July 11, 2018

Simple Ways to Be Happy

Are you happy? Like truly happy? There's a big difference between feeling happy on a particular day and having a general feeling of happiness all the time. 

The good news is that even if you find yourself feeling less than happy, there are always things you can do to increase this feeling. 

I recently read a book called "The Little Book of Lykke: Secrets of the World's Happiest People," written by Meik Wiking. Wiking also wrote a book about hygge the Danish phenomenon of coziness. The book was a great little read, with lots of simple and practical tips that I felt like I could do. 

Here are my suggestions for a few simple ways to be happy: 

Make Something

Creativity is closely tied to happiness for me because I just feel happier when I am creating. It doesn't have to be a masterpiece of art or writing. Just a little simple Pinterest-inspired craft can really go a long way towards making me feel happier. 

There's something about exercising this creativity muscle that gives me a lot of joy. 

Some of the projects I've done recently include custom canvas tote bags decorated with iron on glitter letters and Sharpie pens, as well as some little art canvases that feature a few of my favorite quotes. 

You don't have to do anything with the things you make. You don't even have to show them to anyone. Give it a try! 

Do Something for Someone Else 

When I'm feeling blue, a surefire way to feel happier is by doing something for someone else. This past year, I've been trying to get more involved in my community and looking for ways to do something for my neighbors. 

This search for a place to give back led me to Girls Inc., a mentoring organization that I volunteered with during the 2017/2018 school year. Just one hour a week allowed me to spend time with some amazing 3rd, 4th and 5th grade young ladies. 

We did arts & crafts, chatted about life and got to know each other. This was truly one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a place to get involved. 

Another local organization I have gotten to know is Sunshine Industries & The Arc Knoxville. The Arc Knox County is a non-profit organization that offers programs and services for people with intellectual disabilities in Knox County. 

They were gracious to invite me to do a craft project with them and I had so much fun, I have already made plans to go back! 

Eat Something Delicious

Did you know there are foods that claim to make you feel happier? I'm not sure if I fully believe it, but I never said no to something delicious so I'm willing to give it a try. 

This article lists several foods to eat for increased happiness, and includes dark chocolate, coconut and Greek yogurt. 

I decided to combine these to create a little happiness parfait....even if there's no scientific proof, it tastes great! 

Using ingredients from Trader Joe's, I made a greek yogurt parfait with dark chocolate pudding and included a bit of coconut granola, shredded coconut and raspberries. 

Tasty and easy to make! 

Happiness is relative, meaning that it looks different for each of us. Sometimes happiness is being surrounded by the ones we love and other times it is a peaceful quiet with tea and good book. I hope whatever makes you happy is plentiful in your life right now!