Seven ways to Happiness

Dr Anthony Claire died three years ago. Do you remember him from BBC Radio 4?

I’ve put this together from a replay of an old BBC radio programme and an article from the Times with Gyles Brandreth.  If you have plans for 2021 why not aim for the greatest challenge of all ‘ happiness?

Number One: Cultivate a passion 

It is important in my model of happiness to have something that you enjoy doing. I like to draw, though there’s not been much life drawing in 2020. What do you like to do but have put off?

Number Two: be a leaf on a tree. 

You have to be both an individual — to have a sense that you are unique and you matter — and you need to be connected to a communit or family of sorts too. We replenish each other: join a club, be a volunteer – get elected in 2021!

Number Three: avoid introspection.

The problem of being introspective is that you may find it difficult to make friends. Put an introspective person in a social group and they tend to talk about themselves. It puts other people off. If, on the other hand, you are a centre of good feeling, people will come to you. Find that inner contentment and share it about.

Number Four: don’t resist change. 

People who are fearful of change are rarely happy. People are wary of change, particularly when things are going reasonably well – but what has gone well in 2020? Find that silver lining, go with the flow but also find ways to do things differently. It may seem hard to do, but variety helps.

Number Five: live for the moment. 

Look at the things that you want to do and you keep postponing. Postpone less of what you want to do, or what you think is worthwhile. Do what makes you happy.

Six: Audit your happiness. 

How much of each day are you spending doing something that doesn’t make you happy? Check it out and if more than half of what you’re doing makes you unhappy, then change it. Go on.

Seven: if you want to be happy, be happy. 

Act it, play the part, put on a happy face. Start thinking differently. If you are feeling negative, say, ‘I am going to be positive,’ and that, in itself, can trigger a change in how you feel.”

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