I would consider myself lucky. I have everything I need: Shelter, food, family, friends, and education.
But lucky and happy isn’t the same.
Remember when I participated in the “Happiness Project” last year? Last summer I met Carol who created the “Happiness Project” and she told me about the Oxford Questionnaire.
Before I started travelling through Europe I answered a bunch of questions and my result was 4.69.
After 5 weeks of travelling? 5.38!
I was doing voluntary work, writing, I met the right people and was at the right places. I loved it!
This year: When I was searching for a job and getting more and more stressed out about it, I remembered the questionnaire and thought “I wonder what my result would be now”, so I took the test again.
The result: 3.38!!!
It was time to come up with a plan to get my mood in the right direction again. And most of all:
I WANTED MY HAPPINESS BACK!
So I tried to remember what I did last year, modified it and adapted it to my current life situation.
1. IDENTIFY THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY
I’m happy when I
– > write. Blog posts, children’s stories, travel novel…I love writing no matter what!
-> avoid stressful, selfish people/friends and get in touch with like-minded people.
-> learn something new (I started reading about SEO writing)
-> get distance from the place that makes me unhappy, so I went to The Hague for a few days to recharge my batteries.
2. MUSIC: CHOOSE YOUR PERSONAL HYMN
Remember Ally McBeal? She had a hymn. A song that would lift her mood, made her dance and smile!
I needed a hymn!
And because I couldn’t decide which one, I chose these two 🙂
3. INSPIRATIONAL FIRST AID KIT
It was so weird being in my hometown for three months: Knowing every corner, having bad memories, having good memories, trying to get two persons on one page: The one I had been before I have left town for good a couple of years ago and the one who came back after living abroad.
But most of all: Everything was pretty much the same. Standstill and routine is the worst for me, I constantly need change, new input and inspiration.
My first aid kit in such situations?
I read articles and watch videos by inspiring people!
So here are my TOP 3 for inspiration:
For inspiration about education
- Gerald Hüther (German neurobiologist)
For inspiration on philosophical matters
For motivational issues
4. CALM YOUR THOUGHTS WHEN OVERTHINKING
One of the main problems that causes unhappiness is overthinking. Nothing else matters anymore. Every thought is about the problem or the mountain of problems. You would do anything to make these voices shut up. Not exactly the easiest task.
My remedy? Guided meditation and self-hypnosis videos, sitspots, Tea, Bachblüten/Rescue Remedy.
Guided meditation and self-hypnosis videos
Since I quit smoking I feel like that one of the main reasons I made it, was a self-hypnosis video by Michael Sealey I discovered a few more of his videos and I love them!
Sit still in nature and just focus on your senses. Listen to the chatty birds, feel the warm sunrays on your skin, see the bright blue sky, smell wet leaves, taste the earthy oak stem – focus on your body and your immediate surroundings. Don’t let any thought occur, just be in the moment!
- Lemon balm
Bachblüten / Rescue Remedy
4 drops in water work miraculous!
5. WRITE A BUCKET LIST
I have to admit, I’m a fan of to do lists and goals. I always need a goal to work towards to. So I started writing a bucket list (again):
- Roadtrip Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Ontario, Québec, PEI in a RV/Campervan
- Roadtrip from Seattle to L.A. in a RV/Campervan
- Roadtrip Australia in a RV/Campervan
- Do the Tongariro Crossing
- Live abroad again
- Vacation in South Africa
- Vacation in Iceland
- Vacation on the Azores
- Be fluent in French or Spanish
- Watch the Northern Lights
- Get a fern tattoo
- Be able to work from anywhere in the world
- Find a partner with the same lifestyle and mindset
- Write a bestseller
- Be a self-made millionaire
- Meet someone famous
- Attend a shamanic ritual ((I booked a shamanic weekend for September!! I’ll keep you posted 😉 )
- Be an extra in a (Peter Jackson) movie
- See a TED talk live
- Try pole dancing
- Meditate and see a hawk/eagle landing in front of me
- Be fit when old
- Celebrate 50 years of being smoke-free
- Plant 10.000 trees
- Have a conversation with Leonardo DiCaprio about environmental issues
- Have an impact on educational and social issues
- Spend one week in a silent retreat
- Be able to meditate for 3 hours
- Unplug for one week
- Play paintball
- Play laser tag
- Relax in a Natural Hot Spring
- Become an energy healer/shaman
- Run a half marathon
- Become a Yoga Pro
After a couple of weeks following my plan, I already feel so much better! 4.62!
Yes, I’m maybe a little bit obsessed with the Oxford questionnaire, but you know what? Whatever! 😉