True fact: Happiness is a skill you can build. Happiness, a lot like drawing or learning an instrument, takes practice to get better and better. Now that it’s officially 2017, everyone and their mother has a list of resolutions they may or may not give up on by February. So instead of keeping resolutions, why not make a vow to practice happiness this year?


You might be asking, “How does someone practice happiness?” Well today, we’re teaming up with Studio Ink to compile a list of actions and activities that will help boost positivity and joy throughout this year. New year, new (happier) you! Read on!


1. Keep a gratitude journal. Every day, make a point to write down three things you are thankful for, whether it’s something big (like adopting a puppy!) or small (like eating a perfectly ripe avocado!). Some days it’ll be easy to think of something and other days it won’t be, but the point is to always be reflecting on the positive parts of your life. Want to DIY your own gratitude journal? Learn how to watercolor your journal here.


2. Exercise. Yes, we know. This is a classic New Year’s resolution that often has no follow-through. But maybe that’s because people exercise for the wrong reasons, like to lose weight. Being active definitely helps you look your best, but it’s also great for boosting happiness. Pick up an activity that you enjoy, rather than what burns the most calories, and exercise for a happier state of mind rather than a number on the scale.


3. Send more cards. Sending actual mail is one of the best things ever, and it doesn’t happen as often as it should. We love snail mail (and here’s a bunch of reasons why!). When you send a card to someone telling them why you care about them, you’re probably going to put a smile on their face — which therefore might put a smile on your face. We love sending Studio Ink cards because there’s a card for every occasion, even if the occasion is no occasion at all.


4. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb at night. Trust us when we say that there is nothing happening on social media from midnight to 7am that can’t wait until you’re up and ready for the day. By putting away your phone at least 15 minutes before you go to bed, you’ll sleep better and wake up feeling refreshed and in a good mood. Bonus points if you use an actual alarm clock instead of your phone to wake up each morning.


5. Make something with your hands. Now that your phone is on “Do Not Disturb,” try doing something else with your hands besides texting. Pick up knitting, paper flower making or lettering. Studies show that having a creative outlet releases stress and thereby increases happiness. Check out our online classes to get started!


6. Stop weighing your options. Have you noticed that there are so many options for everything? If you’re craving Mexican food, you’ll probably find seven Mexican restaurants online, which will lead to you spending an hour reading reviews and figuring out which restaurant is the best. Studies show that people who choose to feel satisfied rather than trying to find the best version of everything are more… you guessed it, satisfied. Instead of stressing to find the *best* Mexican food, why not rally up your friends to cook up your own Mexican feast? The experience alone will make the food taste extra amazing. :)


7. Buy flowers for yourself. Treat yourself with flowers, not with junk food! Keeping fresh flowers around your home is one of the simplest ways to keep away anxiety and negative moods. If you feel like giving your green thumb a go, plants some seeds in a pot and watch your plant grow!


8. Call your parents. Your parents are probably some of the only people in your life who have seen you at your worst and still love you unconditionally. So call them! Call them; tell them that you love them and thank them. That will make them happy… which will probably make you happy too!

Cheers to a very happy 2017, folks!

How else will 2017 be the happiest year yet? Share your photos on Instagram using #britstagram.

Author: Irene Lee