Happiness is one of those elusive feelings that we all want for ourselves as well as for our families. I don't know how many times I have said to people "I just want my girls to be happy."
But what is happiness. It means different things to different people.
It is a choice we make.
There is much written about happiness today. There is even a Happiness Institute in Australia, based on the principles of positive psychology.
Here are some facts about happiness:
Exercise releases endorphins, like dopamine and serotonin making the brain feel happier.
If you are sleep-deprived, you are more likely to remember negative words and ideas than positive ones.
Hugs make you happier.
People who are happier produce about 50% more antibodies leading to a more healthier you.
Happiness is influenced by friends, family and your relationship with your community.
Happy people live longer, feel better, function better, and are more productive. You just want to hang out with them.
Happiness is a human quality that we actively want to seek out. Knowing what makes you happy is the first step in creating more of this in your life. What drives you, motivates you, brings a smile to your face, lights you up from the inside out and makes you feel alive and energised? Often, it is the very simple things in life.
For me, it is:
Freshly picked flowers in my home;
Lighting a beeswax candle;
Patting and playing with my dog;
Walking in nature;
Curled up on the sofa reading a great book;
Preparing and eating beautiful seasonal food;
Feeling fit and strong;
Gardening in my vegie patch;
Going to the Farmers Markets every Sunday morning;
Being organised – having a place for everything in my home;
Knowing that I have helped someone today;
Walking barefoot on the beach;
A feeling of space and openness everyday – not overscheduling;
Feeding my family nourishing food;
Gazing at a star-filled night sky; and
Feeling very blessed and grateful everyday.
When we know what makes us happy, we can begin to incorporate these things into our everyday life.
I know that when:
I am organised;
my home is clutter-free;
my fridge is full of healthy food;
I exercise everyday;
I connect with nature everyday;
I eat REAL food;
I don't overcommit; and
I get 8 hours of sleep every night…..
….I am a much happier person. I feel in control of my life and don't go into feelings of overwhelm and stress so much - although yes it still does happen, but not as often anymore.
The only person in control of your life is you. Taking full responsibility and letting go of blame can be so empowering. Learning to let go of the things outside of your control and taking responsibility for the things you can control is life-changing.
Being stuck in traffic and aggressive, pessimistic people make me unhappy, but these are things out of my control. I can either choose to avoid these situations or change my attitude towards them.
When you change your attitude you change your world. Being happy is about choosing to focus on the positive in your everyday moments. When you do this, you are reducing unnecessary anxiety about the future and regrets concerned with the past. All aspects of your life will flourish and prosper when you give your full presence to the circumstance at hand.
How will you choose to create more happiness into your day? Let’s begin the conversation.
About Catherine Balles from Seeds of Growth
Do you find that life gets so busy that you forget to take care of yourself? Are you always giving to others? What can happen as a result of this is burnout and over-commitment - not wanting to let anyone down.
Your own petrol tank is running on empty. I know this first-hand! And the only lasting way to fix this is to put your own oxygen mask on first.
I specialise in balancing stress, fatigue, digestive health and time management.