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With Christmas and the end of the year almost here, we thought it’s about time to write a list about how to bring a little more happiness into your life. Self improvement articles should be taken with a grain of salt. At the end of the day it essentially comes down to how much effort you are willing to put in to better yourself. However it is part of our ethos at Ezra to provide suggestions in how to not only improve our lives but be happier living them.

1. Change your thought pattern.

Have you ever been stuck in traffic and thought to yourself, “could those red lights be red for any longer?” This is what psychologists would call being negative, or looking at the situation negatively. Rather than looking at situations that you face everyday negatively, try to see the positive, however small it may be.

If you keep training your brain to see the better side to everything, you will probably find yourself a) less stressed and b) a little happier. Things are always going to get you down, but what defines us as human beings is how we not only handle the situation but process the situation.

2. Try to accept the inevitable, how ever hard that may be.

People are going to be late, they’re not going to call and they’re not going to apologise. People are going to complain to you, and you’ll listen. Your friend who you thought you were close with might stop talking to you suddenly, going days or months on end without a phone call or a message.

People are people and as soon as you accept that you as a person can not change anyone else’s habits or flaws, the better off you will be.

3. If you don’t like any situation you are in, change it. If you can’t change it yourself, seek help from someone who will be able to help you.

As far as anyone is concerned, we’re here on this earth once; so we might as well make the most of it. The element that matters most about the previous sentence is how it refers to your career. If you are in a job you hate, dislike, don’t want to wake up for; quit. You will be working for pretty much most of your life. We go to school, to university, to Tafe and to college to learn for a job we will have in the future. Having a career you care about, want to work in for the rest of your life, is essential to your happiness. I know that it’s hard in the current economical climate, but try to ignore the monetary side of things. If it pays well, that’s great, it’s a bonus not a requirement to your happiness.

You’ve wanted to study music your whole childhood but were pushed to study medicine. Why would you go through the trouble only to work endless hours doing something you hate? Sign up for a music degree, learn an instrument, sing!

Money isn’t everything, ever. Happiness and fulfilment of life should be more important than what you take home at the end of the day.

4. Surround yourself with people who are uplifting, who encourage happiness and make you feel good.

This one is pretty self explanatory. Your friends that you have throughout your life are either going to make you or break you. Friendship, however cliché it may seem, is something most humans cannot live without. We’re social creatures, we love talking and we love communicating; most of us anyway. Your close group of friends generally reflect what you believe in and you bounce off of each other. They should be there for you and support you, and you should support them. You will make memories with these people; make sure you want to remember them.

5. Smile. Be nice to strangers, be nice to waiters, be nice to people who work at train stations and in really busy shopping centres. Be nice to mothers, be nice to little kids and respect your elders.

In a world where we can contact people in 25 different ways, it seems as though we have all become more ‘closed’. Say hello to the person you see at the cafe every now and then, or ask how someone’s day is, but actually mean it. You never know, you could be the one difference between someone having a bad day and a good day. We’re all on this world together, trying to figure out life and what to do; so we might as well be nice to each other. 

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