So apparently today it’s the International Day of Happiness and I’ll be honest, I rarely write posts like this because for the last few years, I’ve not felt overly happy. I’ve had some pretty extensive periods of depression and low mood and trying to force out content about happiness would have seemed dishonest and ingenuine.
And whilst I’m still far from the happiest person in the world, I’m definitely learning to manage these episodes of low mood and turning them around before they get too much. 2023 so far has been a pretty great year too, so I think I’m in a good a place as I’m ever going to be to write something for a day called “International Day of Happiness”.
I also found this quote recently from Matty Healy of the 1975, which said:
“I think that happiness is this destination that we’re taught is so important. I think the constant pursuit of happiness teaches us that when you’re not happy – you’re wrong. But you’re not wrong, you’re just alive.”
Love him or hate him (I know he divides opinions), that’s a mega truthful quote and one I will absolutely be sticking on my fridge.
There are four main things that I think I’m doing right now which have impacted my moods lately and allowed me to lean in to happiness a bit more. Those are:
- Knowing that everything changes and nothing is permanent
- Trying to avoid comparing myself to others
- Looking for happiness in the smaller things (as well as the big things)
And even if I’m not feeling HAPPY, I’m at least feeling content and okay. Which is better than feeling depressed and miserable, I’d say.
I’ve stopped trying to reach this unattainable level of happiness that doesn’t exist. I’ve stopped thinking that if I had everything I wanted, that would instantly and miraculously make me happy because life doesn’t work that way.
I’ve just stopped putting too much pressure on myself to be and feel happy.
And ironically, that’s made me feel better.
So for today’s post, in honour of International Day of Happiness, I wanted to share some things that are making me happy right now. Note I say “right now”, not something that made me happy a year ago.
Here are 6 things that are making me happy right now for International Day of Happiness:
Music, music, music
I’ve always loved music, so this is hardly new or revolutionary. I spent my whole teen years in Camden, going to gigs, listening to music and playing the drums. Music has always been a huge part of my life. But over the last decade or so in particular, I’ve definitely felt that it’s ebbed and flowed with how much of a part it plays in my day to day.
I think I spent so long listening to the same music and not actively seeking out any new bands or artists, I just got a bit bored with it but over the last year or so, my love for music has skyrocketed again and my God, it makes me so happy.
I’m excited about music, discovering new songs and going to a few gigs again – we’ve seen The Darkness a few times in the last few years and saw Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds last Summer, which was amazing.
My current favourites include Paramore (have loved them since day dot and seeing them evolve has been outstanding!), Ghost, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The 1975 (yep, we’re back to those, I just freaking love their music). Music is giving me all the feels at the moment and I am here for it.
Books and reading
Again, not revolutionary in the slightest. Books have been in my life since I was a kid, I’ve always loved reading and this blog wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for books but similarly with the point about music above, I’ve not been this EXCITED about books in a long-ass time.
I’ve read some really great books lately. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone a bit with reading as well, delving into a lot of non-fiction and watching more BookTuber’s as well, which just makes me even more excited about books.
Daily Yoga practice
I know, I’m really predictable and you knew this was going to be on this list as well. Yoga doesn’t just make me feel happy, it makes me feel grounded and safe and that’s a really special feeling to get. I completed the Yoga With Adriene 30 Day Yoga Journey this January for the first time in the time it was designed to be completed and that’s make me so motivated to continue a daily practice.
Some days are fiery, some are gentle and relaxed but knowing I can roll out the mat and spend some dedicated time with myself to move my body in ways that feel good makes me really content and happy.
Eating out in restaurants
I love food and have always been a bit of a foodie but when my anxiety disorder started (way back in 2011), I couldn’t go out to eat in restaurants anymore, I was too scared and anxious about it. Which made me really sad because I always liked to do it. Since around 2018, I’ve started eating out regularly again. I don’t have my anxiety disorder anymore, so eating out brings me nothing but excitement now.
Food is just a great thing to bond with. With family, friends or your significant other, eating out in a restaurant always makes me happy because it allows me to get off my phone for a bit, have genuine conversations that we probably wouldn’t have had at home and also eat some yummy food.
Dog accounts on Instagram
Yes. Yes, this makes the list. Dogs make me INSANELY happy and although I miss my dog Rory to the ends of the Earth and back, it hasn’t deterred me from wanting to get another dog in the future and my partner and I are super excited to welcome a dog into our own home when we move in. But in the meantime, dog accounts are seeing me through!
I’ll definitely be making an account for my dog when I get one and hopefully will be able to connect with other dog mum’s around the world. Dog accounts on Instagram are just so wholesome and lovely, funny, cute and all the good emotions. How can you not love them.
And finally, walking is making me really happy at the moment. Combine a long walk with listening to my favourite music then I am well and truly in my own little happy bubble in my head. I spent ages trying to get into running – always hating it. I spent YEARS doing HIIT workouts – also hating them. But actually doing exercise I like that’s beneficial to my body and mind has been a game-changer.
And walking is definitely one of those things. It’s easy, can be done anywhere, requires nothing but yourself (and some headphones) and away you go. Even better if it’s a beautiful blue sky and there are dogs about to say hello to on the way.
Unsurprisingly, it’s made me really happy writing this post. Imagine that.
I definitely think there’s something in just taking a little bit of time to really think about the things in your life that make you happy, content or laugh. Whether that’s a person, a pet, a place or an object – it really doesn’t matter.
I hope you can lean in to a little bit of happiness this International Day of Happiness, even if it’s just for 5 or 10 minutes. Because we all know life is tough and it can be downright impossible to drag happiness from yourself if you’re in a state of depression.
But remember, the smallest thing can bring the most fleeting moment of happiness and that still counts!
Tell me something that’s making you really happy right now and let’s spread some positivity!
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