Step 9: Discover your happiness triggers

Are you concentrating on what’s supposed to make you happy, rather than what actually does?

We’re often told by other people, TV or self-help books what will make us happy, but rather than following other people’s advice, you need to find out for yourself.

Try this exercise to discover your happiness triggers:

Remember a time in the past when you were really happy.

It could be short or long – a sunny afternoon reading in the park, a family holiday, or lunch with friends.

Notice the things around you and how good you feel.

Discover what it is about the situation that’s making you happy.

Is it companionship? Peace and quiet? Beautiful coutryside? Good food?

Once you’ve established what makes you feel good, you can concentrate on finding it again.

If you’re feeling particularly stressed or unhappy, you can also use this exercise to revisit your happy memory and feel good again.

Source: Prima magazine,

So what are my happiness triggers?

There is one I don’t even have to think about it, it’s something I do every night.

I go into my children’s room and watch them sleeping.

I think there is nothing so beautiful as a child sleeping, they look so angelic even if you know they have been little devils in the daytime.

I find it a very peaceful moment and instantly calming and it always makes me smile.

Lots of memories also of walking up various mountains and the fantastic scenery that brought – though, now I think about it, not necessarily mountains.

I went for an early morning walk a few years ago with my sister and her dogs, in the rolling English countryside near her home. There was a light mist lying over everything and it was very quiet.

So my triggers there were definitely the beautiful countryside – I think nature is always a wonder to behold.

But the company also was important – family, friends.

As I sit here and think, I find other happy memories … but I’ll keep them to myself and let you think of yours.

Feel free to share them with me.