In these coronavirus days, it’s worth recalling how to be happy. I’m going out to dinner tonight, so this might be my last chance.
I’m prompted by a BBC report from 2019, which suggested five things you could do:
- Make a list of the things you are grateful for.
- Sleep more.
- Meditate, or do something which engages your full attention.
- Spend more time with family and friends.
- Get off social media (except this blog).
Me being happy with friends from Deep Purple – who also have some happiness secrets. My post at the link includes pix of Deep Purple in Kyiv
One thing not on the list, but contained in the piece, is that being happy requires a conscious effort. As Professor Laurie Santos says: “Being happy isn’t something that just happens, you’ve got to practice to be better at it.”
How can you practice being happier? One way is by following some of the advice in these “how to be happy” posts – some of my most popular entries:
- W Somerset Maugham on sex, turnips and the meaning of life – (links in bold italics are to other posts on this site).
- Appreciating the Cloud Appreciation Society – taking note of nature.
- Austria: the best footpaths in the world? Moments of walking ecstasy.
- Sex, alcohol, people: what makes you happy? We derive pleasure from feeling that we understand the world, and can cope with it.
- Being happy: Paranoid and Bachelor Boy. Music and happiness.
I have considered the question of happiness so often on this blog – along with feminist issues – that I have a category for it called Existential – and women. Feel free to have a browse.
Walking the Dales Way in England made me happy
One of my key ways to improve my mood, when things appear to be going wrong, is to take a step back and get some perspective. I wrote about this in my blog Things are getting worse, right? Wrong. Here’s why.
My other happiness-related blogs include:
– Tuchman’s Law (or “Always look on the bright side?”): 9/10 (a historian’s wise words on why the world is better than it might at first appear)
– Transience and Fat Lama (contains a plug for my son Owen’s start-up, plus thoughts on sacred carpentry, maps, and the future of ownership); and
– Happiness and small victories (a personal blog, containing rare Bonn, Kyiv and Vienna cycling pictures and details of what makes me punch the air with joy).
You may also find interesting this link to my blog DON’T PANIC: a communications masterclass 10/10 (October 2015) in which Swedish statistician Hans Rosling explains how in 2000 there were more children in the world than there are now; and how, by the year 2100, the world population will be stable. People keep telling me they disagree with it, but without providing counter-arguments.
If you want to make me happy, you might like to read my novel Blood Summit and my Seven Hotel Stories. Even clicking on the reviews (“Helpful”) will make me happy. Reading the two books may make you happy, too.
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