Happy Hacks – How to Have a Happy 2021

Most people will look back on 2020 as a lifechanging year – we have changed the way we live and the way we work, and it has made many of us re-evaluate what is really important in life. For this reason, we’ll look forward to 2021 as an opportunity to get back to all the things in life that make us happy and make ‘new normal’ work for us.

So what is the secret to happiness in 2021? We asked six of the best wellbeing and lifestyle authors to give us their top tips to help make it the happiest of years:

Move into happiness!

“One of the quickest ways to feel happy is to teach your body to get into the state of happiness. The best way that you can do this is to combine a movement with a positive saying or affirmation. Try this fun and effective exercise for embodying more of that feel good feeling! 

Sit or stand and gently bounce up and down. Breathe in & out for four counts each. Allow yourself to smile broadly and say out loud (or just in your head) “I AM FABULOUS!” Even five minutes of embodying an elevated emotion can have a significant positive effect on your health and immune system. If you feel slightly ridiculous, you know that it’s working!”

Astrid Longhurst, life & body confidence expert, coach and author of Romancing Your Body

Spend 5 minutes cuddling your pet

“In a number of scientific studies, cuddling pets has been shown to release both “happy” and “love” hormones. As little as five minutes pet-cuddling can  improves mood and relaxation. In addition, the calming and comforting effect of your pet’s unconditional love can help combat loneliness, stress, anxiety, depression.

We can also learn a lot from our pets. If you have a dog, take time to observe just how enthusiastic it is. Dogs show us what real enthusiasm is and how to preserve it. Their pure joy in doing everyday things and living in the moment is unprecedented. Why not use your dog as a role model to bring more happiness into your life in 2021!”

Dr Margit Gabriele Muller, leading vet and award winning author of Your Pet, Your Pill: 101 Inspirational Stories About How Pets Lead You to A Happy, Healthy and Successful Life

Prioritise your work/life balance

“People often talk about how they want to have a more balanced lifestyle, but when it comes to making time for exercise, meditation or even a walk they often choose to answer just one more email…real quick.

Making space to review our schedules, whether it’s for five to ten minutes at the start or at the end of each workday, with the intention of having a more balanced lifestyle can drive us closer to actually make more empowered decisions with our time. 

To get started, list one activity that will give you energy, would allow you to look forward to doing, and is aligned with your values. Now, write down three benefits from this activity focused on who it would allow you do to be: a calmer parent and/or a healthier person, for example. Once you see that the benefits far outweigh the costs or burden of having one more thing to ‘do’, you may experience increased levels of happiness as you approach your days with more energy, connection, and fun. More importantly, you may wish to make it part of your routine and allow you to experience a more balanced lifestyle.”

Carina Lawson is a Time Management Coach and the Founder of Ponderlily Planners & Journals 

Compliment a stranger

“Since going sober I have been fascinated by how I can a) cope with difficult emotions sans booze, and b) increase my happiness, joy and fun (ahem, sans booze). What I have learned is that we can impact our happiness by practicing gratitude, awe and kindness.

So, what can this look like in day-to-day life? You could check in with an elderly neighbour, stop for a conversation with the homeless guy and buy him a cup of tea, compliment a stranger on their lovely spotty socks you see on the bus. These little acts of kindness raise a smile in them and a smile in you, this gives your brain a boost. Or you could go awe spotting by watching a nature programme. You can check in with yourself at the end of the day and name three things that you are grateful for all these life-hacks are scientifically proven to improve your wellbeing. Pretty fabulous, don’t you think? 

Mandy Manners is a wellbeing and Sobriety Coach at lovesober.com and co-author of Love Yourself Sober 

Be More Kid

“2020 has been a testing year for us all. Factors the most of us usually rely upon for making us feel happy have been absent, such as holidays, shopping trips, seeing family and friends. Whilst adults looked for happiness externally – ‘I will be happy when I get to the weekend’ – kids experienced contentment inwardly in the moment, regardless of what was going on in their lives. 

So my hack for 2021 is to ‘Be More Kid’ – notice your contentment in even the simplest of moments and that feeling of happiness will find you.”

Nicky Taylor is a Master Trainer of NLP and Hypnosis, and co-author of Be More Kid

Charlotte Giver

Charlotte is the founder and editor-in-chief at Your Coffee Break magazine. She studied English Literature at Fairfield University in Connecticut whilst taking evening classes in journalism at MediaBistro in NYC. She then pursued a BA degree in Public Relations at Bournemouth University in the UK. With a background working in the PR industry in Los Angeles, Barcelona and London, Charlotte then moved on to launching Your Coffee Break from the YCB HQ in London’s Covent Garden and has been running the online magazine for the past 10 years. She is a mother, an avid reader, runner and puts a bit too much effort into perfecting her morning brew.