Saturday, June 4, 2011

How to be happy

In the January 2011 issue of Real Simple (from the library) the focus is on happiness. I haven’t even gotten into the body of the magazine yet because the Editor’s page captured me. Let’s face it, Editor’s letters aren’t usually the best part of a magazine. They have to go through and point out highlights of that month’s copy and I don’t usually even glance at them.

This one though, struck a chord with me. Delving into how to be happy, she says happiness comes in small doses. When she was young she thought she would be happy when she was grown up and that happiness would coat everything ‘like a blanket of snow, covering everything in sight with a dazzling, seamless beauty’.

Now that she is grown up, she knows that isn’t the truth, and that happiness is more than likely to be found in the little things. Things such as:

- Changing from high heels to slippers when she arrives home.
- Eating a piece of chocolate.
- Watching a funny tv show.
- Reading a short story.
- Hugging.
- Wiping the crumbs from the kitchen counter.

I agree with all of these, and it’s true, they do make you feel happier. In any one day, these things are guaranteed to lift my mood and make me feel happier.

- Clear the dining table of ‘stuff’. Put it all back where it belongs.
- Ditto the living room. Straighten it up.
- Enjoying a cool glass of water.
- Re-watching a favourite tv programme or movie.
- Reading or re-reading a fun and enjoyable chick lit book.
- Going for a walk.
- Enjoying the house after I have vacuumed and dusted.
- Hanging laundry on the line and then bringing it in to fold after a sunny day.
- Using up the last of something – body lotion then recycling the bottle or vegetables in the fridge for a slowcooker meal or soup.
- Putting a casserole on in the Le Creuset and then enjoying the aroma as it cooks
- Decluttering and organising a drawer or cupboard.
- Washing the dishes by hand.
- Finishing off one job before starting another, rather than multi-tasking.
- Presenting a meal to my man and hearing happy noises from him about it.
- Changing the bathroom handtowel frequently so it is always clean and dry.

With the world being such a place of turmoil, both man-made and with natural disasters, it is sometimes easy to feel scared or fearful for the future. I think it's very important to keep our homes as our sanctuary of peace and order. An oasis to come back to.

And by giving out an energy of positivity and calm, we not only keep ourselves healthy and happy, but it affects others around us in a good way too.

We do what we can for those close to us who are in need of help, or by donating to charities, but it's not going to do anyone any good if we fall to bits. By taking small bites of happiness where we can will go a long way to helping us enjoy this precious, short life that we have.

Image from this cool post on Audrey H


  1. Good point, well made.
    I must make more effort to make my home the haven you suggest.
    I do already take pleasure in small happenings.

  2. hi fiona,

    i don't know who told me this a long time ago, as a young mother but it was...happiness is an inside job. that always stuck w/me b/c it's so true. the house, car, kids, husband is nice but to be really happy it comes from within. thanks for reminding me today. also, thank you for your way too sweet comment today. i've never modeled and only allow 5 attempts at any one shot be it food, interior or me.

    my favorite happy moment of ea day is climbing back into bed with a cup of tea and a slice of toast. that is my heaven.


  3. I feel like you got into my heart with your words. I always thought I was a little strange for taking pleasure in small things like clearing off a table or counter, a cold beverage, etc, but I really do. Sometimes when I'm down these things keep me going and bring a smile back to my face.

  4. Home keeping and the rhythm and routine of domestics are a great source of happiness for me too.

    I feel that it is the simple things that bring exquisite joy.

    Funny about the dining room table...
    mine is usually clear but I went shopping this week for my granddaughter's first birthday and it has toys and some new shoes and clothes on top!

    Being a grammy=happiness.

  5. Wonderful article! I agree, life is short. Thank you for such "happy" ideas! I love your blog

  6. It is definitely the simple things in life that make me happy - family, friends, fresh flowers, walks in beautiful parks, laughing with loved ones to name a few...Happy weekend to you, Fiona! Cathi xxoo :)

  7. Lovely post Fiona. I especially like your point about enjoying the house when it's all been cleaned and smelling gorgeous.
    Writing in my Gratitude Journal every night helps give me a reminder of all the wonderful things that made me happy/grateful/smile that day; including a text from Hubby when I least expect it, a cold glass of water when I'm really thirsty, the smell of gorgeous candles in the house.....I could go on, but I won't.

  8. Great reminder. I also think that to some degree being happy is a choice. Appreciating the small joys in the day is a great place to start.


  9. I've found that you have to decide to be happy instead of waiting for it to come to you. By owning the decision, you can take pleasure in the "little" things like a cup of tea in a pretty china cup with a hobnob, hearing your husband say, "This is SO good!" when you serve dinner, or the smell of spring flowers and fresh fruit. These pleasures are priceless and have more to do with our attitude throughout the day than whether or not we feel catered to or honored by the whims of others.

  10. Your list of little things is so spot-on and you've really summed it all up beautifully. Yes, sunshine, family, friends, a nice glass of wine, a macaroon, a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning...all little things which give me an instant feeling of being lucky and happy. Have a great Sunday, Love from London xo

  11. Hello Fiona:
    First, what a joyous picture of Audrey Hepburn. A wonderful way to start and illustrate your most thought-provoking post.

    We do so agree that the pursuit of happiness is rarely attained by those who seek some magical solution to life's problems or yearn for 'the big one'. No, it is, as you say, in those very ordinary everyday things, the minutiae of daily life in which true contentment is to be found.

    We have much enjoyed reading through your previous posts and shall return for more.

  12. It really is about the small things we find pleasure in. I've been noticing that as I tidy up my house and checking things off a list.

  13. Hi Fiona,

    Love this post! The photo is joyous and thanks for the reminder of all the petite riens in life that make it wonderful.

    You've reminded me of my favourite things daily things to do, which are: apply eyeliner & tidying the kitchen and bathrooms! :)

    A bientot,

  14. Great post, Fiona. I wholeheartedly agree! Bess

  15. Great job fiona! I think I was one of the first two, wasn't I?
    It's funny you and I are the exact same weight and height now. I was setting a goal of 135, but it looks like you are going for even more. Keep us posted. You have inspired me! Bathing suit here I come
    Kristi B.

  16. Kristi, yes, you and Stephanie. How funny we are the same height and weight. I've finally worked out I might be an hourglass. You too?


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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