

Instead, check out some of our Health and Wellbeing team’s ideas for healthy eating on a student budget or learn about so-called ‘superfoods’.

5) Gratitude

There is a lot to be grateful for these days. For one thing, you are currently studying a subject you’re passionate about at the University of Sunderland in London – how great is that?!

Try keeping those positive feelings going by starting your day by thinking about the things you’re grateful for.

You could write them down or just keep them in your head. But try coming up with three different parts of your life each day that make you happy.

It could be big things like finishing off an assignment, or little things like a sunny day outside.

Whatever you’re doing this International Day of Happiness, make sure you take some time to find the joy in your life.

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Share them with your University of Sunderland in London community on FacebookTwitter and Instagram using #WeAreSunLon.