What does happiness mean to you?
Is it spending time with friends and family? Reaching a goal? A sparkly new purchase? Maybe it’s simply sitting back and reflecting on and being grateful for what you do have.
This week in my studies of meditation therapy and holistic counselling we’ve been focusing on the foundations of human happiness. My fave part this week? Learning about Maslow’s Theory of Human Motivation and hierarchy of needs. Basically, everyone wants to feel healthy and happy. If our needs aren’t being met we become unhappy..until we make the changes needed to meet our needs.
More than just a fleeting mood, happiness is a state of being, a sense of purpose and passion. Happiness looks different to everyone depending on our beliefs, and while it’s important to be mindful that life will always have it’s ups and downs, there are a few ways to give yourself a little boost.
6 ways to boost your happiness
1. Relax – take a warm bath, get a massage, let yourself sleep in. Whatever it takes for you to release any built up tension, take a break and let go.
2. Fruit + veg + water – a healthy outside starts on the inside. Eating food that’s alive helps make you feel alive. How can you fit more fruit, veg and clean water into your diet?
3. Sleep – Not getting enough sleep leaves us feeling low and lethargic. Find out how much sleep you personally need to help you wake up feeling reenergised then commit to a healthy sleeping pattern.
4. Meditate – Pausing for even 1 minute of your day is proven to decrease stress, anxiety and depression and increase your wellbeing. Buddhify is a great app for guided meditations that can easily fit into even the busiest of schedules or search for local meditation classes and retreats. Don’t have time or data yet? In the meantime, pause for a moment to take 3 deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth to reset your mind and release any stagnant energy.
5. Connect – Connecting with friends and family, or meeting new people gives us a sense of belonging and interconnectedness. If your emotions feel unmanageable, professional counsellors are trained in helping you recognise the root cause of where your needs aren’t being met and supporting you in making decisions to improve your health and wellbeing.
6. Have fun – Why so serious? Let yourself lighten up and be silly 🙂 One of my favourite things about the culture in Thailand can be summed up by one word, “sanuk”, which basically translates to “fun” but means more than having fun, it’s about finding satisfaction and joy from whatever you do. This was easy when eating yummy street food and exploring the mountains though more of a challenge when getting stuck in the rain at the top of Doi Inthanon mountain or carrying our heavy luggage from the train station to our rooms in the sticky Thailand weather..when we would ask each other “Sanuk, mai?” and end up in a fit of giggles.
What does happiness mean to you? What do you do to boost your mood? How do you inject a little sanuk into your life?