Just when you thought that nursery rhymes were little more than a catchy melody...it seems there’s an underlying message to this one that even grown ups could take something from...
Acknowledge EVERY ‘happy'
There is a tendency in modern life to get caught up on a happiness-seeking treadmill. Ironically, it’s a pursuit often punctuated with many ‘happy’ moments and experiences, but still devoid of the actual happy emotion.
Why? The psychology to this is complex, and is the reason why people who have supposedly reached the apex of happiness – lottery winners, successful entrepreneurs – often don't seem much happier than everybody else (so says Psychology Professor Frank T. McAndrew @knoxcollege1837)
As for the solution, research proves time and time again that the key to getting off the hedonistic hamster wheel lies in adopting what’s known as a ‘positive affect’ (is. The ability to experience the work in a more positive way).
Losing the idea of happiness as a constant is also important. Happiness (just like anger, sadness etc) is part of an unpredictable circadian rhythm of emotions that ebb and flow as life unfolds. We can no more expect to be happy ALL the time, as we can to feel angry all the time. From this stance, there could be a lot to be said for lowering our baseline and setting a new blueprint centred on celebrating the daily highs that might normally pass us by. It could be an epic workout, an early night, banter between friends, or a simple cup of tea! When RECOGNISED and savoured, these are the things which fuse to form the golden thread of a happy life.
There is a theory that happiness leads to success, more than success leads to happiness. This is because a positive effect leads to behaviors that have greater potential to produce success - in work, relationships and health.
So, this International Happiness Day... take the #imhappyandiknowit challenge and make a song and dance of the small stuff that makes you smile today... even if it’s a mere moment of childhood nostalgia.