Little guide to happiness
I am someone who is mostly happy and content with life. In order to inspire you or to offer you new ideas, I have therefore written my little guide to happiness.
A really important point in this little guide to happiness, in my opinion, is mindfulness. By going through the world mindfully, recognizing and appreciating the little things, I have more opportunities to be happy. For example, I enjoy “little things” like a butterfly or a good parking space. If you can find such everyday “little things” for yourself, enjoy them. Joy, like mindfulness, is like a muscle that can be trained. The more you enjoy different things, the easier it is to find them.
That’s why I love to go for walks mindfully, for example. Perceive the smell, the view, the colors, the sounds, etc. Of course, I don’t always succeed. But when I do, it’s usually a much nicer experience than when I’m not paying attention.
Mindfulness can therefore be learned and helps me a lot to enjoy other, everyday things.
My gratitude routine has proven to be a game changer for me. So here are a few tips on the subject of gratitude in my little guide to happiness.
I think about what I’m thankful for every day in my bullet journal. Even if I have to think hard about it some days because there are awful days, like with everyone else, I always find something to be grateful for.
At the turn of the year I looked through my bullet journal from 2021 and found so many things I was grateful for every day. I remembered situations that I had long since forgotten.
Therefore, I can only recommend that you think about at least one thing every day for which you are or were grateful. This can also be a bit difficult for you at the beginning, but over time it becomes easier and easier to find something.
Dealing with myself, getting to know me, my habits, my sunny and shadow sides, as Stefanie Stahl would call it, helps me a lot to be happy. Therefore, this topic should not be missing in this little guide.
Only when I know myself, I know what I like and what I don’t like. Only when I’m fine with myself and with what I’m doing, only then can I be happy.
So what does that mean exactly? First, it is important that I find out my motives, my principles. As soon as I know what I’m striving for and why I’m doing it, I can see if my life currently fits with it.
Far too often, people stay in a job that they do not enjoy. Or they do things in their free time that they don’t enjoy themselves, but are respected. Heaps too often, we let ourselves be guided by external circumstances and forget to look at ourselves.
Through a lot of work with myself, I now know very well what I like to do and what I don’t like and why I do things. I also know that this is constantly changing. That’s why I keep checking back to see how I’m doing and whether I’m still living according to my principles. Because when I know that, there are many more moments in my life that make me feel joy in my stomach or in my eyes. Then I lie in bed full of happiness more often than with a lump in my stomach.
Everyone is a gift and everyone has a gift! Find yours and share it with the world. This is how you become happy and share this happiness with the world!
Everyone knows we are social beings. As such, contact with others is incredibly important to us in order to be happy.
That means nurturing your relationships with friends and family. Of course, only as long as it is good for you! Once you realize that a relationship draws more energy than it gives you, take good care of yourself.
Personally, I’ve broken off a few relationships or at least reduced contact when I realize that it’s not good for me. This also has nothing to do with egoism, but rather with the fact that I have to be fine before I can help others. However, if I’m always the one giving and don’t get any energy back from the relationship, then I have to look after myself first. Relationships are simply give and take, which is why we can take good care of them. Maybe you’re the one who only takes in a relationship. It’s important to recognize this and then take countermeasures in order to keep the relationship healthy.
What I would also count among social contacts is helping. Helping others can make incredibly happy! And we know, shared happiness is double happiness 😉. That means whenever you can, help others. Because everything we give comes back to us twice.
Some of the things I do to help others include donating regularly, offering help when I see it is needed, and standing up when I see injustice. So go find yourself an organization that you would like to support, call the relatives who you know are lonely or help your neighbors with their shopping.
Overall, relationships and closeness are super significant to be happy. Enjoy the closeness and connection to the people who are important to you and who are good for you and don’t forget, you are a mixture of the 5 closest people in your environment.
Exercise and diet
What should not be missing in this little guide to happiness are sport and nutrition.
As everyone knows, the little hormones called endorphin and serotonin cause happiness. These can be caused by e.g. dark chocolate. But dates, whole grain products, bananas, avocados and nuts also promote the production of serotonin. That means, fortunately, I don’t have to eat a lot of chocolate to be happier.
However, what I personally find makes me even happier is sport. Maybe not the first few times, but over time you get such a satisfying feeling after exercising. However, you have to be careful, the endorphins that are released after exercise can also be addictive. It is known that endorphins are endogenous opiates. In the right measure, however, I think sport is incredibly good for me. Whenever I’m good in training, I rarely find it difficult to get on the mat. Then I know before I’m done how good the feeling will be at the end.
Therefore, you can also influence your happiness with exercise and nutrition, how nice that it can be so easy, right?
A real happy-maker for me is nature. Fresh air, sunshine and exercise are proven and, as just described, make you happy. So why not connect all this in a walk?
Sunbeams, like the right food, promote the formation of serotonin in the body. That means I go whenever possible – of course with the right sun protection, even in winter! – in the sun and enjoy the warm rays. The sun also helps our body to produce vitamin D3. Unfortunately, since this is hardly enough, at least in Germany, I also take a D3 supplement.
But not only sunshine makes happy. Have you ever done a rain dance or gone for a walk in fresh snow? Nature has so much to offer to make you happy!
Of course, positive thinking should not be missing from the little guide to happiness.
It always helps me immensely to think about the reason for everything and what the positive effect is for me. This has helped me in some difficult situations in my life.
At the same time, we must not fall into the so-called “toxic positivity”. It doesn’t always have to be peace and joy! But, by far, most of the time we can find a reason why the experience wasn’t entirely bad. We either grow, get stronger, take a new path or let something go. But life is overall kind to you! Never forget that!
It doesn’t take that much to be happy. So my little guide is:
- Practice mindfulness, acknowledging the small things in your everyday life and recognizing the beauty in them
- Practice gratitude, writing down at least one thing each day for which you are grateful
- Get to know yourself, so you know what you like to do and don’t like, what your principles are and why
- Connect with others who are good for you, who make you feel close, and offer to help whenever you can
- Eat a healthy, nutritious diet and exercise
- Go out into nature and enjoy fresh air and sun
- Think positively and find the reason behind your experiences, even if they seem bad at first, find your growth
So and to get you started, here is a little task for you.
Why don’t you go for a walk with a loved one today – unless it’s already late in the evening, then tomorrow. Try to walk, listen, see, smell and hear mindfully.
After the walk, write down what you’re grateful for on your calendar or wherever you like. Also, if you like, more than one thing. 😊
And then you reward yourself with a delicious snack – a date cut open in the middle, filled with peanut butter and sprinkled with dark chocolate (vegan).
This is the little guide to happiness.
In any case, I wish you a wonderful, happy day. Enjoy it!