The range of emotions we experience is vast, but for many of us there’s just one that we want to get our hands on – happiness. I’m a big believer in feeling all the emotions, it’s healthy to feel sad sometimes and it’s OK if we’re not jumping for joy every day.
I’ve been jumping for joy a little less lately, and that’s totally OK. We all go through peaks and troughs when it comes to being happy. In the past I’ve been horribly low and also a shinier, happier version of my current self.
Most of us meander between the two extremes depending on circumstances, life stages and mindset. Going between the two has however given me a good understanding of what I need to feel ‘happy’. To feel content.
My happiness formula
Just to be clear – I’m not saying all the things below will guarantee happiness, and indeed some of them may not even be ‘right’ in how they affect my happiness… they are just some things I’ve noticed over the years.
What I would encourage you to do after reading this is sit down with a pen and paper and write up your own happiness formula.
It’s such an interesting exercise and may help you spot any gaps.
(lettering by Old English Company)
Feeling in control and confident at work
“Feeling in control” might sound a little, well, controlling – but I’ve realised that as a manager, I like to feel on top of things and that I’ve got my shit together. Confidence is something that’s developed over time at work; being confident in my abilities and my opinions. When I feel confident, creative and in control – I’m happy.
If I have a wobble of confidence, there’s a lot of change happening or I feel unprepared/un-confident – I’m less happy.
Having time for relaxation
When I’ve got a lot on and can’t fit yoga, reading, listening to music, meditation etc. into my routine – I get stressed out. I think this is one we can all agree with. Taking time to relax and wind-down is essential to our happiness and it’s time we started prioritising it.
That feeling you get when an idea starts to form, or when a flash of inspiration strikes is just the best, isn’t it? Feeling inspired and having a creative outlet is integral to my happiness. Inspiration tends to show its face after reading, listening to podcasts or watching a great film.
Spending time with people I love
This always gives me perspective when I’m feeling low or stressed. Recently I was having a bit of a rubbish day, but spending the evening with Dan totally transformed my mood. We made each other laugh and forgot about the outside world for a bit.
Getting into a state of flow
A state of ‘flow’ is when you get so involved in doing something that you feel almost in a meditative state and time flies by without you noticing. For me this tends to kick in when I’m writing or taking pictures, for you it may be when you’re knitting, drawing, cooking or even dancing.
For me, getting into this state is an instant mood booster – I feel creative, content and at peace with the world.
Having a vision of the future
There are times in life when not knowing what the future holds is exhilarating and much needed. At this time in my life though, having a vision of the future is serving me pretty well. I know who I want to spend it with, what I want to be doing career-wise and how I want to feel. Keeping that picture of the future in my mind helps me make choices in the present.
Having a change of scenery
I’m a self-confessed creature of habit, but getting out and about and getting a change of scenery is so, so refreshing. This is why we spend so much money on holidays right? But you don’t have to shell out for an all-inclusive in the caribbean to benefit – go for a midweek meal out, go to a new pub for lunch or book a weekend away.
Mood boosting ideas from the Instagram community
In a recent Instagram post I asked my followers what helps change their mood from sad to happy. The answers were so great, I couldn’t keep them to myself, so here they are:
- @Natalieleanneyt – I always connect to a change in scenery too, it gets me out of my funk!
- @Libby.hays – Music!
- @Poussdesign – I’m completely obsessed with lush bath bombs x
- @Kate__wainwright – Exercise and cuddles!
- @Middleofadventure – Tiny things change my mod, such as the kindness of strangers (so important!) and a long chat with a good friend. 💕
What does your happiness formula look like?
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