Happiness is something we all chase, but there are times when we are feeling down or blue.
Each year, Happiness Happens Day encourages us to take stock of our lifestyle and do the things that truly make us happy. That said, happiness should not be something that ‘happens’ only one day a year - it is something that we should look for and aspire to at every opportunity. With this in mind (and with the summer sun helping to lift our mood) we decided to take a look at the ideas that others use to keep them happy.
Here are some great suggestions…
#1 Swim Outdoors
When was the last time you truly connected with nature? When was the last time you watched a tiny insect land on the surface of water without breaking the surface? When was the last time you looked up into the rustling tree canopy? Can you remember a time that you felt cool water wash over you, the tug of the stream or the gentle lapping of the lake against you?
If you haven’t experienced any of these things in a long time, then you probably haven’t been swimming outdoors lately. Leave the confines of the chlorinated blue lanes of the local pool behind and take a moment to enjoy the fresh water of lake or sea swimming.
Clearly, in the name of everyone happiness, you need to be safe. Don’t swim alone and always wear appropriate clothing. In the UK, unless you are a hardy soul, swimming with a wetsuit will probably be a good idea. Check the weather and swim in lakes, not reservoirs - especially ‘live’ reservoirs where the water level can rise and drop without warning.
Happiness is a state of mind, but there are times when stress becomes too much and swamps the mind, body and soul. To soothe this stress, there is a whole world out there waiting to be explored, and the best way of doing it is on foot.
The good news is that with no more than a pair of supportive walking shoes, walking is something you can do just about anywhere. You don’t have to walk up a mountain to feel refreshed and invigorated – any walk can help.
Take a walk into town, walk to a local café, walk along the canal path or enjoy a bracing brisk walk in the sea air, it doesn’t matter where you walk because it is the action of putting one foot in front of the other that matters.
And you don’t need to be hoofing it along with the intention of becoming the next Usain Bolt! An amble in the fresh air is better than sitting on the sofa.
#3 Read. A Lot.
Happiness is bolstered by fresh air and exercise, but the mind needs to be nurtured, too.
There are all kinds of ways to do this, but sometimes transporting yourself to another world can be the trigger that maintains a sense of happiness. Reading is a tool that you can use to keep your imagination burning bright. A novel, poem or short story transports you from the every day routine to another world.
Reading creates a sense of well-being and happiness, and by curling up in the padded confines of a tub chair with a novel you can boost your mood.
Affordable and stylish, the tub chair is an iconic item of furniture. And with our great deals, there are always tub chairs for sale that will be the perfect item for you newly created reading and happiness nook.
Some people call it an obsession. Some of us use it to stay in touch with friends and family. Some of us use it but compare our (drab) lives with the more exciting lives of others. However, social media, for all its positives, can make us unhappy.
You may not sit and make a point of comparing your life with others, but it happens subconsciously, and every time you log on and check out what others are doing you might be damaging your mood.
What can you do about this low mood? Disconnection, say experts, is something that we should all be doing from time to time. It can be hard, especially as we are so adept at logging on to check statuses and thumb through tweets, but we need to be kind to ourselves and disconnect when we can.
So, when you read or simply spend time doing nothing lazing on your tub chair, switch the phone off. Or, when you take a brisk walk in the fresh air, keep your phone in your pocket: you don’t need to take a selfie or let the world know where you are. Enjoy anonymity for a short time, and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the world around you.
#5 Volunteer Your Time
Random acts of kindness can fill you with a warm, glowing feeling. Donating to good causes is one thing, but what about donating the most precious thing of all: your time?
There are all kinds of ways you can do this. Why not volunteer at your local animal shelter and take the dogs for a walk? This is a great way to get exercise and fresh air!
Volunteering an afternoon to listen to children read at the local primary school, or offering your time to sit and talk with older folk in nursing homes are also great ways to increase your happiness - and spread a little, too.
Happiness is an individual thing. What might make you beam with delight and skip down the road is someone else’s worst nightmare. But this is the important thing – you need to make time for yourself and for your happiness.
It can be the simplest of things that lift your mood. From a walk in the woods to a quick afternoon dip in a lake, to learning a new skill or volunteering your time, there are hundreds of ideas. But what will you do?
Posted on: 11/08/2017