Wednesday, August 25, 2010

6 ways to get happy

Happiness 'experts' report that spending on luxury goods, rather than making you happier, tend to create one-upmanship behaviour, and that wealth may in fact interfere with your ability to enjoy positive emotions that come from life's small pleasures, eg eating some chocolate. Alternatively, investing in an event-related activity like travel or cooking classes is less likely to incite competitive behavior with others (hmmm haven't they heard of masterchef) and therefore lead to more feelings of happiness.

Personally? I disagree - buying a pair of beautiful shoes really and truly does make me happy, not just in that moment but for ages afterwards. I have pairs of shoes that still enrapture me years later. And I'm sure that there are others who agree with me!

But for those days when shoes can't do the trick (ie when the bank balance doesn't stretch that far) here are six activities that should get you feeling cheerful.

1. Climb a mountain,go on a hike, or simply take a walk in your closest green space/park/garden.
2. Smile at/compliment a stranger: make new friends, build relationships.
3. Pamper yourself with a spa treatment. This can be as simple as filling a tub with hot water and bath salts and soaking your feet for 10min.
4. Enjoy guilt-free fine dining in a paradise setting - take a drive to the country and munch on some of your favourite fresh fruit out in the open air.
5. Get in the flow of your life: do something new, challenging and fun. Remember that challenging yourself is fun - even if you are a little frightened by that!
6. Breathe in salt air, listen to wave sounds, feel the sand between your toes (this is definitely one of my faves).

What do you do when you're feeling blue and shoes won't do?

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