Happiness does not come from being complicated, expensive or fussy. Simple things are often far more effective and pleasing. Think of a gift from a child or a loved one, a simple pressed flower from a shared walk on a lovely afternoon, a lovely bath that's ready for you after a tiring day or a thoughtful compilation of special songs or tunes. Many people would prefer those to an expensive after thought of a gift.
Here are a few of my thoughts, more than twenty simple things to make you happy. What would you include on this list?
1. Clean sheets on the bed, always at the top of many of these lists. Add a few drops of lavender to the final rinse and you should sleep beautifully well.
2. Close the curtains, turn off the main lights, maybe light a candle and relax listening to your favourite music in the dark.
3. Enjoy a luxurious soak in a bubble bath. Use those lovely products you've been saving for the 'right time'. Light candles, warm the towels and allow yourself half an hour 'me' time.
4. Cook a meal for the whole family, lay the table and enjoy being together, eating, sharing some conversation and precious catching-up time.
5. Watch a thunderstorm from the safety of your home. Marvel at the power of nature.
6. Sit and eat lunch. Give yourself some quiet time where you savour your food and relish the opportunity to sit, eat and be still.
7. Buy a bunch of flowers for yourself and put them in a place you'd least unexpect, like the bathroom, so they're there when you take your morning shower.
8. Retrieve your the old photograph albums and reminisce. Enjoy laughing and crying at the different pictures and the memories they evoke. Maybe share the stories with someone close.
9. Adopt a Moon Bear. Being able to give even a small amount to charity includes you in the campaign and if you adopt a child or an animal you will likely receive regular updates on their progress.
10. Get up early and take a walk while the air is still fresh and there are not many people about.
11. Grab an old loaf and go and feed the ducks in the park.
12. Phone a friend and allow time for a leisurely chat.
13. Buy a bar of good quality chocolate and savour each mouthful.
14. Friday afternoon, 4.30pm. Think about the weekend ahead. Make sure there's something planned for you to enjoy, no matter whether you're on your own or with others. Check the local press or online for free concerts, gallery exhibitions, events.
15. Go to the beach. Take a walk on the sand and collect a few shells. Practice skimming pebbles on the sea.
16. Allow an afternoon to catch up on those old films that you have been meaning to watch.
17. Plan a special evening with your partner or friends. Phone and book the date in plenty of time so that everyone's free. You can ask everyone to bring a dish so that you minimise the expense and effort. Ask everyone to glam up a little and make it a special time.
18. Pass on happiness. Smiles are free! Take time to give a compliment, say 'please' and 'thank you'. Make someone else feel good.
19. Go to bed early and read a book. Have some quiet time for yourself.
20. Invite friends round for coffee. All you need is a jar of instant coffee, a packet of biscuits and there you have it, a nice time with friends pencilled in.
21. Maybe borrow a friend's dog and go for a long walk.
22. Marvel at a beautiful baby, the smell of their hair, their perfect fingers and toes, and smile at potential that new life has.
Hope some of these ideas have made you think of ways you can add value to your own days. More than twenty simple things to make you happy! Enjoy and please feel free to add your own!