Thursday, 11 January 2018

Ten ways to happiness

  1. Be kind to yourself.  This means that you need to look after the things that are important to you - Sometimes we're so busy rushing around trying to get everything done and look after everybody else that we forget to think about ourselves.  To be happy you have to value yourself, which means looking after your priorities.  Write down the things that are important for you such as exercise or relaxation, and the things that make up your personality such as hobbies, likes and dislikes, and prioritise spending some time on those too.
  2. Your key relationship - this is the relationship with your significant other.  It might be a parent, a best friend, your only child, a sibling or your spouse.  This is the person you rely on and who relies on you.  Every relationship needs time and effort to run smoothly.  The chances are, if you're taking it for granted, you're going to run into a problem somewhere.  Take time together, listen to one another and keep building dreams and plans for your future as well as sharing your past and present.
  3. Other important relationships - friendships and families matter.  A phone call to let your mum know you're thinking of her, a catch up with a friend over coffee or a glass of wine.  These are the moments that top up your happy tank (and theirs).
  4. Be kind and generous - do things for others - studies have shown that those who are kind and help others report feeling happier and more content.  Doing things for others makes us feel more connected to the world around us.
  5. Get enough sleep - we all know that we're more grumpy, and more likely to be overwhelmed and out of control when we're tired.  To be happy, get enough sleep so you have the energy to approach all of life's challenges.
  6. Appreciate the little things - be mindful - don't always be striving for that elusive lottery win, that perfect wedding day or something distant and hard to find.  Be aware of all the little things every day that are good, from the smell of fresh coffee in the morning, to the feel of your child resting their head in safety on your shoulder or the sound of birds singing on a sunny day.
  7. try new stuff - trying new things stimulates our mind, gives us rewarding satisfaction in overcoming the fear of the unknown, keeps us curious, engaged and resilient.  It also opens up new possibilities for the future.  Whether it's trying a new food, trying a new outfit, learning Spanish or having a go at Salsa dancing - go for it!
  8. small actions for big problems - It's easy to become overwhelmed by the calamities of the world around us, from war and famine to global warming, homelessness and pollution.  Rather than looking at it as a hopeless case, try finding a small action that you can take.  You could write a letter to lobby those in power, you could donate to a charity, take part in a litter pick in your home town or audit your own home energy use.  Small actions really do add up, and your small step in the right direction might lead to more, or inspire others to make small steps too.  Your action might seem tiny, but if enough people make a small step, then giant leaps can be accomplished.
  9. have goals - goals help us to put our values into action.  Working towards a realistic goal gives us satisfaction, and so does achieving a goal.  Set yourself goals and targets for the things that you want to do with your life.  You'll have seen mine on my blog last week.
  10. be resilient - resilience can be described as "emotional elasticity".  The ability to manage changes and difficulties without being derailed when life throws you a curve ball.  Resilience is about developing a bit of bounce so that if something goes wrong, you can get back up, dust yourself down, shrug your shoulders (you can have a little cry if you need to, or even stick two fingers up to the world), but you can move on and find a different path to take.
Image result for happiness
I like to think I'm a pretty happy person most of the time.  I look forward with hope and optimism and am pretty resilient to life's problems. I also understand how hard it can be when that doesn't come easily - I've suffered with Post Natal Depression and understand how difficult it can be to see a light at the end of the tunnel at times.  If any of my friends or family ever need somebody to help them through when times are hard, please don't hesitate to call on me.