In honor of it being the International Day of Happiness, we’re preaching in the word of Pharrell and choosing to make this day a #happyday.

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A lot of people want to be happy and strive for it as their ultimate goal and the best and possibly only way to be truly happy is to find balance and love in yourself. (Sorry, that’s SO cheesy, but it’s also the first day of spring, so I’m going with the vibes.)

We’ve made a simple list of things you can do to make you feel as awesome as you really are. Enter: *hugs and *smiles.

Exercising, eating right, drinking enough water — even something as simple as a good stretch session and a long shower in the morning is a great way to make you feel good about yourself for the entire day. Treating your body right is basically like giving your system a big thank you card for everything it’s doing for you. Pounding that pavement in those ankle boots and crunching those facebook updates numbers all day is not an easy task. Reward yourself with some TLC in the form of a good diet and a sweat session of exercise.

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Stop comparing yourself to other people — as the Queen B says, you are ***flawless. Don’t look at others’ lives in contrast, and don’t judge yourself for wanting something different than “the norm!” Instead, take a look at all the things you’ve accomplished. You’re into what you’re into and if it makes YOU happy, then that’s all that matters. Your beauty, both inner and outer, is never dependent on the approval of others or their opinions. Work what you got. Improve what you’ve got.

Don’t be afraid to say what you want to say and own the space you take up in a room. Don’t tiptoe or apologize, unless you actually mean it, your opinions will be much better received if you’re confident in them. Doubting yourself only limits you and drains your energy. How you feel about your abilities and desires is directly related to your self-esteem — denying them is just denying you.

Learn to relax and enjoy spending time with yourself. You spend all damn day working, and then you work some more with errands, laundry and cleaning; and you still somehow manage to have a fab social life and look ho-double-t HOTT as hell during all of it. Don’t feel bad if you need a little alone time to yourself, curled up with a book and a glass (read: bottle) of wine. If we don’t take the time to have moments for ourselves, we eventually forget what makes us so great in the first place. So go ahead and turn your phone off and binge (a.k.a. hate watch).

Be your own cheerleader and don’t forget about life’s little moments. Sing in the shower, grab a coffee with someone who makes you laugh, take time for a hobby, and do whatever makes you feel good… And do it often! Putting daily effort into doing things you enjoy will ultimately bring enjoyment into your day.

written by MICHELLE AVIDON

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