Are you happy?
That question is more and more often asked and to be honest, I find it pretty hard to answer it…
Yes off course, I am happy. I have everything I need and a bit more too. But having my basics needs fulfilled doesn’t prevent me from wanting more. And there is the trick: if I constantly look for what I don’t have, I will certainly not be a happy person. Instead, stop over-thinking my life and live in the present moment have proven successful ways of keeping me happy.
I read an article a couple of weeks ago that was exactly talking about happiness. I wanted to resume it and share it with you as it talks about a big survey that has been done to see what actually makes people happy. Here is what they found:
1. They surround themselves with happy people. We all know that, don’t we? Spending an afternoon with a highly depressed friend doesn’t really make you happy… Saying that, it doesn’t mean that we have to avoid our friends and family members when they are going through a hard time… it is more about choosing to surround ourselves with generally happy people who can uplift you instead of dragging us down.
2. They smile when they mean it! No much to say about that, a smile is contagious and a face looks a lot more attractive when enlightened by a smile. But smiling when you don’t mean it could actually make your mood worse…
3. They cultivate resilience. Well, that’s a big quality to have really… knowing that you grow from failure and mistakes will stop depression instantly. Why being negative when you know that you grow from making mistakes?
4. They try to be happy. Apparently, the study showed that people who genuinely look for happiness and want to be happy are more likely to feel joy and happiness in their lives than people who just sit down and expect happiness to arrive on its own.
5. They are mindful of the good. Always look at what you have, and never at what you don’t have.
6.They devote so of their time to giving. And that’s why I love New Zealand! Here, people know what charity and voluntary work means. So find something to do to help others, that will make you feel so good!
7.They appreciate simple pleasure. A beautiful Tui singing in the trees out the window, your kid playing silly or the sight of the see… All this little -and free- pleasures have to be noticed sometimes. Because life is full of them and being conscious of all these beautiful moments actually lifts up your mood.
8. They promote deeper conversations over small talk. That is well said, small talk takes a lot of energy and gossiping is nothing but bad really… I know, it’s so hard to avoid it but believe me on that one, once you stop gossiping and doing small talks most of your time, you’ll have a clearer mind and a more positive attitude. Moreover, deeper conversation brings you closer to your friends and family.
9. They spend money on others. Now that’s the one to think about as the end of the year is coming! Spoiling the ones you love is the best way, to me, to make me feel good… But don’t forget to spoil yourself too every now and then, that will make you feel good too!
10. They unplugged. Turn all your tv – ipads – phones off and talk to the person sitting next to you or read a book, meditate or whatever really but stop spending time in front of a screen so much (that one is for my hubby;-)
11. They exercise. We all know it, so just get out there, move your lovely behind from the sofa and make it move like never before!
12. They get spiritual. What ever it is, find a ‘spiritual’ practice ti include in your life. It could be belonging to a religion, meditating, doing some personal development course or anything else that looks into awakening that amazing soul that we all have within.
13. They listen to music. When I am alone in my car, I put my music on and sing as loudly as I can, and off course I ‘dance’ in the car. I used to think that my mum was ridiculous doing that back then but now that I am in her shoes I can definitely see the point! Alone! With MY music! And who gives a *** about what people think when I wait for the light to turn green!?! Well, I am happy as and they might even see it and that will makes them smile, then I will have done something good for someone else, so that will make me even happier;-)
Do you see that everything is linked? Be social, be present, look at the bright side and look after yourself!
Now, I have to go and pick up my girls from preschool… and YES, I am going to listen to Amy Mac Donald and sing like crazy in the car (maybe not dance while driving on the motorway though…)
Happy day to you!