Thank you to everyone who has thrown around their quick 5 things that make them happy. We all have lots in common!
We like travelling around
We like singing/dancing and music. We like to do this with wine!
We like to cook and enjoy people enjoying our cooking
We like celebrating with our family and friends
We like to experience nature.
So why don’t we up sticks and just run off with the gypsies? (I am reminded of the Goodies - and the stealing of the horses!)
Well life happens, I suppose and we need to live in the world we live in, not the imaginary world of say Star Trek, where money does not really exist, things are free and Spock was a real person!
But if we understand what makes us happy, why then do we not do more of it. Why is it that we often spend weeks at a time not doing the things we know make us happy, so much so that we forget they made us happy to begin with.
I think habits have a lot to do with life - good and bad habits.
Habits, structure and order.
Sounds boring, but hang in there, I have a point. I mentioned on the blog a little while ago about Michelle Bridges and her thoughts on motivation - essentially she sees that as a crock, a barrier to achievement, she sees things in terms of habits.
When you are trapped in your sadness, many times you can see and do nothing else. Your entire being is inside your head. And you are really not ready to do anything happy on your own.
But I do think on the days when you can , you need to have a plan of the good things you like to do and do one of them.
If you get pleasure from cooking - cook stuff.
Get up, go out and buy food, see people at the supermarket, think about your wonderful dish. Come home, cook it and share it with your family.
Think about spending time each Sunday cooking something new. Make a time in your calendar for cooking, like you make time in your calendar for meetings at work, dentist appointments etc. When you are sad, you need to plan “good” time in your week.
You need to lock this in and stick to this time. If you are busy and stressed and your head is exploding you need to still book in this time for yourself to do this thing that makes you happy.
If the thing that makes you happy, is watching your kids at sport, lock that in to your calendar.
If the thing that makes you happy is going for a run with your dog, do that.
But plan it, don’t just let it happen, because when we are sad, we don’t get just a spontaneous welling up of good times, our head is too full of shit. If we don’t plan to do what makes us happy, too often we do nothing that is happy. Think of this step as the first chink to breaking down that barrier to happiness inside your head.
As you have maybe gathered from this blog, my thing was walking on Sunday along the river. Somedays, I couldn’t talk to anyone, and I was not really great company to start with on these walks, but I walked. Each Sunday, and each Sunday it made me feel better.
Before I knew it, I realised that on Sunday morning I felt happy, I actually recognised happiness in myself, that feeling that wells up from inside you. I was a little taken about to think, wow, I must have been really sad because I now noticed that hey, I feel happy.
The other habit that helps I found was order.
An ordered environment, leads to an ordered mind. and I don’t say that because I have lived with a tidy person for so long. I say that because as I have read about happiness and depression it is a thing that resonates with me. I have found it to be true in my experience.
When I thought life very overwhelming and confronting. I found that concentrating my efforts on cleaning a desk, tidying a kitchen cupboard or getting to the bottom of the ironing basket, gave me a sense of control, of perspective and structure that my crazy brain needed.
Maybe that is why we can’t actually be gypsies to be happy. Maybe we need some order and structure to keep the wheels turning, to keep our perspective and more importantly to recognise those special things that make us happy.
As we all love to relax with a nice glass of something in the evening - so go get one - Here’s to Hector and his search for happiness - but particularly his gift of being interested in people and really really listening to them.