I asked Google what is the definition of happiness and I rather liked what I read; “Pleasure, joy, exhilaration, bliss, contentedness, delight, enjoyment, satisfaction..imply an active or passive state of pleasure or pleasurable satisfaction. Happiness results from the possession or attainment of what one considers good: e.g. the happiness of visiting one’s family”.
Well…don’t we all want to experience that! But too often I speak with clients, friends and family members and there is a real lack of happiness in their current state. I’m sure we can all recall times in our lives where those feelings and emotions have felt like they’re at the end of a rainbow; no one is immune to feeling unhappy. It highlights that we need to be proactive about seeking out happiness.
When was the last time you smiled like this???
Despite things that happen outside of our control (and many things can make us feel miserable), there are so many actions we can take to increase our state of happiness. I’ve had a good think and chat with Toby and come up with these 10 tips:
- Start the day with an action that brings a smile to your face (this morning it was a cuddle with my blondie Evie who climbed into bed at 6am)
- Nourish yourself early. You’ve been asleep and fasted for ~10 hours, your brain needs premium petrol. Choose colour and food which brings you enjoyment. I like to throw fresh blueberries on my oats.
- Listen to good music on your way to work or when you’re going about your morning; I turn it off when the news comes on – I don’t want to hear depressing things first thing; informing myself can wait until mid morning.
- Plan for a moment of “me time” in your day and look forward to it, cherish it when it arrives. For me today it is a walk with Quinn at the esplanade; it’s going to be hot, and I’m going to detour through the rose garden, you can’t help but feel relaxed.
- Do something for someone else with complete willingness; no grunting or groaning, no expectation of receiving in return. For me today it is sending a handwritten letter and some pics to a friend by post (we all love receiving nice mail!)
- Write a ‘to-do’ list which gives you clarity on what you need to get done usually in order to make your life work more smoothly and give you a sense of accomplishment when you tick those bad boys off!
- Buy a new pair of undies or socks…I’m not kidding, although I did write it for the benefit of getting a chuckle. We’d all complain if that was our xmas gift, but who doesn’t love putting on a pair of brand spanking new undies or socks!
- Exercise in the rain! It’s invigorating, gives you a sense of accomplishment and empowerment. You see things differently (albeit a little blurry). If rains not for you, go early morning when the birds are waking and it’s just plain peaceful
- Stretch, be mobile for some minutes every hour and work on your posture. Pain and niggly injuries kill our happiness. Be proactive, do something about it; don’t just settle that a sore back is your lot.
- Plan for events that bring pleasure. We’re booking out time over our upcoming weekends to include ‘nice time’ like quick trips to the beach, picnics at the esplanade, exploring my parents’ farm, bike rides along the river…amidst the ‘boring tedious must-dos” like staining our deck and cleaning cars.
On the last note, if you find yourself saying you do not have time for all of this; then something is not right with how you’re leading your life. You need to value happiness and actions that result in it. You need to stop being too busy and start prioritising a portion of your time to bring about the pleasurable state. I guarantee; your health, your relationships, your work ethic, your mind will thank you for it! …and just to show you an update…here’s wee Quinn in the park before enjoying a cool breeze, she is 7 weeks now!