So here I am, finding myself writing a quick 5 on happiness. I better start by saying the title is kind of a fib. Happiness is after all complex and at times elusive. I am certainly not going to pretend to be an expert and i would be wary of anyone who says that are. Except maybe the Dalai Lama, you can probably trust his words of wisdom. While happiness is a journey of your own making, i do have a few tips on ways to gain a bit of the good stuff in the interim at least.
Happiness in part relies on it’s nemesis, sadness. Yep, you know the whole you wouldn’t know happiness without sadness spiel. Our darker moments are usually places of learning or at least useful comparative tools at a later date. So before I continue, I just wanted to be clear that I am not advocating for anyone to strive towards being a little beam of sunshine everyday. This is about easy ways to pick up a bit of sparkle when the dark or monotonous days are weighing too heavily. Some day’s you just have to take what you can.
Thankfully you don’t have to get your dad to start citing jokes. There are fortunately thousands of comedians in the world and something for everyone’s tastes. Instead of watching the latest sci-fi thriller, murder mystery or gory flick try watching or listening to some comedy. Our mood is directly influenced by what we are exposed to and laughter can really be the best medicine. If you don’t know any comedians try and find footage of comedy festivals, often aired on TV. This will give you a sampler of who you might like and then you can jump on YouTube.
This one may read a bit cheesy or produce an eye roll or two, but it actually works quite well. I read a quote somewhere once that stated Gratitude=Abundance and it really does. Write a list of things in your life to be grateful for. If you can’t find much, look further back to experiences you’ve enjoyed and are grateful for. Think small, rather than big if your finding it difficult. By the end of your list you’ll be feeling a little bit perkier.
3. Food and Novelty
If you wrote chocolate cake on your list of things to be grateful for, then this tip could be your kind of thing. I hear some of you, in rather loud voices, may be questioning whether I want you to be fat and miserable. No I do not, so I sneakily added novelty to the title, despite this tip really being about food. The trick is to treat your food differently rather than stocking up on comfort fillers. Whether it’s carefully planning the weeks meals and going shopping, trying a new recipe, cooking a dinner party or trying a new cake at a local cafe, food can bring a little bit of empowerment and novelty to your day. There is no doubt food is a mainstay in our lives and has a sneaky way of bringing some pleasure.Anyone just had to count the seasons of Master-chef and My Kitchen Rules. Food can get you out the house, interacting with others and treating yourself.
This one needs a little explanation too. Consumerism is not the answer to happiness, trust me. Filling your house or your wardrobe is not going to make you happy. But a little bit of mindful gifting can be a great pick-me up. After all I designed and created nurture boxes with the exact intention of making someone’s dull or dark day a little brighter. Gift’s have power. Have a think about something indulgent or nurturing for yourself and keep it inexpensive if you can. Post purchase guilt will do nothing for your happiness levels. Buy a bath-bomb to take a bath, a new nail polish color, a bunch of flowers, your favorite chocolate etc. Gifting to someone else is even better, you can read my tips here. Sounds weird, but paying something forward no matter how miserable you feel can be a great way to feel good. Pay for someone’s coffee, leave flowers on a doorstep. Select a random address and post an anonymous gift. There are lots of ways to gift, get creative.
5. Happy News
Like comedy, all you need for this one is a good internet connection. Expose yourself to some happy and inspiring news, trust me there is lots out there despite what mainstream media would have you believe. Google “happy” or “Good” news and you will find an array of surprising, inspiring, novel and amazing stories about good people, good things and cats (of course). You’ll be feeling a little brighter in no time.
There are of course many, many more ways to increase your enjoyment and find a little bit of happiness. I hope these will get you thinking. Comment below if you have any of your own to share.