Who doesn't love to sing? Even in the shower or in the car. Have you ever found yourself singing along to the car radio only to find someone adjacent to you in a traffic jam looking at you oddly? Perhaps that only happened to me. Twice. Well fortunately our Happiness group decided upon a Karaoke evening to practice the art of connecting. ‘Any excuse to sing’ I thought. However crooning along to the likes of a Whitney Houston track is not all that we achieved at our month 3 Happiness meet-up.
The world is being left un-noticed - we rush past the old oak tree, miss the sheep clouds in the sky, don't listen to the wood pigeon singing its song and feel the wind blow against our cheeks. We are too busy thinking about the shopping we need to buy and checking our phone for updates on all the amazing things everyone is doing on social media to notice. I am the worlds champion at this! I need to start cherishing life and taking the time to enjoy the moment! The key to taking notice of the world around us is 'mindfulness'. Mindfulness is often defined as "the state of being attentive to and aware of what is taking place in the present" (Action for Happiness).
Is kindness something that can be taught? Is it just about doing good deeds or is it something much more? The Happiness Project- a series of lessons I've designed and taught for small groups of children with challenging behaviour, looks (in part) at kindness and the impact it has on our happiness.
Last month in our Happiness Club, we walked over 500 miles between us. Our focus for the month was exercising and we each committed to walking our 10,000 steps a day to improve our mood. The added pay-off is that this month, we’re also feeling leaner and fitter, as well as cheerier. We even met for a ‘happiness walk’ mid-month on the South Downs – and managed to laugh throughout despite it being the most miserable rainy day ever. (Although a stop at the pub definitely helped!) Four months since the founding of our Happiness Club and we’re sharing more about what makes us tick, what’s working and what’s not. It’s amazing how sharing how you feel – and realising you’re not alone – has the ability to make you feel more supported, and yes, happier.
Five months in, I thought it would be a good point to step back and take stock of how the Happiness Club is going. What’s working well, what could help us make more of it, and of course, are we happier??
About Surviving, Turning Negativity into Positivity and Happiness Clubs - my interview with Suzy Greaves
First of all, I would like to express how excited I am to have been invited to be part of this fantastic platform and blog alongside such passionate and knowledgeable people. This new adventure started when I first met Suzy at a Health, Wealth & Well-being show earlier this year. Suzy shared her personal story of how she ended up pursuing self-development and helping other people along the way. It was very emotional and inspiring at the same time. I immediately thought that it would be great if Suzy was willing to share her story on my podcast and explain about the great concept that is the Happiness Clubs. My podcast (Holistic Path to Health) is about sharing information and resources that enable people to achieve optimal mental and physical health naturally. It is also about inspiring and empowering so Suzy’s story was a perfect fit. To my delight she said “yes” to the interview!
Discover what happiness myths you need to drop to find a more fulfilling, meaningful type of happiness.
Mindfulness is not new to my Happiness Club. I am passionate about it and have been practicing it in my daily life for over 18 months (http://moremindfulme.tumblr.com/ ). Another club member (Diane Shillito http://www.dianeshillito.com/) is a Mindfulness Mediation Facilitator – amongst other wonderful things. Other club members have been practicing Mindfulness over the last year and have already been enjoying the many benefits that it brings. Regardless of this we are all excited about making a further commitment to practicing more to be present, right now, in this moment. After all, this is the only moment we really have!
Last night my Happiness Club met for the fourth time and reviewed our month of exercise. Beforehand we ranged from people who exercised regularly to those that felt they did very little and taking part in this month was not as eagerly anticipated as some of the earlier ones. That did mean that the review of the month was all the more surprising! Some of the highlights are discussed below.