Its official according to an 80-year study on happiness just released by Harvard, money doesn’t make you happy. Close relationships (more than money or fame) are the thing that makes us happiest!
Here’s ten top tips to keep your relationships healthy and maximise your happiness:
A letter of gratitude. Think of someone who has really helped you (e.g. given you time or supported you). Write them a letter, from the heart, that says how wonderful they are and what they mean to you. Then read it to them. Spread some love and happiness.
The postage stamp remedy. If you're stinging from an online or social media comment someone has posted write the names of everyone whose opinion you truly care about in a one-inch square. If the criticism comes from one of them think about it. If not ignore it.
Curate a happy moments list. and stop stressing about what you don't have. Write a list of the top 10 happiest moments of your life. The general rule is that happiness comes from doing stuff rather than accumulating stuff. You'll realise that most of the things on your list are ‘experiences' rather than ‘products'. Set your stall out to have more experiences.
Let go of grievances. Carrying a grievance is a bit like carrying a hand-grenade around with you; it keeps blowing up in your face. You're only hurting yourself. Let go and feel the stress disappear.
Study the "happies". Why are they happy? How do they maintain it? Their zest isn't linked to caffeine and sugar. The key ingredient is in their heads - and it's in your head too. There's nothing ‘missing' as such, but we've just forgotten about it. Allow your inner wisdom to shine through. The truth is this: if there's something missing in your life, it's probably you.
Calculate your happiness. According to the esteemed researchers at the University of London's Institute of Education, here are some monetary values of happiness:
- Seeing friends and relatives is equivalent to a pay rise of £64k a year
- Having nice neighbours is worth £37k a year
- Excellent health is estimated to be worth £300k a year to you
We sincerely hope you can tick some of the boxes above, in which case, please do your sums. If you can tick them all then you can kick off 2018 £401,000 richer. That should put a spring in your step.
Sleep on it. We're cramming so much in to life that something has to give and, often, that ‘something' is sleep. Continuing the money theme, a University of Warwick study found that improving your sleep quality leads to levels of mental and physical health comparable to those of somebody who's won a jackpot of around £200,000. If getting more sleep is equivalent to a lottery win we suggest you treat yourself and your family to a guaranteed winning ticket.
Let someone else worry for you. Are you a worrywart? Gav and Andy have set up www.weworry4u.co.uk, where you can send your worry so they can do the worrying and overthinking for you. It will be just as effective.
Be a hugger. The average hug lasts 2.1 seconds but for the love to transfer a hug needs to last 7 seconds or longer (but warned, counting out loud spoils the effect).
Stop, look and listen. As we hurtle through life, it's sometimes pertinent to use the rules of the green cross code and stop, look and listen. Slow down a teensy bit and notice what I call the ‘beautiful ordinary' - the sunrise, raindrops, dewy cobwebs, misty mornings, smiling children, stars. Happiness is available, on tap, when you know which time zone to look in. Quit waiting for happiness ‘over there' and tune into the infinite wonder of ‘now'.
SHINE rediscovering your energy, happiness and purpose by Dr Andy Cope and Gavin Oattes is out now, published by Capstone and available on Amazon £10.99