How to be Happy

I wrote a short story, once, with that title – How to be Happy. I know – pretty shocking for something with ‘happy’ in the title to come from my pen, but there you go. It’s still in draft form, so I may even get back to it at some point.

I chose that title for my post today because, although I haven’t been unhappy, my recent posts have been a bit complainy (yep, totally a word!) and perhaps 2020 is starting to get you down as well. Although, I must admit, the news from the US on Saturday definitely lifted my spirits.

So, today I’m going to share some of the ways I cheer myself up when the world is crashing around me… (whoops, sorry!)

Exercise

During lockdown (then and now) my gym has been closed, so I’ve been walking my dog and lifting weights in my bedroom. There are countless ways to exercise, but remember it should be fun – if it’s not, it’s a chore, like housework.

You could try cycling, running, wild-water swimming, dancing around your living room to your favourite music, an old exercise DVD or try one of the many YouTube channels. I like Fitness Blender. As long as your heart rate increases, it’s exercise.

Bonus points if it’s something which takes you outside, for the added benefits of fresh air, Vitamin D, and stopping for a chat with a neighbour.

Housework

Yes, a moment ago I called housework a chore, but actually it can be really fun… Okay, not fun, exactly, but there’s something satisfying about a spotlessly clean bathroom, or a tidy room, or a pile of unwanted clothes to donate. You get to move around, focus on something different for a while, and – the biggest joy of all – know you don’t have to do it tomorrow!

Music

I mentioned music above in relation to dancing, but just sitting and listening to a favourite album, or something new from your favourite band, or switching on the radio can be hugely beneficial to your mood. While editing recently, I tuned in to Classic FM because I didn’t want to be distracted by songs I could sing along too, and it was a really lovely, uplifting afternoon.

Films and Books

I’m an avid re-reader and re-watcher. There’s nothing quite like the comfort of falling into a favourite story and mingling with characters you love. It’s easy, there are no surprises, and you’ll have a warm, snuggly feeling at the end of it.

Connecting with people

It’s an easy trap to fall into. You feel a bit low, so you avoid people. Personally, being a big people-avoider, I know this is a slippery slope. A quick message to a friend, a phone call, or even just a random tweet a stranger might respond to can make you feel slightly less alone. It’s easy to fall into negative thoughts, but talking to someone – even if you ignore your problem and just have a laugh – can make the bad stuff not quite as bad. If the pandemic has proven anything, it’s that we’re here for each other.

Avoiding the news

It’s so depressing, isn’t it, sometimes? I stopped watching breakfast news last year, around the time of the general election in the UK. I start my day in a much more positive frame of mind. I sometimes watch the 10 O’Clock News, but not always. If anything important happens, I’ll find out about it soon enough.

Likewise, social media can be toxic at certain times. Life seems to be more divisive than ever, so if you don’t want to deal with it, you don’t have to. Just step back for a couple of hours – or days – until you choose to go back to it.

What have I missed? Is there something you like to do when you find yourself unhappy?


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10 thoughts on “How to be Happy

  1. I actually really enjoy housework and yard work. It’s very satisfying and yard work especially is invigorating. And yes, avoiding the news!! Though perhaps soon that won’t be as necessary….xo

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    1. I have to be in the right mood, but sometimes housework is awesome. Put on some loud music and dance while you iron!

      In the UK, I think I’ll be avoiding the news for a few more months… 😦

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  2. The news here in the U.S. is definitely depressing; it seems like both the conservative and liberal media outlets typically take on a very pessimistic tone and portray certain people in the worst light possible every time. Reading good books from the public library has helped me a lot, especially when the story has a happy ending. T

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  3. Hi Annalisa – you’ve given us some good ideas here … I’m just grateful I am of a happy and positive nature. I’m going to look at your Youtube video shortly … I really need to do more stretching etc … and I have some major housework/spring cleaning to do … as had some work done and so spring cleaning comes into play. Good luck with all things – and take care – Hilary

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    1. Fitness Blender has a heap of different workouts, including stretches. After a couple of not-that-hard workouts recently, I think I need to stretch more as well – I’m hobbling at the moment 😅

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  4. I’ve deleted my news apps…all but one. I was getting updates from all of them and they were giving me ulcers. I think people are much kinder in real life. Same with social media. I’ve been avoiding it because I have no desire to try to wade the waters while it’s at boiling point.

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    1. People are definitely kinder face-to-face, when they can see the hurt their words are causing. The assumed anonymity of social media gives people free rein, I suppose (although it is hard knowing that those nice people in front of you could be thinking those horrible things).

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