We're either obsessed with exercise or we can't find the time to do any. There's not much middle ground. That's what I learnt at our last Happiness meet up. "How can we get more movement in to our daily lives" sounds an easy enough question. Yet why do so many of us see it as a low priority in our never ending To-Do list?
We’re over halfway now in our Happiness Club journey, entering into the DREAM of GREAT DREAM! What has been lovely is that we’ve all noticed how the things we started our experiment committing too (e.g. giving, relating etc) have dripped through to the subsequent months. So now we’re still giving more, exercising more and so on because they’ve really become part of our daily lives, of who we are. But now we’re starting to try new things and look forward with direction. In this blog I’m going to review our month of Appreciation and Trying Out as well as have a quick chat around the forthcoming month of Direction.
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??