On a scale of one to 10, when one is not very, and 10 is delirious, how happy are your right now, today? Is it high enough for you?. One thing I do believe is that people are different – I spent many years recruiting people in a previous life – and trust me, they are different. So it may be that you personally hate delirium – it can be sunseemly – and would opt for a modest and restrained 7 out of 10. Or you may quite like your persona as a grump, you may even make your money from it – think Jack Dee, so moving from 3 to 4 would be a high risk venture.
Today, I think I’m feeling sixish. This is because today is looking a bit quiet for me. It is beautiful and sunny but for various reasons (manly disorganisation) I haven’t scheduled in any of the things that would raise my happiness quotient for the day. All is not lost however, as it is only 8.50 as I write th is so there is still time to put some instant fun into my day. Some of the wise folk studying positive psychology focus on what makes us happy in a down to earth, day to day sense. The little things if you like. Now these things will not necessarily make your life full of meaning and mystery, but they will make you feel better. Obviously your list won’t be my list – you may not have my coffee habit or passion for interesting but largely useless information. Or even useful information. But you do need a list of things you like that add a little lift to your day. When you have your list, keep it in your awareness somehow and make sure that you do some of these things at intervals during the day. I am already hearing the howls of protest from some, probably nursing mothers or people with proper jobs, that there are no intervals. Well to you people I say, find some quick lifts! Your happiness quotient, not to mention your sanity, needs them.
My particular passion, (well there are one or two others as well) is coffee. And yes I know it stains your teeth and is the world’s most widely used drug, but I choose to believe those researchers that think it might ward off Alzheimers and diabetes and other nasty things. The best thing about research is that you can be so selective.
So back to my main theme. Coffee. If coffee is your thing, make it a good one. Mine is nice and strong, perfect amount of milk, china drinking vessel and a seat – if you see me with a take away you know I’m desperate. Or about to board a train. A good ambience is desirable too but I would give that up for a decent brew. So get a decent coffee and take time to enjoy it. Concentrate on it. Focus on it. I don’t wish to get too Zenny about this but at least make sure you notice that you are drinking it even if you don’t manage to savour every single sip.
And another tip, although shamefully I forget from which psychologist, spread out your treats. If your coffee quota is 3 espressos, have 3 singles throughout the day. Our pleasure diminishes quite quickly so one enormous bucket can be quite a waste of potential coffee heaven. Smaller and more often is better for our satisfaction levels as well as our nervous systems. (I believe that 3 cups a day is within someone’s safe guidelines for warding off unpleasant diseases without incurring caffeine induced nasties.).
Of course there will be people out there for whom caffeine is a substance from the dark side. And their bodies may well be temples. So feel free to substitute 3 small coffees for 3 small edamame bean salads if you prefer. All that matters is that you get pleasure from whatever you choose to raise your happiness quotient. By all means stop and smell the roses three times if you prefer a calorie free happy snack.
The point is, you have to take some sort of action to increase your happiness quotient. So off to plan how I am going to raise my day from a potential 6 to at least a 7.