I’m currently reading a beautiful and eye-opening book called The Little Book of Lykke, an amazing guide to how we can find a little more happiness in our lives. The book takes you on a treasure hunt around the world to uncover what it is that evokes those feelings of pure contentment within us and contributes to our overall happiness. It is this which has inspired me to begin my first guest blogger series… What Makes You Happy?
I’m no expert in happiness, I’ll leave that to Meik Wiking – the author of The Little Book of Lykke (you can read my review of the book here) but I do believe that the things which can make us happy are all around us, more so than we might think. Sometimes day to day life gets in the way and we don’t pay those things enough attention, or when we are going through tough times it can be hard to see through the fog. But the potential for happiness is still there, it doesn’t go away, and well we all deserve to be happy, don’t we? As such, the aim of this series is to shine a light on what helps us to feel fulfilled, because sometimes we overlook things or we need someone to point them out. We all have different ideas too and I think it would be great to share them, I know I love reading other people’s tips. And who doesn’t want to talk about happiness and in turn reflect on their own happiness?
I also hope that this series will help people out who are struggling, because I know at times it can be hard to see or feel happiness, as though it is beyond our reach, or out of our control, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Over the next few weeks ahead we will see an amazing bunch of people from all walks of life come together to share with us some of the little gems that make them happy, making us realise what happiness is really all about and that it is within everyone’s reach. And if you can gradually increase your focus on the things which make you feel good, it will outweigh the bad feelings clogging up your brain and it could transform your mindset.
So, to kick things off, here is what makes me happy…
Spending time with my family – You know the saying “there is no place like home”, well it’s a bit like that, it’s just instinctive. When I am with my family it just feels right, it feels like I am where I am meant to be, and it’s a place where the smiles are not forced. When I am surrounded by my loved ones I can be myself, at ease, it feels natural, and also a good old family get together is often where some of the best memories are made.
Catching the sunrise – I love waking up to the view of a mesmerising sunrise through my window, it signifies a new day and reminds me that the world is a beautiful place. My mind is silenced in that moment and I can’t help but take a deep breath which radiates through my entire body, I feel as though anything is possible and it helps my day get off to a positive start.
Living in the now – A couple of weeks ago I woke up to a blood blister on my shoulder, my catastrophising mind jumped to the conclusion that it was cancer and it wasn’t long before I was imagining the prospect of not seeing my children grow up. The quote by the late great Steve Jobs popped into my mind – “If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?” and the answer was no. I decided to change that, I put everything we had planned for the day aside and we did what we wanted to do instead. Obviously I appreciate sometimes there are things we have to get done, but there are also things that can wait. This ended up being one of my happiest days, we didn’t do anything extraordinary but we went out for an impromptu lunch and spent the afternoon playing in the garden, the key to my happiness on this day was that my family had my full attention instead of my to-do list distracting me. I lived in the now and appreciated the special little moments which I might have otherwise missed, I think we should all make time each day to just live in the now because it can provide such joy, just savouring life.
Autumnal evenings – Whether I’m just getting in after a long day or I’ve been at home as the night has drawn in, I absolutely adore getting into my comfy clothes and leaving the cold outside, snuggling under a blanket on the sofa, maybe with a cocoa in hand and a roaring fire in-front of me. For me this is the epitome of happiness, money cannot buy that feeling you get as you stop for a moment and just absorb your surroundings, when your troubles are forgotten and everything feels perfect.
Walks – As I’ve grown older I’ve really become fond of the great outdoors and nature. When I am having a bad day the last thing I feel like doing is going out, but if I can manage to make myself get out I always feel better for it afterwards, always! Stretching my legs, breathing in the fresh air and feeling the breeze and the sun on my skin is undeniably invigorating, I enjoy taking my time and taking it in, I can’t help but smile as I look up at the sky and watch the clouds above me. Simple things hey.