June 21, 2018

4 Ways To Be Happier Right Now

be happier right now

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how to be happier right now

As summer stretches ahead into the distance, the temperatures creep up and the mood lightens (for the most part!), I’ve been thinking more and more about happiness, how we define it and why sometimes, achieving it might feel like a never-ending pursuit.

I came across this Omar Khayyam quote in a book I’m reading and it has literally been going around my head on a constant loop. Aren’t they just the wisest words you’ve ever read?

Maybe it’s in part due to the demands and expectations of the world we live in, but happiness can sometimes feel like it’s something we can only achieve after we’ve done a whole bucket load of other stuff. Why should we have to tick things off of (an ever growing) list in order to feel contented?



Here’s a few myths and truths I’d previously added to my own mental list…

H A P P I N E S S   M Y T H :
“If I get back to being a size 10, getting dressed in the morning will be a much happier and positive experience”.

H A P P I N E S S   T R U T H :
Size 10 is in all probability, a distant memory unless I go though some kind of life trauma – those were the only times that my weight plummeted to that dress size. Getting dressed already is a positive experience because I’m in love with style and clothes in general. Also, (and I’m still learning this one), happiness does not equate to a dress size. It equates to a healthy, strong body, calm mind and a sense of being comfortable in your own skin.

H A P P I N E S S   M Y T H :
“If I can just get ahead of my blog posting schedule by about two weeks, I’ll feel much happier about work”.

H A P P I N E S S   T R U T H :
It’ll make me feel more organised, not happier. There’s always something that drops in your lap to upset the balance or bring with it some kind of minor work stress. I should focus instead on how I deal with those things… and then I can continue to enjoy the parts of my work that make me so very happy!

H A P P I N E S S   M Y T H :
“If we can just get through these next few weeks of H’s two residential school trips without any hiccups, I’ll feel a lot happier”.

H A P P I N E S S   T R U T H :
If you’re the mother of a teen daughter (or son I would imagine for that matter), you’ll know that there is always another challenge right around the corner. Some way bigger than others. Getting one particular challenge under my belt will not make me happier – it’ll just make me better equipped to deal with the next one!

In the spirit of that gorgeous quote I mentioned at the start of this post and one of my favourite hashtags, #TheHappyNow, I’ve been giving some thought to what can we do to nurture our own happiness levels?
Are there lots of small changes we could make that would bring great returns? Here’s four simple ways to be happy right now…


Stop thinking it’s something you’ll have one day

Exactly that – there’s no waiting list for happiness. Who says that a state of happiness is one giant thing and that all the stars have to be aligned for you to say you can have it and feel it? Because you’ll probably end up waiting your whole life if you hang out for that moment.

There’s always at least one or two areas of life that will be challenging and regularly throwing out problems for you to deal with. If you shift your entire focus to solving those, you could be missing out on a little appreciation for all the good stuff that’s already present.



Find it in the small things

I think this is where our old (new) friend mindfulness comes in. We’re always so busy running hither and thither that it feels like a rare thing to stop and appreciate the small things.

M I N E  A R E :

Smile at or make small talk with a stranger. The reaction you get when you exchange a few unexpected pleasantries with someone or just pay them a genuine compliment will always make you happy. And I’ve yet to have someone say “Go away you weird, over familiar woman and stop being nice to me!”

Getting outside in the fresh air with Biscuit always makes me happy. I mean, you may have noticed there’s a lot of beach/dog related content on my Instagram Stories and with good reason. It just provides a small space in time to shut down everything else and just be. And the bouncy joy of a Labrador is always infectious!

Do something you would consider to be indulgent. Once a week. Are you so tired that your eyes are closing? Go take a nap. Feeling bored with the minutia of life and in need of a little escapism? Sit down with your favourite box set and snack and watch a couple of episodes back to back – Hello Dawson’s Creek and strawberry liquorice!

Do something good for no reason – I love the pay it forward concept. It’s hard to have a downer on yourself, your mood or a bad situation when you’re doing something caring for someone else.

Also, I’m fairly sure that using the words hither and thither as much as possible in your vocabulary can help immensely!


Practice Acceptance

It is what it is. How wise are these words?

Yet sometimes, when Mr OS says them to me after I’ve spent eons regaling him with the detail of whatever is ailing my mind, I’ll look at him with that “Don’t be such a simplistic Man!” death stare. You know the one. But he’s right… Goddamn it!

Sometimes things are just the way they are and you can’t change them – to fight against them only brings further grief or pain.

So you just have to learn to accept them and then move on. I’m still working on this on this for the most part but I am a willing student.



Spend Time With People Who Lift You Up

If I’ve learned one thing in my (almost) fifty years on this planet, it’s that spending time with negative people will affect your own mood pretty quickly.

Likewise, when I spend time with those who are a force for positive, I without fail, come away on a fizzy happiness high.

A relationship audit can sound like a scary and callous thing – I get that. But you only get one chance at this thing called life. Do you really want to spend it in the enforced company of people who sap the joy out of you? Or make you want to run screaming in the opposite direction?

Whenever possible, spend your days surrounded by people who lift you, and others, upwards. Happiness is infectious and a condition worth catching.

As difficult as it may be, (and I do know… in some cases, actually impossible), do a quick audit of your relationships and begin to think about sifting out those that no longer bring  joy and positivity into your life.

over to you!

What do you think about our ability to stop, take stock and be happier right now?

I’d love to know if you’ve given this any thought – feel free to share in the comments below or let me know if you have a tried and tested happiness strategy!

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Photography: SarahLou Francis

Thanks to Arcade Flowers – your shop always makes me happy!

16 comments on “4 Ways To Be Happier Right Now”

  1. Great post thank you for sharing. I loved the point to “stop thinking it is something you’ll have one day” I am thinking my phrase for today, based on reading this is Happy midsommer, make happiness is an everyday event.!

  2. Amanda this is such a lovely post! I couldn’t agree more with all of your points, and I do love that quote – what a great one to have to mind! It helps to put roots down doesn’t it?

    Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom as always, you superstar lady!

    Monica xx

    1. Thank you Monica! That quote was just bouncing around my head so much and eventually lead on to most of what makes up this post.
      Thank you for being such a wonderful cheerleader in my corner as always!
      Amanda xx

  3. Love this post and have absorbed every word. Life just flies by so fast it’s easy to let everything pass in a blur. I have taken note and will make more of an effort to enjoy being in the moment x

  4. Love your post(s). We are all searching for that moment…..because we’re told that’s our all encompassing goal. But you’re right, we don’t realise that it occurs far more often than we think! I am guilty of thinking: when this happens THEN I will be happy. Trying (like you) to appreciate the now. I know this is silly, but after reading your post a while back about buying flowers, and that this small act can actually bring you some joy, I’ve allowed myself to do this on a regular basis. Nothing amazing, just some freesias and roses from Tesco’s (about six quid) but oh my goodness it is a lovely and beautiful thing. So, keep writing please, from a fellow nearly-50 and a mother of teenage sons!

    1. Eleanor! Thank you so much for such a lovely comment!
      Its about stopping the search and beginning the appreciation. And if buying bunches of flowers brings those moments of joy then I would always say Buy The Blooms! I’m so pleased you’ve found the thing that brings a smile and a momentary sense of wellbeing.
      Thank you for reading – your support means such a lot!
      Amanda xx

  5. This is a lovely post, Amanda. Somehow we seem to have absorbed the idea that happiness is something to be achieved, so we’ve made a list and believe we’re not there until everything is ticked off. Dealing with the decline of my elderly parents made me realise that I needed to appreciate the good things about my life right now or I’d constantly be very unhappy. The wonderful thing is that as soon as you start noticing them, you tune in more and more, and the ‘big’ things matter less. Plus it becomes less about spending money, and more about enjoying what you already have, and what life provides completely free of charge!

    1. Thank you so much Judy! And I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments. Sometimes we are forced by circumstance to appreciate the good things that we may have let go unnoticed before. The saying about the best things in life are free never rings truer for me than when I’m standing on a quiet beach and just watching the sea. Perfection!
      Amanda xx

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