I like to think that it is fairly easy to be happy. I know in reality it is not as straightforward as just slapping a smile on your face and thinking happy thoughts.
There is so much more to it than that. But I do believe there are lots of things that we can do to make us feel happy, even if just in the moment.
And in time those moments will become longer and longer, building foundations to a happier life.
Dalai Lama XIV
Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
Here are my favourite things to do to lift the spirits and put a smile on my face.
- Get outside for a walk
I won’t lie, it is not always easy to motivate yourself to do any form of exercise. I am guilty of this, terrible in fact.
But I need to remember just how good I feel afterwards. For example yesterday I had a 20 minute walk, ditched the car and walked to collect F from school. It was just what I needed. I got home feeling lighter, with a huge smile on my face and a whole heap of motivation. Rather than sitting down and doing very little, I cleaned our bedroom, sorted the washing and stripped the bed before putting clean sheets on. I then cooked a really lovely dinner that is probably one of my favourites rather than just throwing something together. I sat and watched Chicago Fire with F while preparing some blog notes and then later spent time with Rob while watching GOT and finishing a post. The whole time I felt happy, almost elated.
- Do something for someone else.
A simple act of kindness can be enough to lift the spirits of both parties. It doesn’t need to be something huge or something with monetary cost involved but the act of doing something good for someone else offers a sense of happiness that feels so good.
Whether it be a stranger or you best friend or loved one, I guarantee you, a small gesture will mean the world to them and leave you feeling great as well.
- Pick up the phone
Call a friend, ring your Mum, tell someone you love them. You’ll feel better for reaching out and catching up with someone special. And you never know, it might have perked up their day as well. You could combine your chat with a walk as I did this evening.
Robert A. Heinlein
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.
It doesn’t have to be a call, a text or a message to someone can have the same effect.
- Do something you love
Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
This could be anything, but it is about making time for you. Be it chilling in front of the tv or listen to your favourite album, maybe reading a book or writing in a diary. Its really important to stop and leave the mundane activities that will still be there in an hour’s time but can really effect our mood if we are not feeling up to do the washing, cooking the dinner, hoovering the house or whatever else you have on your to-do list.
- Take some time to reflect
This is so important, for me it is an essential part of my day. It is so easy to feel bogged down by a bad day, this means a lot of the time we are forgetting that there is actually good moments in every day. They may be so small that it is easy to overlook but quite often you’ll find something so positive.
For example, today the sun has been shining, I have had a nice walk, I have ticked off some of my to-do list, done something nice for a colleague and had a real giggle with the girls at work. And its only 6pm. Today my #happydays could be a number of things, but I think I may choose F’s passport arriving. Small win, but it means I no longer have to stress about it arriving in time for Disney next month and its the final part of the planning done. No stress is definitely a happy win.
Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
Whatever you decide to do today, be kind to yourself and allow the sun to shine and the feeling of happiness wash over you.
What are your top tips to a happier life?