Ten ways to be happier in your own home!

22 Jan

I found this original list on a website that I love called ‘Apartment Therapy – Saving the world one room at a time’ and have adapted it slightly to fit my own life. This simple list inspired me and hopefully it will inspire you t00!

Rock Ribbons_Ten ways to be happier in your own home.

1. Make your bed.

The book ‘The Happiness Project’, explains that this three minute task is one of the simplest habits you can adopt to positively impact your happiness.

2. Bring every room back to ‘ready’.

I learned this trick from Marilyn Paul’s clever book, ‘It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys’. It’s a known fact: Clutter causes stress; order creates a haven from it. This mood-boosting routine is simple: Take about three minutes to bring each room back to ‘ready’ before you depart it, the room doesn’t have to be spotless just tidy. (Unless you have a toddler, or a partner who likes to simulate earthquakes, three minutes should be sufficient.)

3. Display sentimental items around your home.

One reason that experiences (and memories of those experiences) make us happier than material things is due to the entire cycle of enjoyment that experiences provide: planning the experience, looking forward to the experience, enjoying the experience, and then remembering the experience. Make your home a gallery of positive memories.

4. Start a one-line-a-day gratitude journal.

Before bed, simply jot down one happy memory from that day. One line is enough cause I know you’re tired! (If you have kids, you can ask them, “What did you like best today?”) Reflection is an important part of happiness, and pausing to reflect on a positive event from each day cultivates gratitude (an added bonus).

5. If you can’t get out of it, get into it.

This tip comes from ‘The Happiness Project’. I love the message: The dishes are not going to clean themselves, so you will do it, and you will like it! (Unless, of course, you can outsource this job, in which case I say: Nice work!) Otherwise, get into doing the dishes. Feel the soothing warm water on your hands. Enjoy the tickle of the tiny bubbles. Crank your favorite album at an unusually loud volume and get into it.

6. Before you get up each morning, set an intent for the day.

In ‘The Art of Happiness’, the Dali Lama says “Every day, think as you wake up: today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.” Wow. What a wise man. I tend to wake up with a strong visceral reaction that says, “Attention human beings: Be afraid of me before my Hot Chocolate. Be very afraid!” Setting a daily intent makes a huge difference. Your daily intent could be something like “be productive” or “enjoy today’s delicious moments” or it could be something more specific like “say thank you to my loved ones today.” But it should not be another “to do” item on your list.

7. Do small favors for the people you live with, expecting nothing in return (not even a thank you!).

(That’s right, I said it: nothing!) Mow the lawn for your husband, but don’t expect him to pat you on the back. Make the bed for your wife, but don’t try to get bonus points for it. Take the rubbish out for your flatmate, just because. The ability to cultivate strong, healthy relationships is one of the biggest contributors to health and happiness, but when you start to keep score, the benefit is lost. (No! It’s YOUR turn to clean up the dog poop!) It’s a well-known fact: When you do good, you feel good.

8. Call at least one friend or family member a day.

You can do this while you clean, while you make the bed, or while you walk the dog. Texts and emails do not count! Make an actual phone call to a loved one, just to chat and catch up. We humans are social beings and studies show that even when we don’t feel like it, even if we are naturally introverted, socializing with our loved ones makes us feel better.

9. Spend money on things that cultivate experiences at home.

Save money for a new BBQ for parties or a new DVD for family movie night – something that will encourage you to have people over and entertain. Plan a summer BBQ, invite your closest friends, kick back and relax. (And don’t forget to print out the pictures to remember the good times.)

10. Spend a few minutes each day connecting with something greater than yourself.

Whatever your spiritual beliefs — or non-beliefs — may be, studies show that connecting to a high power is correlated with happiness. Just stepping back to realize that we are part of an enormous universe can put some perspective on those sometimes annoying encounters that happen during the day. Take a walk in nature. Write in a journal. Create a sacred space in your home. (Or if spirituality is really not your thing, create a home spa: light some candles, soak in a hot bath, delve into a good book on your couch filled with your favourite cushions. Before bed, spend just a few minutes contemplating something larger than yourself.  . . . are you feeling better yet?)

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2 Responses to “Ten ways to be happier in your own home!”

  1. Renée Veldman-Tentori January 23, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    what a lovely post! I already do a few of those but there are also some new ideas in there I’ll try 🙂 I like that it’s relevant to parents though – it does take me more than 3 minutes to tidy! But a one line journal is a great idea, i often put off writing as I’m too tired and too overwhelmed at the end of the day but one line is lovely.

    • Deborah Batchelor January 25, 2013 at 12:15 am #

      Thanks so much Renee, for replying to my Blog post! It’s amazing how little things can make such a difference. Just being reminded to make my own bed and seeing it tidy has done wonders to calm my mind during the day.

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