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My Best Self - August

Posted: by Jo Monday, 29 July 2019 @ 13:51

This month, we are asking ourselves what we can learn from the mantra,

‘Do more of what makes you happy'.

It would be easy initially to think this is quite a selfish mantra. It seems to be telling us to prioritise ourselves, and to think about doing things to add to our own personal store of happiness.

We might consider fun things we love doing, like going on holiday, watching a movie, eating ice cream, staying in bed a bit longer, taking a bath. We might think it is encouraging us to ignore what other people want, and ignore our responsibilities, to prioritise fun stuff that brings us joy.

do more of what makes you happy

But this would be to misunderstand ‘happiness’.

All the evidence suggests that the things that bring us pleasure - the fun, relaxing or indulgent activities we enjoy - are not the same as things that create real, lasting happiness.

Four things are needed in our lives, if we are to be truly happy.

The first is good, deep, engaging relationships with people we love and care about.     

The second is a sense of purpose or meaning to our day-to-day lives.    

The third is the deep satisfaction that comes from helping others and contributing to things outside ourselves.          

And the fourth is a positive outlook, which sees setbacks as temporary and problems as simply challenges to be navigated.

If we have these four things in our lives, and a good balance between them - then we will know true and lasting happiness.

So, let’s re-consider that mantra again. ‘Do more of what makes you happy’ is exhorting us to spend time with our family and friends, prioritising our human relationships. It is encouraging us to find our own sense of purpose and meaning in life, to look for the bigger picture and the wider perspective.

It is encouraging us to see how we can help others, and be generous with our time, support, advice, money, or practical aid. And it is reminding us to cultivate a positive, sunny, optimistic mindset and hopeful outlook, so that we can cope more easily with life’s difficulties.

If, this month, we all focus on doing more of these four things, then the mantra ‘Do more of what makes you happy’ is the least selfish and most generous-hearted mantra of all.

Share your thoughts and experience with us this month, and tell us what this mantra means to you.

Remind yourself of it every day, with a ‘Happiness’ Bar Necklace - 15% off this month.

do more of what makes you happy

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