Life is unpredictable and the ebb and flow of emotions can take a toll on us. This year has been particularly hard on all of us. And when the going gets though it’s easy to throw yourself a pity party and drive down the rabbit hole of darkness. While I agree all days can’t be good and it’s perfectly ok to cry it out and be glum some days. It takes real work to be positive and happy. To be positive one needs to tweak their outlook on life; you need to be able to look at the glass half full and not half empty.

Given the fact that we’re all stuck at home with no place to go and distract ourselves, it makes perfect sense to tackle this perspective right now. There’s no time like the present to indulge in self-care and appreciation. Scroll on to see the small steps that you can take to live a happier life.

Here’s a look at how you too can be positive and happy this year:

1) Step away from toxic friends and family

While we feel a deep sense of obligation to our friends and family some of them can be terribly toxic. They might mean well and they don’t know or rather don’t understand that they are being toxic. So it’s up to you to make the choice to cut some people out who drain the life out of you. Especially if your end goal is to be positive and happy. You don’t need anyone raining on your parade.

Season 1 Rock GIF by Friends - Find & Share on GIPHY

2) Rest when you’re tired

Humans need about 8 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep to live and function at full capacity. When you feel sleepy and tired hit the bed. Don’t think about anything else. You’ll be refreshed and well-rested the next day with the gusto to take on life.

Tired Good Night GIF by Disney - Find & Share on GIPHY

3) List out a few positive affirmations

When I feel down in the dumps I go to my mirror and read out the list of affirmations I made for myself. Frankly, this is the best thing I ever did for myself, because it’s helped me overcome my feelings about unworthiness. Smile and tell yourself these happy and positive statements. This will actually trick your mind into believing you are happy.

Happy Sport GIF by JCPenney - Find & Share on GIPHY

4) Pay it forward by making someone else happy

There might be a selfish motive in place here, but sometimes helping someone in need can really make one feel happy and positive. Small acts of kindness can really make the world a better place.

So Happy GIF by America's Got Talent - Find & Share on GIPHY

5) Celebrate the small victories

I’ve battled with my feelings about worth for the longest time and instead of wasting time on this negative chatter. I realised it would serve me well to focus on the many good things people say to me. Accept it and celebrate the small victories, no matter how small. Don’t waste your time and energy on putting yourself down, be your own cheerleader. This will definitely make you feel happy and put a more positive spin on your life.

Victory Celebrate GIF by Awkwafina - Find & Share on GIPHY

6) Put away all electronics 1 hour before bedtime

The internet can be a great place and a really awful one. It is easy to get addicted to one’s phone or any kind of gadget. Set a personal rule to turn off and put aside all kind of gadgets 1 hour before bedtime. Read a book, expand one’s horizon. Have a conversation with a friend or family member or just take a quick walk. The fresh air is bound to give you an energy boost and help clear your mind of any anxious feelings. You’ll end up with a more positive and happy mindset right before bedtime.

Couple No Phones GIF by South Park  - Find & Share on GIPHY

7) Practise gratitude

This is so so important. When you take the time out of your busy schedule to count your blessings, you realise you have a lot to be grateful for in your life. It’s just so easy to forget when we got lost in all the day whirrings of our lives. This will allow you real reasons to feel happy and positive.

Black African American GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

8) Learn a new skill or hobby

Feeling a sense of accomplishment can create a spike in one’s confidence thus making us feel inherently happy. What has one got to lose amirite? Pick up a new skill or hobby whenever you can and you’ll see the positive effects of it in your life soon enough.

Public Media Work GIF by WGBH Boston - Find & Share on GIPHY

9) Start journaling

Whenever you feel the need to put things in your life into perspective just put your pen to a piece of paper. The power of freewriting is freeing, let it be honest, messy, disconnected, just random thoughts spilling into paper. No judgment, no talking back, it can feel better than a therapy session. I can vouch for the flood of positive thoughts and feelings that come through right after the purge.

Journaling Sharpie Markers GIF by Sharpie - Find & Share on GIPHY

10) Spend time with your loved ones

If you want to stay sane in an ocean of wavering thoughts and crazy schedule’s; make time for the most important people in your life. Having something to look forward to will only add to your life. You’ll come away feeling happy and joyous from interacting with people you actually like and not just tolerate.

One Day At A Time #Odaat GIF by NETFLIX - Find & Share on GIPHY

11) Work out

Exercising releases happy endorphins. If you’re like me and don’t like to work out. Indulge in a walk around the corner; take the stairs instead of the elevator. Stretch your body out every morning for 15 minutes, this will improve your aches and pains and fix your posture. You’ll also have an easy boost to kick start your day with a happy disposition instead of a cranky one.

Work Out Exercise GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

12) Learn to let go of things that don’t serve a higher purpose

Stop trying to control outcomes. By now we all know there’s a lot in life that is out of our control, relinquish the need to control and stay in the moment. This way you’ll be more focused on creating a more positive experience for your present circumstances. There’s also not much point in wasting your energy worrying about the past. You can’t go back and change it, just move on and focus on being happy.

Let It Go Relax GIF by Peloton - Find & Share on GIPHY

13) Step out of your comfort zone

You know they say that the magic happens outside of one’s comfort zone? It can be an overwhelming experience but step out every now and then and see what a positive outcome you might achieve. It is impossible to get anywhere great in life without taking a few risks along the way.

Research Educate Yourself GIF by Jay Sprogell - Find & Share on GIPHY

14) Cry it out

Being vulnerable, crying or being sad doesn’t make one weak. It is perfectly normal to feel glum and mope around the house. Having a cry and letting it all out is the release you need to feel a rush of positive and happy thoughts. You always see the rainbow after the rain and thunder. Just don’t dwell on the negative things for too long.

Emma Roberts Crying GIF by ScreamQueens - Find & Share on GIPHY

15) Only you are in charge of your happiness

It is no one else’s responsibility to make you happy. You can’t control what happens to you or in your life but you can control how you react and respond to it. Just focus on creating a positive and happy environment to thrive in.

Happy New Year Reaction GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

What are some things you do to be positive and happy? Let me know in the comments below.

Follow @missmalinilifestyle on Instagram for more updates.