How many of us today can put our hands on our hearts and say that we are truly happy? In western society it can be really hard to even identify what it is that will make us happy. Our lives are packed full of stress and we are all so busy. Maybe for some people that’s what they need, what they thrive on and how they achieve – and maybe those achievements make them happy. But most people find they benefit from some time out, some time to appreciate the finer things in life and by slowing down a little from time to time. If the annual holiday just isn’t cutting it – here are 3 things you can incorporate into daily live for a happier you.
Take up a craft
There is a growing body of evidence that art has a powerful and positive effect of us. And the connection between the creative process of making art and personal happiness is not a new idea. Scientific research connects even just the viewing of art to an increase of dopamine in the brain and activity in the frontal cortex. This results in feelings of pleasure that are similar to the effect of romantic love.
The great thing about taking up a craft as a hobby is that there is such a variety of things to try. If crochet or knitting is not your thing, why not try spray painting and upcycling furniture? There’s a whole wealth of things to try and you don’t have to be Vincent Van Gogh to get involved. There’s a real sense of achievement when you’ve made something beautiful with your hands and it’s a great way to wind down in the evenings.
Spend more time in the garden
Once again, here’s a scientific approach to happiness. Getting our hands dirty in the soil and harvesting crops is scientifically proven to trigger a release in the brain of serotonin and dopamine – two chemicals that are vital for keeping us happy. Many people feel that they’re not very green fingered, to those people we say – start small. Get yourself some pots and planters and start off with just a few plants. When you discover the joy of nurturing them and keeping them alive, our bet is you’ll soon be wanting a few more. Gardening is a skill and like any other, we improve with experience.
Use technology to free up your time
We are beginning to discover that too much screen time, particularly spent on social media, might not be the best thing for our mental health. But there are ways that we can use technology to our benefit. The internet of things is a relatively new phenomenon that is used to connect a wide variety of devices to the internet and to each other. There a number of household appliances available that can make use of this technology.
One of the reasons we struggle to maintain happiness in today’s world is because we have too many balls in the air, our brains are constant streams of the next things that need doing. If we use technology to take care of as many things as possible for us, it not only frees up our time, but our brain space too. The possibilities are endless with the internet of things – you can set your coffee machine to have your morning cup ready for you when you get up, programme your lights to come on and off at certain times so you don’t have to remember to do it, have your blinds open and close automatically – and much, much more. 5 years from now I’ll bet anything that can be connected, will be connected and our lives will be much more seamless and effortless because of it.
If you have everything you thought you ever wanted, but still feel unfulfilled, give our suggestions a try for just one month – even if you don’t feel they’re for you right now – we’ll bet you’ll see and improvement and be a happier version of yourself in no time at all.