If I asked what makes you happy, would you know?
Have you ever truly sat down and thought about it?
If we are fortunate enough, when we are young it might be easier to tap into our own happiness. I was lucky enough to get opportunities to explore different avenues that could bring me happiness. We spent time with different types of people, we learnt different subjects at school, different sports during P.E. and subjects such as media and photography. Or if your school offered an enrichment week, like mine did, you might try something completely new like the theatre or skiing.
I know I write this from a position of privilege, yet there is something about our younger selves that is ready to absorb happy things that come our way. Perhaps it is that we have yet to build up barriers to protect ourselves.
And then as we grow up, we start to focus on certain hobbies and career ideas and eventually a lifestyle that either we know brings us joy or we have just landed in due to circumstance.
But what happens throughout different seasons of life? A new job, a new location, a larger family. We adapt, and of course, we change and grow but our knowledge of what might make us happy, in this new scenario, doesn’t always grow with us.
So, ask yourself… do you know what makes you happy and do you do what makes you happy?
I truly believe it is a subject that we need to revisit and explore regularly, to keep in touch with and update.
‘It is well known that the mind-body connection is a strong one. Happiness can lower stress hormone levels in the body, which in turn can improve your physical health. Happiness is also associated with a better-functioning immune system, which is critical for staying healthy.’
If you are not sure how to begin to answer this question you could consider people, place, work, and hobbies.
Here are some questions you could ask yourself:
- When did I last belly laugh?
- What is a small thing that brings me joy?
- Who makes me smile?
- If I had a whole day to myself, with no chores to do, how would I spend it?
- Is there anything new I’ve been hoping to try?
- Is there a friend I’d like to see or book some time in with?
- What motivates me?
- When do I feel content?
- What’s my definition of a great day?
- What are my favourites: food, drink, place, season.
And if you are feeling these questions aren’t deep enough, you could ask:
- When was I last truly happy?
- Is there a gap in my happiness?
We know that asking ourselves these questions can bring rise to other important conversations. It leads to considering the life you are living, the legacy you are leaving and the story you want to write (theoretically, or not).
All big, deep thoughts but oh-so-important ones. If you can crack these and feel like you are on track, the value will be incredible. That is why as part of our huunuu training sessions we ask some of these icebreaker questions. Ones that at first seem a little awkward but when you truly think about it the quality of our thoughts and the conversations that happen out of the back of it are amazing.
Happiness affects our mental and physical health. Our ability to do a good job for yourself and for others. Let’s tap into the potential these conversations can bring, even if those conversations are just with yourself.