I came across a journal entry that I had written to myself several years ago. It felt pertinent to write about it now, to not only remind myself to live in the moment and feel happiness but also to help others remember and reconnect to that happy place. We can get so caught up in the pace of each and every day that we can become almost robotic.

As a mum and running my own naturopathy clinic, I too, can get caught up in the grind of each day. I love spending time with my family and miss them when I am working. The following story reminds me to stay present and appreciate each and every moment of each and every day.

“It was a beautiful day and my daughter and I just had to go to the park to enjoy the sunshine. We took our dog Sabre so that he could run around in the doggy park whilst Sienna could play and explore in the children’s park area. Sienna loves the swing and will just sit there for ages going back and forth. But this is not the story…..

It was on the way home that I was brought back to the simplicity of life. I was walking home with Sienna on my back. We were talking about the birds and the trees. Then all of a sudden Sienna came out of the blue and said “Mummy I’m happy”. It took me by surprise, only because it’s not something that you would think to come out of a 2 year old.  I proceeded to ask her what made her happy and made a point of listing all the things in life that made her happy.

The point of this story is to get you to think about what makes you happy. Children are in touch with the moment. They will sit and play and just be in the moment rather than worry about what they are going to do for the rest of the day. Children will feel and say things as they feel it, rather than worrying about something that may or may not happen tomorrow.

As a busy adult, do you take the time regularly to feel happy, blessed, or joyful? Can you list all the things that make you happy? Do you give gratitude or thanks for the things in your life? Or do you find yourself constantly worrying about things?

Some of my clients will admit they are ‘worriers’ that their family say they will worry about anything. If you find yourself worrying all the time, ask yourself – ‘Will this issue matter in 1 year, 5 years or 10years?’ If the answer is ‘No’ then thank the thought for coming to you, let it go and redirect your thoughts to being in the present moment or create a list of things that you are happy and joyful about.

By listing all of the things in your life that make you happy you are able to keep these things in the forefront of your mind. This makes you a happier person in general and this will then breed happiness. Happiness is contagious. You will feel almost childlike again!

Checklist to help enhance your happiness:

  • Record the events/people/occasions that make you happy each day. Keep a notepad where you just record those things that make you happy.
  • Take regular time out from your life to appreciate nature – e.g sit on the beach and just admire the waves, the sky, the birds, or go to a park.
  • Enjoy the company of happy people. Create friendships with happy people who enjoy life. Avoid or limit the time spent with ‘whingers’ and negative people – I call them ‘energy robbers’. Just as happiness is contagious, so is negativity.
  • Take time out to laugh regularly. Did you know that there is a statistic that suggests that children laugh 300-400 times per day, whereas adults only laugh 15 times per day. That is a tremendous difference! Watch a comedy movie, read a comedy book, or watch the antics of children… whatever tickles your “funny bone”.
  • Place pictures around your office or home that make you smile – this could be pictures of loved ones, or pictures of something silly.

Creating this happiness will help reduce the energy draining thoughts, help you feel more positive, vital, and able to handle each and every day.

Children tend to show us lessons that we sometimes miss otherwise. I am thankful to my children for the many reminders. I think it is a gift to be able to see through a child’s eyes occasionally and be in the moment and express our happiness.

What’s on your happiness list for today?