Many years ago I worked in the same part of London as where I lived. Every Friday lunchtime I went to the market stall and bought bunches of flowers to arrange in my flat and enjoy over the weekend and into the following week. Fresh flowers have always made me smile and as my husband and I had just bought our first home together I wanted to make it welcoming and cosy. My workmates were highly amused by my routine, greeting me with exclamations of ‘ Hey, Friday Flowers!’ when I walked in the door with my bouquet of blooms.
It was such a simple way of giving myself a happiness boost. It didn’t cost a lot, or take much effort, but I felt like I was treating myself every week with something that would continue to make me smile for several days to come. I fell out of this routine, probably when I worked further away from my home, but recently I’ve been getting back into the habit and I love having fresh flowers around the house again.
What are your ‘Friday Flowers’? Is it taking a candlelit bath, having tea and cake in a local cafe or going for a bike ride? Perhaps it’s curling up to read uninterrupted for a couple of hours, or it’s taking a yoga class. I’m willing to bet whatever it is that makes you smile and lifts your heart doesn’t cost much or require hours of your time. But I also bet that you don’t do it very often. You’re busy taking care of everyone else and putting their welfare before your own.
Making your own happiness a priority is absolutely not being selfish, just in case you’re thinking it is. When you’re feeling good you’re much more able to deal with everything life throws at you, take care of those around you and be a cheery person to be around. You might need to move a couple of things around to find the time or money but what a reward you’ll get for making that effort! I’ve even drawn stick people to illustrate how your happiness benefits others in this post.
So, when you think of it like that, your ‘Friday Flowers’ isn’t so much of a treat as more of a necessity, wouldn’t you say?
PS Happy Paper Club launches on Sunday 1 March, yes, this coming Sunday! There are a limited number of boxes available so be sure to sign up for the newsletter so you’ll know the moment you can join Happy Paper Club. Go to the website to check out all the details.
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How was your week? Whizzed by in a bit of a blur? I bet there were several things that were pretty top-notch about your week, but can you remember them a few days later? Taking a moment at the end of each day to jot down three things that were good about your day not only helps improve your mood long-term, it also helps you remember the good stuff in the short-term!
Here’s a handful of what had me smiling last week…
:: the little stick people I sketched to illustrate the point that your happy mood has a positive impact on someone three people away from you seemed to tickle and hit home with some of you!
:: we’ve had a few sunny days, hooray! I was most intrigued by this cloud formation that looks a bit like a cyclone funnel sliced in half…
:: I had several little chunks of time to sit and read. Oprah Winfrey’s book, What I Know For Sure, is a collection of her magazine columns and makes for great, thought-provoking reading
:: I asked you to nominate someone who could do with a little mood boost in the form of a Happy Post Day giveaway and I loved the response! You’re a kind and generous bunch, you lovely people
:: my new food processor was delivered (yay for finding forgotten birthday gift vouchers!) so I’ve been having a play and will be trying out some Deliciously Ella recipes very soon
Take a moment to think about the highlights of last week, recalling happy memories has been proven to make you feel happier in the present. Whatever it was that made you smile I’d love you to share them with me in a comment below, or link me up on twitter, instagram or facebook.
PS Happy Paper Club launches in less than a week – on Sunday 1 March! Go to the website to check out all the details.
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I’m hugely interested in the field of positive psychology and I read something a while ago that I find so incredible I have to share it! (I have already mentioned this on facebook but now I’ve drawn stick people to illustrate it!)
Research has shown that your good mood can make someone three degrees away from you, someone you’ve never even met, feel happier. So, your cheeriness doesn’t just make the workmate you sit next to feel good, and not just your workmate’s husband, but also your workmate’s husband’s friend!
And there’s more. Social scientists, Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, estimate that there are nearly 1,000 people within three degrees of ourselves. This means that your good mood can have a positive effect on up to 1,000 people, and you’ve never met most of them!
Pretty amazing, right? I learned this from one of my favourite happiness psychology experts, Shawn Achor. I’ve read both of his books, The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness, and can really recommend them if you’re interested in this topic. A quick read that’s worth checking out also is Science of Happiness by Manuel Kraus. I’ve no affiliation, this isn’t a sponsored post of any kind, I just find it all fascinating!
So next time you’re running yourself ragged trying to make everyone else happy, just remember that by making your own happiness a priority you’re doing another 1,000 people a favour.
Some days you just need a small moment of joy to turn a rubbish day into a half-decent one. 17 Feb is Random Acts of Kindness Day, and while it’s not very random as I do it every few weeks, I’ve giving away a Happy Post Day! This time I want to send a wee bundle of the green gables’ stationery to someone you think could do with cheering up.
Let me know who you think would benefit from a Happy Post Day by leaving a comment below. You can also enter on my instagram pic (you’re already here but you might want to have a nosy over there too). I’ll pick a winner after midday GMT on Wednesday 18 February so lots of luck! If you’d like to share this post with your buddies on social media that would be jolly lovely of you too.