The key to happiness (maybe)


“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”

Dalai Lama

Since the start of the new year (woah, a whole two weeks, I know!), I have been trying to do things every day that make me, and those around me, happy. It’s not that I’m sad, not even close, but I just feel that it’s important to really try and see life as the blessing that it is- especially if you’re healthy and have friends and family in your life; with those things, you can’t really ask for much more.

But during these past couple of weeks, I have realised that there are many little ways that you can keep yourself happy every day, and they’re really not difficult. I thought I would share them with you in the hope that you, too, can use them and hopefully benefit.

I have condensed them into five main points, each of which to be done every day. Here we go.

1. Learn something new.
The phrase ‘you learn something new every day’ is true to an extent, but actually finding out something that you didn’t know before can be very satisfying- and, depending on what the ‘something’ is, it has the potential to come in useful in future, as well.
For example, as mentioned in my last post, I am trying to learn some French this year. Since starting, I have practiced and learnt some more each day and it’s proving very rewarding when I realise that I now know how to say, read and write different phrases, words and sentences in a different language. This is also something that will come in handy when I next visit France!

2. Strive to make someone’s day.
If you compliment someone, tell them something nice or do them a favour, you could ultimately make their day- or at least contribute to their day being a good one. It’s important not only to compliment people, but also to make sure that you actually mean it. It gives a compliment more weight if there’s something behind it, and it also means that you don’t have to worry about feeling guilty later if you told your friend you absolutely love their new coat when you really think that it looks hideous on them and they shouldn’t be wearing it.
At work a couple of weeks ago, a lady who came in towards the end of the day was sat at a table whilst I was sweeping. As I walked past her to get the dustpan and brush to finish up, she beckoned me over and told me that she loved my whole outfit and the way I look. Earlier on the same day, someone had pretty much insulted me, and the lady’s kind comment ruled that out and completely made my day and finished off my working day with a high. Strive to be that lady and make someone’s day, because you don’t know what sort of day they’re having; they might need a boost.

3. Spend at least 15 minutes doing something you love.
I know that, a lot of the time, people don’t have a huge amount of spare time. This could be down to work, children, education, a busy calendar, or many other things, I’m sure. But I’m almost certain that most people can find at least fifteen minutes to spare during their day to do something they enjoy.
I love reading, writing and drawing. None of those necessarily require a long time slot. I have been trying to do some reading and some writing every day since the new year and it has actually made a big difference to the way that I feel overall. It’s so easy after getting home from work to just slump down onto the sofa and watch TV or a film until bed, but I have been trying, after that initial rest period right after I get home, to get myself up off of the sofa and go and find my book or sit down and write something. I personally believe that being creative is a brilliant way to generate happy feelings, but that probably isn’t actually applicable to everyone.

4. Do something for someone else.
This one is sort of similar to number two, but slightly different. Here, rather than simply complimenting someone or saying something nice, actually do something nice for them. You could make someone a cup of tea when they’ve had a long day at work, or do them a favour. If you’re both sitting on the sofa and they want a blanket but feel too tired to go upstairs and get one, go and get the blanket for them- even if it means having to try and get comfortable again yourself when you get back. Little things that make all the difference. If you put yourself in their position, doing the little favour for them really gives a sense of satisfaction, because you know how much you’d appreciate it if you were them.
Or you could do something that they weren’t expecting. Cook a meal for your other half when they expected to come home and have to cook dinner. Leave someone a note on the kitchen counter for them to read when they leave for work in the morning- to start their day off with a smile. Buy someone flowers to cheer them up, or even just a card or a note to thank them for being in your life and for being who they are. It may seem general or soppy, but people really appreciate things that you have put thought into, which therefore makes them happy- and makes you happy because you know you’ve put a smile on someone’s face.

5. Smile and look after yourself.
I think this one is one of the most important. Smile when you might not feel like it; it’s actually been scientifically proven that smiling can induce feelings of happiness. Smiling at others may even make you feel happy because the other is likely to return with a smile, and smiling faces are much nicer to look at than grumpy ones!
Also, it’s important to look after yourself. Go to bed at a reasonable time; you’re more likely to get enough sleep and therefore feel more revitalised and prepared for the following day. Wash your face with cold water when you get up; it’ll wake you up and keep you clean, and make you feel bright and ready to take on the day. Wear plenty of layers in cold weather, alongside gloves, a scarf and a hat; no one likes being cold, it makes you crabby. Don’t bottle things up, talk to friends and family and they will offer you the support that you need; that’s what they’re there for. Think positively and look at the things in your life that are going well, or the people who will stand beside you if things aren’t going so well. Most of the time, there is at least one positive thing in your life. Focus on this one and smile, enjoy every day and the natural and man made wonders that surround you, and hopefully, your happiness will grow like a sunflower on a warm summer’s day!

So there you have it! Five ways to make yourself happy every day! I hope these come in handy if the day is wet and grey, or if you’re feeling low- or even if you’re fine, but want to feel extra happy!

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to have a browse of my other posts!

The Cosy Onion


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