Recently I read that in order to be happy we need to think five constructive thoughts for every one that is destructive. Compliment ourselves five times to negate a single incident of self-doubt. Be five times kinder than we are critical.
This is not always as easy as it sounds, so on challenging days it can be useful to actively recall, even scribble down, some of the day’s happier moments – the simple stuff to smile about.
So today here are ten things that made me cheerful!
1. Berry Compote – it sounds silly, it is silly but it made breakfast more enjoyable. Porridge oats are good for us. They are super filling. They are low in fat. But man are they boring!!! They look so grey it is hard for them not to taste a little grey. It is all just a little Oliver Twist. Until you gently cook down some blueberries and blackberries, grate in a little fresh ginger, stir in a spoonful of honey. Now that is a formula to make the medicine go down. A beige bowl of oats becomes streaked with vibrant purple and a subtle sweetness tantalises the taste-buds. A happier start to the day!!!
2. Coffee and chats – I am not one of those people who is rushing for work with 2 minutes to spare. I arrive early, about 20 minutes early and I have a relaxed morning coffee. I chat with people who make me smile. Making time for this little morning ritual with friends and colleagues relaxes me and makes me start the day in a calm and generally happy frame of mind.
3. Small surprises – these don’t have to be physical just pleasant and unexpected. It could be a message from a friend, an invitation to do something or simply sharing a joke. Today however, the surprise that made me happy was a teeny, tiny piece of chocolate. It was left for me to relish by someone who simply knew I would enjoy it and that it would cheer me up. Kindness can be so simple and so powerful!
4. “Making a Murderer” on Netflix- a strange inclusion. This makes me happy not because it is in anyway uplifting viewing or because I take any perverse pleasure in the suffering of others. Rather it makes me happy because it is one of those rare items of television viewing that captivates both my husband and I. So sitting together, watching an episode and casually exchanging opinions on it is a really relaxing way to pass an hour.
5. The smell of freshly baked bread – it is currently sneaking in through the door from the kitchen. I challenge you not to be cheered knowing that there is a warm, healthy loaf of bread waiting to be slathered in real butter on the kitchen counter.
6. Small successes – sometimes our to-do lists are overwhelming. They become like mountains that seem too steep to climb but in these cases it can be useful to flip our thinking, turn it on its head or look at it upside down. Don’t fixate on what remains to be done but rather on what has been done. What did I achieve today? What did I do well? Positive thoughts. Credit where it is due. It will make you happy, I promise.
7. Golden Globes style pics – it sounds frivolous because it is frivolous but it makes me happy. Today, I am loving looking through the pictures of who wore what at the big event. How did they accessorise? What colours were trending? Hair up or hair down? Such simple fun!
8. Instagram – on a similar note a quick skim through Instagram also adds a little sunshine on cloudy days. People have such an eye for beauty and are generally so complimentary. Pictures of interiors, meals, make-up, stunning places or outfits of the day. A tapestry of some of life’s beautiful snapshots.
9. A steaming cup of herbal tea and a good book – this is something I make time for almost everyday. It is my version of a massage or a facial. It relaxes me almost regardless of what the day has held. It allows my mind to switch off or drift off. It prepares me for sleep. It lets me travel the world from the comfort of my own sofa. Bliss.
10. Smiles – I am a smiler. No matter how much pressure I am under I try to keep smiling. I need it. I also love to see others smile and above all to receive a smile. It is a gift. So simple, so special and always worth treasuring. Life is good. Smile often and try not to let the smiles of others go unreturned.
Remember we live in a wonderful world. Look for the things that make you happy. Acknowledge them. Smile xxxxxx
And if you need a bonus happy thought remember, “there is no angry way to say bubbles”!!!!!