You don’t need to be suffering from
depression to find life grey and dismal at times; we’re
all prone to feeling stressed, tired, down and aimless.
We can’t always see a solution to feeling like that, so
we go on coping with life without feeling much pleasure
in things or appreciating what we have.
Can it be different?
How many times have we heard of people learning to
appreciate life and ‘living like there’s no tomorrow’
after a life threatening event? And we all feel good for
those people to have found a new chance.
But why do we have to wait until our lives, or the lives
of those dear to us, are threatened before we take
notice of the joy around us?
That’s not to say we should ignore the sad aspects of
life or pretend we don’t have any pressures or stresses
on us, because they are important too. But surely we can
find time every day just to value what we have and
appreciate the fact that we are alive.
How can we appreciate life more?
We could remind ourselves of the bad experiences we have
survived as an example of how much better things now
are, but that is still a fairly negative approach.
Instead, we can make ourselves much happier to
concentrate on the good things and even on how we can
improve things for ourselves and others.
Here are some quick ways you can add happiness to your
life each day:
Each night as you go to bed,
list the 6 things you are most grateful for that
day. If you’re having trouble counting to six,
remember the little things such as having a roof
over your head, food to eat, eyes to read this with
and friends who care.
Read positive quotes and
stories. A quote takes only seconds or a minute to
read so even the busiest of people can fit this in.
Stop what you are dong and
stretch your arms and legs. Feel the sensations of
stretching and the pleasure of using muscles.
Go out of your way to thank
someone for what they are doing. It doesn’t have to
be something they do for you – maybe thanks the
lollipop lady for helping children stay safe, a
stacker for keeping supermarket shelves full or a
recycler for saving resources.
Smile. Yep, that’s all it takes
– just smile occasionally even if no one is there to
Have a cuddle. Find a child,
lover, pet, teddy bear or friend and cuddle them
Wear things you like – perfume,
after shave lotion, jewellery, favourite clothes.
Wear them and enjoy wearing them rather than leaving
them stored for rare ‘special occasions’.
Contact a friend or relative
and chat about unimportant things – use email if you
haven’t got time for a long phone call or visit.
Eat and drink slowly – it is
less stressful on your body and mind and gives you
time to actually taste it. Experience the textures
on your tongue, too.
Take notice of nature. Watch a
sunrise or sunset, literally smell a flower, listen
to the rain on a roof, walk on some autumn leaves
and breathe in some fresh air. Taking a few seconds
to appreciate beauty and nature is a great way to
forget your worries and bring a smile to your face.
Indulge in a hobby. If you
can’t actually do it every day, read, talk or
daydream about it instead.
Save time online is a great source
of information for Australians interested in getting the
best from the internet but still having time for
pleasure after wards. Tash Hughes is one of the owners
of this free site that can be found at