“Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won’t have to hunt for happiness”
(William E. Gladstone)
Have you ever wondered… what exactly is happiness?
It can be an instant feeling of joy, an undercurrent of contentment, or a surge of excitement. Happiness is quiet moments when we think to ourselves, “I am just so happy right now!” Happiness is watching a baby giggle or a puppy play. Happiness is crossing the finish line, summiting the mountain, or coming home after a hard day of work.
Research suggests happiness is, “a combination of how satisfied you are with your life (for example, finding meaning in your work) and how good you feel on a day-to-day basis1.”
Today is the International Day of Happiness
Did you know that today is the first day of spring and the United Nations International Day of Happiness? This year, Day of Happiness is inviting everyone to focus on their connections with others. Click here to learn more and download a free Happiness Action Pack. To mark the happy occasion, I am sharing 7 ways to celebrate happiness with the Foundations of Health.
Celebrate Happiness with the Foundations of Health
What are the Foundations of Health, you ask? Well, at Happy Living we believe health is more than being free from disease. Health is a state of wellbeing in mind and body. Health is a process, a journey, and a practice, spanning all the different areas of life. We have identified seven areas that promote healthy and happy living.
Foundation of Health: Physical fitness
Happiness Action: Dance
Physical fitness might first come to mind when thinking about health. Sometimes we just don’t feel like exercising, but did you know that getting your groove on can put you in a better mood2? Crank up your speakers and get dancing to your favorite song!
Foundation of Health: Mental fitness
Happiness Action: Meditate
Caring for mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness. Meditation can increase happiness & optimism, along with many other benefits3. As with most things that are “good” for us, getting started is the hardest part. Today I’m starting a personal 10-day meditation challenge – add me as a buddy on the Headspace App to join in! (Search for my email, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Foundation of Health: Spiritual fitness
Happiness Action: Connect
Spiritual fitness is the connection between our inner self and something greater. It can be based on faith, found through nature, or observed through science. Tap into a connection that makes you feel happy – visit a close friend, spend time outside, go to a church service, or take a yoga class.
Foundation of Health: Financial fitness
Happiness Action: Give
Financial fitness is having the means to provide for yourself and others – we also like to include giving back when possible. One way to feel happier is to do something for someone else. Boost your happiness by complimenting a stranger, signing up to volunteer, or donating to your favorite charity. Donors Choose is a great organization!
Foundation of Health: Love
Happiness Action: Express
Being in love can make us feel whole. Loving our passions can keep us excited about life. Feeling love in the world around us (even in our food) can help us feel more engaged. Expressing love is a great way to celebrate happiness. Tell someone you love how much you appreciate him or her – cook a nice meal, write a love letter, or simply pick up the phone!
Foundation of Health: Adventure
Happiness Action: Go, Do!
Having a sense of adventure means being open to new possibilities. So often we are afraid of what might happen if we go out on a limb, try something different, or embark on uncharted territories. And yet, adventure can surprise us with joy, novelty, and happiness. Go do something new – big or small – and revel in the happiness of adventure!
Foundation of Health: Significance
Happiness Action: Examine
Significance is a key to happiness and good health. We add meaning to our lives through the pursuit of significance. It is a daily practice in prioritizing what’s most important, so set aside time to examine your priorities and think carefully about the things that are significant to you… and that make you happy!
Image via Death to the Stock Photo