If you’re sentimental like me and have kept the cards you’ve been given over the years, you’ll notice that most well wishes relate to happiness. That’s because, besides health, happiness is ultimately what we all strive for. I don’t think you can (or should) be happy all the time – after all, bad times do make us appreciate the good. But, I do believe contentment is a key ingredient in a well-lived life. So, here are some simple suggestions to help you spark more joy.
Talk to a friend
As the saying goes, “A problem shared, is a problem halved.” Working through a solution together or getting something off your chest, can help you make feel better. Similarly, I believe good news quadruples when shared. Well, that may not be completely mathematically accurate, but research does show sharing good news can increase happiness. That’s why I believe everyone should have their very own “hype” friend – someone who cheers you on through the ups and downs of life. The trick is to find the right person to talk to. You want someone supportive, empathetic, and can genuinely be happy for your wins. Individuals who are story toppers or prone to jealousy are a quick way to snuff out any joy – avoid!
Do a Kind Deed
There are many ways to do a kind deed. You can donate to a charitable organisation, give blood, or offer to help someone out with no expectations of anything in return. It can be as simple as smiling at a stranger or offering someone a genuine compliment. Research shows acts of kindness not only improve happiness, but it can also improve your physical health (by reducing blood pressure) and mental health (by reducing stress and anxiety). Being kind can help you live longer! So, what are you waiting for? A great way to do a kind deed is to volunteer in an area of interest, or in a way that allows you to utilises your expertise.
Get out in nature
One of my happiest memories is sitting in a natural outdoor onsen in Hokkaido while the snow fell softly around me. Even thinking back on that memory makes me smile. But you don’t need to travel to exotic destinations to be happy. Research shows just being outside in nature can have many health benefits including boosting your mood. It’s been reported just 20 minutes in a park makes you happier. Being outdoors has many benefits but if you can’t get outside, bringing nature to you can also be beneficial. Watching nature or having a pot plant can help increase levels of happiness. Next time you require a lift, turn on Planet Earth or National Geographic and see if that puts a smile on your dial. And if you want to aim for quadruple happiness, go out and buy a pot plant for yourself and a friend from a local business. But, I’m no maths whiz.
I hope these simple suggestions bring you joy! As always, please let us know if there are any topics you would love us to look into or you have any queries or feedback. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.