Step Six: Hobbies and leisure pursuits

 

Having hobbies and ways to creatively express ourselves can also significantly boost our feelings of happiness. Why not try taking a class of something you have always wanted to do? When we creatively express ourselves we experience a deep sense of personal satisfaction, pride and achievement which all work to boost our happiness. Check out Tasterlab for an extensive directory of hobby taster classes.

 

Likewise, having leisure pursuits is essential as they serve to both reduce stress, relax us and are a valuable source of fun and enjoyment. I have an unlimited cinema card which I pay for monthly so when I need to relax I can get lost in a movie. Other fun leisure pursuits include bowling, a meal at a restaurant, fishing, roller-skating, exhibitions and museums and even karaoke with friends.

 

Step Seven: A healthy sleeping routine

 

Another staple for any happy life is a stable sleeping routine. Sleep reduces stress and has been found to improve our emotional resilience. If you suffer from sleep disturbance and find it hard to get to sleep visit Sleepio, an online sleep programme that has been clinically proven to help you overcome poor sleep.

 

When I first began to work at cultivating my own happiness I came across a book by Gretchen Ruben called The Happiness Project. Like me, Gretchen asks the question as to whether we can cultivate happiness in our lives. In the process she test drives the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research and lessons from popular culture, all in her bid to become happier. The book has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over a year and has inspired thousands of people to begin their very own happiness projects. If you would like to continue your journey to a happier life you can find out more about Gretchen’s work on her site at www.gretchenrubin.com. The website has its own tips and quizzes on happiness and an excellent blog that explores how we can all develop happier lives.

 

In truth, we all want to be the happiest we can be and although happiness often seems that it is governed by external events, our happiness is within our control. By making a few simple lifestyle changes we can all become happier – happiness needn’t be elusive to us anymore! Join me in the growing population that are pro-actively taking steps to increase our happiness, you’ll have fun, I’m sure of it.

 

Exercises:

 

  1. Hobbies and leisure pursuits:Take a taster class for an interest you have always wanted to try – Tasterlab is fabulous for this. Take part in at least one leisurely activity per week, such as going to the cinema or bowling. 
  2. Sleep:If you frequently have poor sleep and struggle to nod off sign up for Sleepio, a CBT based online course proven to help improve sleep.

 

Further resources:

 

‘The Happiness Project’ by Gretchen Rubin, available on Amazon

‘The Happiness Project One Sentence Journal: A Five Year Record’ by Gretchen Rubin, available on Amazon

‘GUIDED Mindfulness CD Series’ by Jon Kabat-Zinn, available on Amazon

www.tasterlab.com a full local directory of taster classes for various hobbies

www.sleepio.com an online course which has been proven to improve sleep