Health & happiness

This makes me happy

This post is all about the little things that make me happy, that actually aren’t so little at all. Just writing these down has made me feel all warm and happy inside, which just goes to show how much they actually mean to me. While happiness is experienced in a different way by everyone, for most of us it is the one thing we strive to achieve in life.

When I was in high school I had a friend who was very smart and went on to study at the University of Cambridge. He spent all his time studying and didn’t go out much. He had few friends and all he ever talked about was his ‘future’; he was working for his ‘future’ and sacrifices would have to be made ‘now’. It always made me a little sad to watch him. He didn’t seem very happy to me and I just couldn’t help thinking that if something were to happen to him he hadn’t really lived at all. Thankfully that didn’t happen and though we lost touch, I hear he’s doing well.

Happiness is in the little things

Most people I know are living their lives like my Cambridge friend: always in a hurry, striving for something great, something that will surely make them unimaginably happy. People can’t really ‘be’ anymore, they have to run and chase their dreams and end up missing all the little things. I’m guilty of this too, by the way, I’m also very future-focused and rarely stand still to love my present life. I’m sure you’ve heard people say that happiness is in the little things; all the things you already have but probably take for granted. While most of us know it’s true, we don’t really live by it. Below I’ve listed five things that make me happy; right now, not in the future.

1. The first sip of my morning cup of coffee

The word ‘morning’ is crucial here, because I only experience this rush of happiness with my first sip of coffee in the morning. I usually only have 1 cup a day, but if I’m very busy I’ll have another one. However, it never tastes as good as the first one. It’s a little moment of happiness; the smell alone is heavenly. I like to really enjoy it, by not taking my coffee into a meeting or quickly gulping it down behind my computer. I give that first cup my full attention and enjoy every sip. It’s such a small thing, but makes me feel so good!

2. Reading a great book

This makes me happy: reading a great book is bliss, it’s almost therapeutic for me. It takes me away from whatever troubles I have and if it’s a really good book, it makes me forget all about them. I love it when you’re so into a story you can’t put the book down and it stays with you all throughout the day, until that moment after dinner when you can pick it up and continue. A really good book isn’t just about the words, the sentences and the story – it creates a feeling. A feeling no television show or movie has ever given me. When I’m sitting in my favourite spot on the couch or on my balcony in the evening sun reading a good book I can honestly say that I am very happy.

3. Driving to work in the summer

Taking a drive to work in the summer, with clear blue skies, when the roads are empty because everyone’s on vacation is definitely one of my little happy moments. I open all the windows and listen to my favourite songs while the wind plays with my hair and only my left arm gets tanned. I don’t even mind traffic jams in the summer – though this rarely happens because everyone has left the country. The freedom I feel when driving my car is so empowering and the warm air, blue sky and summer smells just enhance the feeling. There’s nothing like it and it makes me so happy.

4. That moment after a good workout

Cliché, I know, but so true. I can dread going to the gym as much as anyone else, but I do it all for the walk home, which is when I feel great. Especially on Sunday, when the weather is good and I have nothing to do all day. I have to drag myself out of bed (literally) to go to the gym but it does so much for my mood. The walk home is heaven: I listen to my favourite music while feeling my muscles ache and looking forward to making myself a big lunch without feeling guilty. That’s a happy Sunday!

5. Summer vacation

This may not qualify as a ‘little thing’ but my summer vacation is definitely at the top of my list. Just look at all the happiness in the photos above this post! All my happy summer memories combined :-). Whenever I need a ‘happy place’ to go to in my mind, that’s where I go. I spend most of my summers in the South of France or Corsica, a French island in the Mediterranean Sea which I highly recommend!! My summer vacation is everything – it’s when I let everything go and completely recharge. It makes me happy. I love the feeling of the warm sun on my skin, the saltiness of my hair and my feet in the hot sand. I love that I don’t even have to wear make-up (my fabulous tan is enough!) and spend all my time in my bikini and espadrilles. There’s just nothing like it and the reason it remains so sacred is because it’s only once or twice a year. Also, it’s the only time you’re allowed to have like six meals a day and a drink at 11 am ;-).

Some happy things to think about! Please share your happiest moments in the comments below, I’d love to read them!

Emmelyn X

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