…and by happiness hacks, I mean shortcut workarounds towards your own happiness, not those people who are particularly bad at happiness! We all know THOSE guys…
Ok, so now that’s clear, with the kind support of one of our awesome wellness partners here at mwah. – Energx graciously provided the opportunity for mwah. to attend (drum roll please…….) The 2019 Wellness show – Happiness & it’s causes in beautiful Sydney. I’m reliably told it’s the world’s largest conference on Happiness & Wellbeing! So, surely I would find the answer there to that which sometimes ails me, and many others. Lucky you, because I’m giving you the Reader’s Digest version and saving you money & time in the process.
Importantly the conference also featured workplace wellness.
It’s a super important topic which I’ll address in a later blog, but suffice to say, there was a recent comprehensive study undertaken by mwah. and the Curtin University Business School on happy workers which dispels plenty of myths on this front. It is definitely well worth the read. This thorough study using HILDA data should not be confused with a nightly news ‘fluff’ segment comparing Oslo, Barcelona & Melbourne for the best place to live. Also check out our Wellbeing in the Workplace Webinar & Our Process for Wellbeing.
Now back to the Conference and The Hacks.
The Happiness & It’s Causes conference included a brilliant collection of presenters from all around the globe providing expert opinion and advice (at one end of the spectrum) from spending quality time relaxing in a garden and laugh theory, to the more extreme and complex in understanding the role Telomeres and Mitochondria play along the gazillions of bacteria you (and I) have in our human microbiome (aka the gut), and whether we are the masters of these bugs or merely the hosts for them as the true apex organisms on planet earth. Phew! That last one sounds heavy.
Ok, so here’s the rub and… surprise surprise, the quantum of themes running through the entire conference were:
Super important. Get plenty of quality sleep, listen to your tired body and show some discipline around going to bed and getting up. Sleep is when your body repairs and renews. Limit or remove screen time before bed. Wonderful sleep is the human equivalent to rebooting your computer with the on/off switch.
Chill people… learn how to do it. Breathing deeply and slowly helps, meditate if you know how, and if not, hey just google it! Try closing your eyes and scanning your body, slowly… I mean really slowly starting from the tippity of your toes and work your way up relaxing each body part at a time. Respect this process and you’ll get a fab result. Definitely try giving yourself a time out too.
Friends & family
Find time to be with people who are good for you, whether it’s just a chat, a meal or to have a laugh. Remember relationships sometimes need work, so make sure you play your part in the feelgood experience. Umm, the reverse is also true, give toxic people a wide berth.
I mean really laugh. Hunt down your sense of humour, whether it’s a show on the telly, seeing live stand up, a particular friend or …well, whatever is your jam. Me, I enjoy watching ‘fail’ videos of precocious skater dudes trying to impress their friends. So, find your laughter groove and apply it regularly.
Daylight & Nature
In Australia we have plenty of daylight, even on the winter solstice Sydney has 10 hours, which should make it easy. So, get an hour of daylight in nature in your yard or nearby park each day…. there’s really no excuse, and it’s way easy.
Positivity, mindfulness & gratefulness
Do yourself a favour: every morning as you wake up think of something you’re really grateful for, take a minute and totally immerse yourself in that moment. I guarantee you’ll start your day well. Don’t get bogged down in crap, focus on the up, be in the moment, especially for those that you meet. Strike up a chat with a stranger… you’ll be surprised by the human connection and what it does.
The easy peasy answer here is the Mediterranean diet and occasional fasting. Oh yeah, and don’t stuff your face. If it’s weight loss you’re after, you’ll need to focus 80% of your efforts on food volume and 20% on exercise, remember it takes a whole hour to run off a Big Mac, so keep that in mind before you unnecessarily reach for the fridge.
Just ‘get around to’ doing it! Morning seems to work well and there’s no need to burst yourself, just do what works for you. Walk briskly up to light puffing for 30-45 mins and you’re on your way. Cycle, bush walk, swim, jazzercise… It’s doing any movement that’s important. So just start.
Ditch it! Yep, let it go for predetermined times of the day/week as a start. Check your screen time app (yes, ironic I know) to see where you’ll spending your time and moderate where appropriate. Definitely turn off your social notifications, the tech ‘machine’ is designed to draw you in. With less screen time, you’ll find you’ll sleep better and be glad you did.
So, there you have it. Happiness is within your grasp and importantly, what YOU make of it.
Let me know what works for you, and as with all things in life, it’s different strokes for different folks. I’m off to get some feel good endorphins on YouTube now.