What makes you happy?

“Some days I wake up with a great sense of happiness… random tranquility, but there are loads of in-betweens and the occasional random sad”.  

And that’s life. 

What makes me happy? When I ask myself that question the first space my mind goes to is the ‘core four’. I travel all over the world on a regular basis and yet when I take my mind into my ‘core four’ space and think of myself, Angie, Oliver and Bonnie I feel a tangible warmth and a fast flow of those happy chemicals that immediately bring a smile to my face and satisfy my soul. Expanding out in an ever increasing circle from the core four I have family and then friends. On the outer ring are strangers, whose impact on your happiness is not to be under estimated . Strangers can show you the milk of human kindness in the most extraordinary ways. But at the core of the four, and it’s the same for all of us – is me. What makes me happy? Not the big things which I’ve already mentioned, but the little things that have a positive impact on me on a daily basis.

The ‘core four’

I would have to say (in no particular order) – a freshly opened packet of Allen’s red frogs (or liquorice bullets), seeing people smile, a good glass of red wine, fresh warm white bread with a slab of butter and ham, Vegemite on toast in the morning (with just the right amount of Vegemite) and greeting a new day at home. And Angie says I’m fussy!

The right butter to Vegemite ratio is important if you are seeking happiness.

Taking a moment out of our day to ponder what makes us happy can give us a timely reminder that no matter what struggles may be going on in our lives in any given moment, a small uplift of happiness is never very far away.  It isn’t to be found just in the bigger life moments like success in business or family holidays – but in something as simple as a thought or memory of a previous happy time.  Not a happier period of time, for this can create a longing for being back there and only serve to magnify the unhappy place you may find yourself in at the present moment. We search our minds for a singular happy moment that has occurred in the past,  a moment so strong, so satisfying that when our minds go back there we can almost immediately feel the same rush of joy as we did in that moment.

When we are beginning to feel swamped by life, we can use flashbacks to pull us out of a mental tailspin. There are also things that surround us every day that make us happy – sometimes we simply forget to think, look or take action to move towards it.

I recently posed the question of “what makes you happy” on my Facebook page and the response showed me that there are a myriad of things within our reach on a daily basis that bring us happiness and comfort our soul.   We simply need to make them a ‘top of mind’ priority. 

Some of my Facebook friends, like Elmo, Angie, Dawn, Paula and Margot all drew great happiness from thinking of or spend time with their babies and grand babies!  Such joy they do bring too.  

What’s the old saying?  “Grandchildren are the reward you receive for not killing your own children!”

Margot also loved coming home and seeing her loved one’s truck in the driveway. 

Debi said that first morning cup of coffee, delivered with a smile from the one she loved brought her great happiness while Chris and Denice said just waking up in the morning made them happy.  It was good to be alive!  

For many Happiness starts with a good cup of coffee!

Donna and Philippa both found happiness in personal growth.  Life is definitely a journey of mental, physical and spiritual development. 

Nature answered the call of happiness for many of my friends.  Brian found great pleasure in having his pet lorikeets walk over the top of his head, while for Kathy it was seeing bees on her citrus trees.  Ben loves the sound of dry leaves crunching under his feet.  Sandy wrote that hearing the morning bird songs float on the air.  “the night is giving way to light and the house is quiet but outside the birds are welcoming a new day. I lie there with a smile and try and picture what the bird is doing, who it is saying hello to and what bird it is”.

Nature can provide an immediate sense of happiness.

Angie, Lesley and Kathy all found great joy in tending to their gardens, while Kirsten found happiness in something as simple as the smell of fresh cut grass.

Mark and Geoff both found happiness in the company of their dogs, with Mark adding “dogs teach us of God’s unconditional love!”  And speaking of God, Rosemary always finds great happiness and comfort reading God’s word!  And that is always within easy reach!

Pam, Lesley, Steve, Kirsty, Troy and Joe all found immediate happiness being near, in, or on top of the ocean, while Paul found happiness in securing some of the rich bounty the ocean offers up.

Happiness is the ocean. (Photo by Troy Lyndon Massey)

Hilton is golf happy, Donna is Christmas happy, while Emma is Sunday afternoon BBQ with a few friends happy. Rodrigo said happiness was listening to a fast and melodic heavy metal band!

James said “cycling on a cold winters morning with mates and watching the sun come up over the sea whilst drinking coffee at the beach – it’s good to be alive”

Libby, Jaimi and Angie all find happiness in having a clean home.  Cleanliness is next to Godliness it is said.  

Whether it’s jigsaw puzzles (Sonya), a game of tennis (Angus) or just being in your own bed after months away (Kym), happiness is always closer than we think.  We just have to take the necessary actions to step towards the light of happiness.  There is nothing to be seen in darkness. 

I’ll leave the last word to Peter, who posted:

“It’s simple , try to do a good deed each day , being nice to people you don’t know , just keep an easy and happy face so all feels comfortable near you , that’s what I try to accomplish every day ….. and next thing you know – you’re happy,  easy!”

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