Themes of Happiness

I would never consider myself a learned scholar but I have noticed a few key themes running throughout all the blogs, books and articles I’ve read when it comes to keeping healthy, happy and simple and thought you might like to hear them.

Communication

* stop living in the future –  Make Life Wonderful Now.

* keep to the point [simple clarity]

* do not point/ blame

* try not to complain [or if you do, add a constructive suggestion or good point]

* mind your language

* listen – really attend to the other person, don’t just wait for your opportunity to speak.

Food/Drink

* eat slowly

* eat with either silence or laughter

* always try to prepare your food with love

* have at least one meal a week that has no meat

* eat in balance [don’t deny yourself a slice of cake but make sure you get your 5-a-day]

* drink more water than alcohol

General

* simplify commitments [do you have to do that? Could you say no to the next job?]

* feel empowered [you really can do it, it’s not as scary as you think]

* silently wish a stranger a happy day [daily practise to spread compassion]

* when you feel down, put on an upbeat piece of music and DANCE

* try something new at least once a month [read a new author/genre, learn a skill, try writing from the bottom of your notepad upwards, try a new flavour of herbal tea]

These are just some ideas for guidelines; for living in tune with your values. Please don’t feel you have to do any of these. I don’t manage to do half of these yet; but I strive for them nonetheless. If something ticks a box as one of your values, I suggest implementing a couple of these them. Test the theories and see what works for you. I’ve listed a few ideas to bring more joy into your life. What could you do to bring happiness in?

Happiness

* do something twice a week that makes your heart soar – draw, dance, sing, ring an old friend, garden, paint, read.

* do a big to-do list item once a week for that sense of accomplishment and movement

* do something purely relaxing twice a week– a lie-in in bed, give yourself/receive a massage, meditate, mindfully sip your tea and really taste the flavours.

I’d say that these are minimal; the more time you put into these activities, the less likely you’ll be stressed out 24/6. As you can see, it doesn’t have to cost a single thing. Some of my activities include:

– reading a book in bed with a cup of nettle tea
– watching a powerful music video
– really getting into and enjoying a book I have to read for class
– listening in on funny bus conversations  – “are you telling me broccoli is a vegetable?”
– writing a gratitude list
– letting someone get on the bus in front of me when I’m wearing dark clothing and seeing their pleasant surprise
– writing a passionate blog post
– seeing someone going against the grain  – Wednesday a man (in his 50s/60’s) was sketching other passengers on the bus, despite some judgemental comments from other people. It’s wonderful to see him doing what he loved despite other’s opinions.
– watch a comedian show and laugh
– walking in nature
– singing in the street
– dancing to a funky song

Some song suggestions include:

* Walking on Sunshine

* Tine Bealtine

* The Night

* Livin’ La Vida Loca

* What a Feeling

* Holding out for a Hero

There are so many ways to bring joy into our lives. Follow your values and do what you believe in. I really can’t stress it enough just how important it is to take time to be joyous.

I don’t get on with that question “if you could do anything for the rest of your life, what would it be?”. For me, it’s too limiting. I want to do so much. So let’s rephrase it.

If you had the next hour to do anything, what would it be?

I’d read my book for half an hour and tidy up.

Make sure you do that thing (even if only for ten minutes) within the next 48 hours. I dare you.  Leave a comment and tell us what you want to do. Make a public commitment to do that thing at least twice a week.

For your Happiness.

~Rose.

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