We’ve seen a fair few buzzwords popping up in the health, fitness and wellbeing world over recent years, “balance” being a definite leader. But what about this “happiness” everyone is searching for? And how can you go about attracting more of it in your life?
The word “happy” is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment”. Part of the clue here is in that very definition, in the fact that happiness is indeed a feeling, and not a permanent state of being. I hear so many people saying things like “if I get super rich, then I’ll be happy”, “if I loose some weight, then I’ll be happy” or just downright asking “when will I ever just be happy?!”
Now, I don’t want to burst your bubble here, but it’s never going to happen. You’re never, ever going to reach a point in your life when everything lines up, you’re incredibly happy and that’s it for the rest of your life. Sorry about that, but life has thrown crap at you before and it’s bound to again!
I personally believe there are two components to this “happiness” idea:
- Recognise it
- Draw on it
Let me get a bit more specific.
Enjoy both the big and little moments in life and recognise them
For example: Tomorrow’s your day off. *ping! That’s a happy thought to begin with!* You have a lie in *ping!* get up when it suits and go and make your beverage of choice *ping!* have a lovely relaxed shower before getting ready to go and meet your bestie for brunch *ping!*. Stepping outside, it’s a beautiful day *ping!* you get to the cafe and greet your friend with a huge smile and a hug *ping ping ping!*
If you haven’t got it by now, those pings are the little moments of joy you may have experienced throughout the morning. And what a great morning it’s been, eh! It may seem a bit excessive, but every time you felt one of those moments of happiness I want you to consciously recognise them. Seriously, think to yourself “this is making me feel great right now!” This is your happiness bank, and it’s super important that you keep it topped up.
The little things are like pound coins (or dollar bills or whatever), slowly but surely filling it up. There will be bigger moments for sure, great celebrations or exciting moments that you’ll easily cash in hundreds from. But just don’t forget to keep popping the pounds in too!
Drawing from the bank
Now of course, there will be moments in life that will draw from that happiness bank you’ve got nicely building up there. Little annoyances that chip away at the savings, and much bigger moments of distress that leave you feeling like you’ve nothing left. But I promise you, the small things will seem insignificant if you spend time practicing recognising the happy moments.
Acknowledging the great, and the hard times
As for the big things, you have every right to feel the pain of those moments, but now’s also the time to draw on those really happy moments. You’ll be able to remember that life has given you wonderful moments so far, and it’s going to again.
When my Aunty died, I thought I’d never be happy again, because how can you even contemplate happiness when you’re going through such hardship? But I came through, just like I have every other hard moment in life. Right now I’m in a great place, but I’m under no illusion that it will remain this way forever. You’ve probably been through rough patches and come out the other side too. Remember this now. Time is a great healer, and reflecting on happy memories in your sadness will be comforting, and also a reminder of the good things to come.
So, they’re my main components of happiness, let’s take a brief look at some other points that will help you attract more happiness into your life day to day.
If it can be changed, change it
With many aspects of our lives, the power is in our own hands. If you don’t like something, use it as the boost you need to make positive changes to create the life you want.
Radiate love outwards
The happiest people are often those who dedicate time to others, from things like volunteering right down to simply being a listening ear. Not only does giving put a smile on someone else’s face, it will without a doubt make you feel great too. A win-win I’d say!
We’ve all been told to keep a gratitude journal, haven’t we! But it really can help. If you don’t want to go to the extent of writing three things every day that you’re grateful for, start with just acknowledging things that make your life great in times of hardship – I’ve got a whole other post planned on this subject don’t you worry!
One of my favourite phrases: “comparison is the thief of joy!” – and it’s so true! We all look at other people all the time and see all the areas where they’re lives are so much better than our own (spoiler, they’re not). Everyone has their own insecurities, faults, doubts and worries. Everyone thinks their own life could be improved. If we couldn’t improve anything, what would even be the point in being here anyway? Enjoy the journey of improving and progressing things that matter to you, don’t get bogged down in wanting to be/look/live like anyone else.
Treat your body like a temple
It’s the only one you’ve got for the rest of your life. Nourish it, exercise it, rest it and most importantly, love it. Be kind to yourself. Meditate. Find a physical activity that you really enjoy – or ten for that matter! If you love running, run. If you can’t think of anything worse than pounding the pavements, you don’t have to! Swim, dance, cycle, go trampolining, learn how to box, go to an aerobics class, do yoga, do anything! Just move and breathe and feel and enjoy every second of it. Oh and dear lord, please meditate.
So that’s basically it! I tried to keep this brief, and really I’ve only scratched the surface. Recognise all the moments when you’re happy. Don’t panic when things go wrong, just remember life is constantly flowing, the sadness will pass and happiness will flood back in.
Thanks for reading! Much love to you all