Do you ever wonder what its like to be truly happy in life, or is it just me?
Taking today, for example, there were definitely some very happy moments in there – walking along the beach after work, chatting to an amazing work friend at lunchtime, having the first meeting with some other volunteers for a project that I’m working on which starts on Monday and catching up with my mum for our usual Thursday night dinner were all very happy moments in my day. Equally there were some stressful, frustrating and downright annoying things that happened today too.
It brings me to wonder is it the number of happy moments that define our overall feeling of happiness, the quality of those happy moments, or simply being able to recognise and appreciate that you have happy moments to begin with?
For me, I think it’s a case of all three. It definitely has to start with simply recognising that you have happy moments in life and appreciating them for what they are – they don’t need to be moments when everything was 100% rosey and perfect, because let’s face it, how often does that actually happen, but there had to be something enjoyable about those moments. These small, day to day moments can be captured in a journal at the end of the day if you’re struggling to think about them often. If you write them down and then revisit them often, I think you’ll be surprised by just how many good things do come your way.
I also think that quality and quantity of happy moments play a part in your overall happiness as well. Let’s face it, we’ve all had those days when everything just seemed to go well for us and at the end of the day it was easy to think that we were happy. Conversely we’ve all had those crazy days when nothing went right and we wished that we hadn’t gotten out of bed. Life is a rollercoaster and there are ups and downs along the way – the downs are there to help make us appreciate the ups just that little bit more. Happiness is a feeling that you can evoke at any time – even despite having some frustrating things happen today, I can still appreciate that I am overall happy, not necessarily because I had more happy things happen than frustrating things, but just that I am able to recognise and hold onto those happy moments all the more.
At dinner tonight, my mum and I had a discussion about the volunteering that I’m going to take on next week – I’m going to be teaching English to a Burmese refugee family. I got the impression that my mum thinks I’m a dreamer and I should be more realistic (in a lot of ways she’s not too far off the mark). We talked about the plight of refugees and my mum has some pretty strong opinions, which I don’t necessarily agree with and she earmarked me as someone who has a soft spot for these people. The truth is that I have a soft spot for pretty much all people, regardless of race, colour, religion, socio-economic status, etc. Sure, my actions will never change the entire world – I’m not so much of a dreamer to expect that, but I do think that small acts of kindness by each of us in our local communities can lead to a bigger ripple effect.
Regardless of your world view, if you just smiled at someone on the street tomorrow, could it change someone’s world?
Tonight’s post seems a bit of a jumble of random thoughts, but as always, I’d love to hear your views below.