Hmm how to write to be happy in 500 words?! When I was younger I could pick out certain things that I thought would make me happy (a certain job, a family). I feel that we should go back and pinpoint exactly where we become unhappy, for some this is a really obvious event. For others it isn’t.
I love a good bit of data, and this scientist (Matt Killingsworth – TED Talk) gathered data on when our mind wanders:
- 65% Taking a Shower/Brushing your teeth
- 50% working
- 40% exercising
- 10% Having sex (I hope this is to images of Dave Grohl!?!)
Basically our minds wander to around 30% of the time. Unfortunately our brains usually wander to the time that dickhead in work got one up on you. Or the moment your ex left without any answers, and you didn’t ask any questions.
How do we stop our minds from wandering?
- Meditation – This is exercise for the mind, it really helps to gently push away those pesky thoughts. If this is new for you try the app Headspace
- Walking in Parks – Worries seem less significant whilst at the top of a hill: “Does Geoff really fancy me?”… Who cares?! Check out the view!
- Visit Friends – Having the right circle of friends to talk about what is bothering you really helps
- Podcasts/Reading – I’m more of a podcast listener. You can’t focus on either unless they have your full attention.
- Rain Rain App – When I couldn’t even sleep, the sound of rain and thunder really helped me relax.
- Turn your phone on silent/off vibrate – On average it takes us 20mins to completely refocus after looking at our phones. Try and be present in the moment.
Gratefulness = Happiness?
One particular piece of advice I was told when I was depressed was; I should be grateful for my health, my job and my home. I brushed this off, as I was too busy counting my woes. After listening to Brother David Steindl-Rast’s Ted Talk I now understand that:
- Grateful people are happy people.
- We must open our hearts to opportunities in that moment, and learn from these opportunities e.g. to stand for something, to learn patience.
- If we fail, we will always get another opportunity.
In other words a method for living gratefully:
STOP – LOOK – GO
STOP: Don’t rush through life, take some time for your mind.
LOOK: Once you have an opportunity, this is your chance to look for the moment to be grateful.
GO: Once you have found that opportunity, seize it. Really do!