Tag Archives: Project

Happiness Project – Week V

8 Dec

I once read somewhere (possibly in the Conversations With God series) that in order to know who we are, we must first know who we are not. Could the same theory work for happiness? During this past month of my Happiness Project, I have come to realise a few key things that make me unhappy.

I have written a list of these things below, with an accompanying reminder that could help me reverse my thought process and turn unhappiness into positivity.

 

Things that make me unhappy (and their antidote):

1)      Thinking about the future.

2)      Comparing myself to other people.

3)      Trying to live up to other people’s expectations.

4)      Focusing too much on myself.

5)      Being too busy.

6)      Spending too much energy on my job.

7)      Living by other people’s rules/beliefs/values.

8)      Judging myself – negatively.

9)   Losing faith and hope.

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What kinds of things/thoughts bring negativity into your life?

In what way can you reverse these to create joy and fulfilment?

Happiness Project – Week III

24 Nov

Two weeks ago I realised that I was unhappy. I started a Happiness Project with a list of activities to introduce into my everyday life in order to bring positivity back into my life.

Thoughts on Week III of the Happiness Project:

1) It makes me happy to help or to bring joy into the lives those around me. A day seems almost unfulfilled if I haven’t made that little effort to do something for the people I love.

2) Helping someone – from the heart – and knowing that my action has made even the smallest difference fills me with positive emotions.

3) We cannot judge other people’s happiness and we cannot let other people by a judge of ours.

It makes me happy to look out of the window and watch the trees sway.

It makes me happy to take walks on dark cold evenings.

It makes me happy to live in a place where I cannot hear cars going past.

It makes me happy to not wear make-up every day.

It makes me happy to sing along to pop music as I work.

This is certainly not everyone’s idea of happiness, but if we listen to everyone’s idea, we can wave our happiness goodbye.

4) Being in contact with those less fortunate than ourselves can transform our outlook on life. It makes us realise how lucky we are to have all the basic things we take for granted: a home, a job/an income and regular meals. When we have these three things, what could stop us creating a life of happiness, peace and love? In most cases, only our thoughts.

 

 

Aims for Week IV:

Take one step towards making one dream come true.

Happiness Project – Week II

17 Nov

Two weeks ago I realised that I was unhappy. I started a Happiness Project with a list of activities to introduce into my everyday life in order to bring positivity back into my life.

Here are my thoughts on Week II of the Happiness Project:

1) It makes me happy to have a day with a range of activities. It is most satisfying to have had a day with both mental, physical and creative activities.

2) There is not enough time in the week to do all of the things I’d like to do. But even doing one or two of these things brings joy and fulfilment.

3) Unexpected activities can bring more happiness than planned ‘happiness’ activities. I guess we can never plan out a happy day/week/life

4) Doing things for and with others brings me happiness. I often read in magazines and self-development books that we should ‘do something for ourselves’ to feel happier, but events in the past week seem to show the contrary.

5) My Happiness Project is really shedding light onto things that are very important, important, not important and unrelated to my happiness. Trying to implement my happiness resolutions into my everyday life shows whether or not doing certain things actually makes any difference to how I feel.

6) Some of my reasons for being unhappy are stupid. Yes, I admit it. But they are also things we have been made to believe by adverts and society. They are thoughts in the mind, yet how to get rid of them? First step – acceptance.

7) Things such as the passing of time, change and the future have been causing anxiousness in me for the first time in ten months. My thoughts about these things are usually full of doubt and worry. This leads to a state of nervousness and stress. Question to ask myself: why am I scared of these things?

jumping happiness8 ) Doing nothing and having too much free time brings unhappiness. I have noticed this both in myself and in others. The people who say that they did ‘absolutely nothing’ on their day off are the ones with the least energy and positivity. The people with activities and hobbies keep their body and minds active, avoiding laziness, apathy and over thinking. The latter group have no time to worry about the future because they are constantly living in and enjoying the present.

9) We can if we want to, but a lot of times we just can’t be bothered/are scared/give excuses/settle for the easy option/take the safe path/don’t believe/don’t want to fail…the list can go on. This week, we managed to get tickets for a fully-booked concert through research, phone calls and negotiation. At the beginning of the week, our attitude was “It’s fully-booked, why bother wasting time if we won’t get the tickets, anyway?”. It seems like there is always a solution!

10) Our happiness is not the most important thing on earth, contrary to modern popular thought. Our happiness should not be more important than respect towards others, helping, gratitude, thoughtfulness, care, effort, amongst many others. We cannot let our mood affect our relationships and our communication with others. I met people this week who were homeless and unemployed, yet they smiled, said please and thank you with genuine emotions, and wished everyone an excellent day. This taught me a lesson about taking out my bad mood on my close ones.

***

Aims for Week III:

-Give more energy to doing and sharing things with the people close to me.

-Remind myself of all that I am grateful to have.

-Go rollerblading.

 

Happiness Project – Week 1

10 Nov

It’s been one week since the start of my happiness project. I am proud (and happy!) to say that I managed to do 9 of the 15 activities on my list:

1) (Go for a walk every day)

I went for a walk every day. However, some of these walks were simply to get from A to B, whereas others were evening walks specifically to calm down and clear the mind. I realised just what a positive effect the latter have on my state of mind and my ability to wind down at the end of the day.

2) (Wake up at the same time every day)

I started waking up earlier. Much earlier. So early that my working day was finished by 1pm. And this is thanks to the fact that I…

3) (Go to bed before midnight, or preferably at 11pm)

Went to bed before midnight. Once I even went to bed at 10pm! On other days I managed 11.30.

5) (Do some sport every day)

I did sport…but only three times in the week. I danced in my living room, blasting Britney Spears and Black Eyed Peas music (into my headphones). I felt like I shook out all of the negative energy that had been building up in me over the past few weeks. I also did one yoga practice and went to one dance class. It’s a good start, but I feel like I need more.

7) (Buy myself something pretty to wear)

I went to a special clothes sale where I bought myself some very nice skirts and dresses for a very nice price. I haven’t worn any of them yet (still in the wash!), but it feels nice to have renewed my wardrobe a bit.

10) (Go to a new place in the city every week)

I went to an art gallery, to which I had wanted to go for months. It’s only a fifteen minute walk away from my home, so it was about time that I finally got there! Although I didn’t find the exhibition particularly interesting, I enjoyed looking through the gallery catalogue and finding out about various artists and photographers. It made me want to take photos, draw and create.

11) (Try a new recipe every week)

Today I tried a new recipe for a healthy cake. Half of it is already eaten! I also revisited a recipe that I hadn’t done for over a year. It reminded me that I love cooking; I love giving myself a whole afternoon to make something, to create something that will bring happiness to the ones I love and to learn something new. My cooking sessions are also accompanied by music and singing; today I discovered two singers that will definitely go onto my playlist.

12) (Buy a juice making machine, and drink fresh fruit juice at least three times a week)

Although I did not buy a juice-making machine or make fresh fruit juice, I did eat fruit every day, which I haven’t done for a long while. I immediately felt, and tasted, the magic of natural vitamins. I could feel my body rejoicing in having received this healthy energy.

14) (Go to one new social event a week – alone)

I went to a singing class. I met friendly and open people, I had a lot of fun and I sang out loud on my own in front of a group of strangers! I was enjoying myself so much that I didn’t even care about being out of tune and off beat. The singing class filled me with loads of positive energy and I realised that music is a sort of meditation for me: while singing or playing an instrument I am so concentrated on my activity that I forget everything else. I lose track of time, my mind clears of all thoughts and I simply let go.

***

Aims for week 2:

-Do not make ‘other people’ and excuse for not doing any of the set activities on a given day – there is always a way to make time for the things we would like to do.

 -Meditate. What’s holding me back from doing sport, considering I used to do dance, aerobics, yoga and jogging regularly? Why do I feel guilty giving myself the opportunity to do something I enjoy? Why do I resist setting aside time to pamper myself? I know I want to sing and continue learning to play the guitar…so why do I not take the step to do so?

I leave you with an awesome song that I listened to quite a few times this week. I think you’ll understand why it’s part of my ‘happy’ playlist.

 

Week 2 of my Happiness Project starts now! (Oops, it’s already past my bedtime!).

Happiness Project

3 Nov

“I am not happy”, the thought that we all dread came to me earlier this week. I realised that I am no longer happy in the city to which I moved ten months ago, I am no longer happy with my lifestyle and I am no longer taking pleasure in my every day life.

I feel a loss of energy, a loss of interest and a loss of motivation. I don’t remember the last time that I sung in the shower. It’s been months since I blasted out my favourite music and danced alone in the living room. And don’t ask me what I look forward to when I wake up in the morning, because I simply don’t have an answer.

It’s tragic, it’s heart breaking, but most of all, it’s very confusing.

Figuring out why we are not happy is a very difficult thing. Figuring out what to do to make ourselves happy is even harder.

Even if we find out why we are not happy, there could be things about certain situations that we simply cannot change. We cannot always move away if we’re unhappy with the place in which we live, we cannot always leave our job if we know that it is making us stressed, we cannot always heal ourselves if we are unwell, we cannot change the people around us if they are bringing negativity into our lives.

So what can we do if we realise that we are unhappy?

For the moment, I am not going to leave my current city, I am not going to change my job and I am not (and cannot) transport my best friends to my city. All I can do is to change a few things in my every day life, which could give me energy, inspiration and joy.

My happiness project for the next month is as follows:

1) Go for a walk every day.

Promenade

2) Wake up at the same time every day (apart from Sundays, of course).

3) Go to bed before midnight, or preferably at 11pm.

4) Find a music teacher and practice the guitar every day.

girl guitarist

5) Read a fairytale.

6) Buy myself something pretty to wear.

7) Go to see a classical music concert.

8 ) Do some sport every day. Dancing, yoga, aerobics, jogging, stretching, walking with heavy shopping bags…

9) Do something that I am scared of (call to ask for a job opportunity, enter a competition, apply for a course, book a trip away, start writing a novel)

10) Go to one new social event a week – alone.

11) Write one story or poem a week.

12) Set an evening every week for personal pampering.  Beauty treatments, meditation, learning how to do a new hair style, taking a bath, listening to music with eyes closed…

13) Try a new recipe every week.

14) Buy a juice making machine, and drink fresh fruit juice at least three times a week.

15)  Go to a new place in the city every week.

16) Edit any of the above points if they start making me unhappy.

17) Create a blog-report on each week of the happiness-project.

 

My happiness project starts today – I have five minutes to get myself ready for bed in time for my curfew!

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What activities would you put on your own happiness-project list?