sunday life: the secret to happiness (a chat with Gretchen Rubin)

Posted on August 15th, 2010

This week I get happy…close to home

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Gretchen Rubin calls it her “Beautiful House” moment. As in, “This is not my beautiful house”, the existential lament from the Talking Heads hit “Once in a Lifetime”. Gretchen’s life was ticking along just fine. She had a beautiful house. Two kids. And all the rest. But she woke one day with that feeling of discontent and disbelief and asked, Is this it? Is this me?

Happiness Project Cover

It wasn’t. There was more she yearned for and so she set off on The Happiness Project, which launched – as everything does these days – as a blog in March 2006. I’ve been following it for years, often somewhat bewildered by the Cartesian precision with which she pulls apart the bumbling ways we humans happen upon happiness. She’s written thousands of posts over the course of her journey, attracting a monthly following of 300,000 readers. She’s a regular on the American morning TV circuit, contributes to the Huffington Post and has turned her findings into a number one bestselling book that sat on the New York Times list for 18 weeks (and it’s released her this month).

Sweet bonus on a Sunday: I’M GIVING AWAY THREE COPIES of the book today to three readers generous enough to share what they think makes human’s happy. A simple tip will do. I’ll get Gretchen to pick the winners!

Which begs: after such a long, imbedded journey, what’s the one take-home-wrapped-in-ribbon-with-warrantee trick that has resonated with her disciples? What, dear Gretchen, moves us beyond our beautiful house and makes us happy?

On Monday I posed this very question. Gretchen’s response down the phone from New York? You ready for it?

Make your bed. Every day.

Of all the tips shared on her blog, this one has attracted the most passionate, positive feedback. “Everywhere I go I get pulled up about the make your bed thing,” she says.

Now, that’s just ridiculous, isn’t it. It’s like “42” being the Ultimate Answer to Everything (if you’ve ever read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). It lands with a thud. That’s it. Make your bed. Really, our mums could’ve told us that. Actually, they did.

All that casting aside cast aside, however, I rather like it. (I’m also fond of the number 42.) I’ve kind of had it with the grand motivational theories and the big excursions to Indian ashrams by indulged self-helpers of the past decade. These approaches work to the highly profitable premise that there’s some big fat answer “out there” accessible only once we’ve diligently reversed everything we’re currently doing to get through the week. How wonderful, then, that the answer could exist closer to home. I’ve always suspected it did.

Gretchen’s rationale is that shaking your doona and poofing your pillow each morning is a no-brainer way to create a semblance of outer order, which, in turn, creates inner calm. If you’re an A-type personality, or you simply find yourself wishing you could just-get-on-top-of-things-for-a-moment, you get this, right? Because it’s small and do-able, and so close to home, it means you can actually get that hit of “control amidst the chaos”. But it’s the “every day” bit that’s key. “I’ve found it’s easier to do something every day, without exception, than to do something ‘most days’,” she says. “When you say you’ll walk four days a week, you debate which days, whether you can skip Tuesday, etc.”. “Every day” puts the kybosh on such a debilitating debate. It frees you up, while providing satisfaction.

Andy Warhol said much the same:

“Either once only, or every day. If you do something once it’s exciting, and if you do it every day it’s exciting. But if you do it… almost every day, it’s not good any more.”

Odd coming from such a nut-bag, but true.

I made my bed every day this week. I’m not usually a bed maker. Or someone who takes time to transfer my grains to nice glass display canisters in my kitchen. And as a kid I didn’t rule neat red margins in my exercise books at the beginning of the week. Nope, I’m crap at creating outer order. But it felt good this week to make my bed. It’s rather a symbolic act: taking mindful time before you start your day to attend to your sleeping arrangement. Your bed is a nurturing, energising space. Putting it in order is to attend to your soul. It also creates a nice closure to your day, a comforting reward.

But Gretchen adds this favourite caveat: the opposite of every great truth is also true. “If you always make your bed, then don’t make it every now and then. It will reveal something interesting.” Which can make us happy, too? “Oh, yes,” she says.

Do you have a stupidly simply trick that works for you? Anything you’re playing with right now?

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • Kelly

    I listen to my internal voice and question any disquietness to find a resolution.
    This voice also delivers me bursts of happiness when we’re on track, which are particularly awesome. I often hear it say, I love my life!

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  • Liz

    Me and my friend send eachother texts each night saying what we are grateful for. It reminds you to take pleasure in the simple things we take for granted and also reveals that even on your worst day there is always something to be grateful for.

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  • http://littlelioness.net Fiona

    I’m extremely useless at sticking to anything, and being a person who loves order, I think this does my head in some days.

    I would agree that humans like order, some just need it more than others. Cravea routine, and would rather stick with an unhealthy routine than shake things up!

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  • Jasmine

    I’ve found I enjoy making my bed because it feels so nice crawling into a made-up bed! I’m 28 now and never been a bed-maker, but whenever my mother visits and I’m showering, I’ll come out … and she has made my bed. And IT IS AWESOME!

    So I’ve been making an effort to do that, but haven’t quite managed Every Day yet.

    But the Every Day factor resonates – she’s spot on about dithering over which days if you only pick four days a week.

    I like small indulgences – flowers in the house in summer, a hardcopy of a magazine (most of what I read these days is online), having coffee with breakfast (I’m not a regular drinker of coffee).

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  • http://www.jarodandliz.com Liz

    One thing that has made me happy in recent weeks is acknowledging there are things I have no control over and cannot change. Acknowledging this helps ‘release’ me from the sense of responsibility I have over many situations that fall into this category.

    For something a little more light hearted – doing something simple that makes another persons life easier… holding a door open for them as they’re leaving; picking up and returning something they’ve dropped; letting them go ahead of you in a queue, etc. Warm and fuzzies all round.

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  • http://jessicakebake.wordpress.com jess

    I’ve been reading Gretchen’s blog for a while as well. Personally I’m overwhelmed with the volume of information on the site and it hit me when you mentioned the Hitchhikers Guide. I’d love to log onto her site and the only thing that comes up at first was a blank page that said:

    “make your bed. every day”

    and then if you need more after that you can CTRL + click to your heart’s content.

    I also like mindapples.org.

    And there is nothing like a pet in your life to make you happy. That and a walk (even just twenty minutes) outside in some sort of nature (*not* a medium strip). works (for me) every time.

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  • Kerrie

    Every night before I go to sleep when I am all tucked up, I have my joy time, I put a big smile on my face and talk to God…mainly I thank him for all the blessings he has bestowed on me..including beautiful coffee in the morning, the smiles from my daughters, the work i did that day, my beautiful husband and then i pray for anyone i am feeling angst towards and ask God to sow forgiveness in my heart and pray that I see the person the way God sees him or her..finally i choose some other people to pray for, such as all the little children in the world who need his help..I always go to sleep happy and content, knowing that God loves me and all of his people and that all is right in my world…

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  • aimee

    Every morning as soon as I get up, I have a cup of earl grey tea. It’s simple but it calms my stressors and prepares me for the day ahead. My partner says he can he an instant change in me when I have it. I’m happier, and in a better mind-set. It prepares me for whats to come in that day, regardless if theres alot or nothing on.
    It’s nothing fancy, but it keeps me grounded. I agree with the ‘everyday thing’ rather then doing something every so often. I think its important to dedicate a snippet of your day to do something routine which is so often filled with un-routine things that often cause more unwanted stress than necessary.
    It provides me with a a few minutes of quiet bliss which is so rare in my hectic schedule.

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  • Ian

    Wow..who would have thought something so simple & mundane has such power. I can’t remember a time not making my bed but my 17 yr old son never makes his. He leads what I’d describe a relatively chaotic life. (In saying that I’m very structured & can be overly sensitive to the unstructured). I gave him this post to read to see if he acknowledges its value. I’ll report back if something develops.

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  • Sarah

    Nature makes me happy. Everyday, rain or shine, cold wind or hot sun – I go outside and take the time to notice nature. I live in the city, so am often limited to a local park, a walk along the beach or half an hour in our garden. While I am outside, I observe the weather and the change of seasons: birdsong, the feel of the wind on my face, shadows moving across the ground, leaves rustling, dogs sniffing and frolicking, interesting shells, spider webs, seedpods, pretty leaves, smooth rocks, puddles, flowers, sand squeeking under my feet, bulbs coming up, buds on the fruit trees, caterpillars eating the salad leaves, chickens pecking through the garden beds, children laughing – kicking balls and climbing trees. It makes me happy.

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  • Christine

    I never used to make my bed, I used to think it quite a chore until I read that how you leave your bed reflects on the order of your life. Now I make it every day!

    How to be happy? Climb a mountain every morning. Your mountain that is. Go walking, do your run, meditate, make that phonecall, get rid of that niggling feeling and heeby jeebies first thing. Doing the hardest thing first makes it and the day a whole lot easier and happier.

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  • http://www.existingstricky.blogspot.com shanna

    I buy myself flowers every week, something cheery like daisies and they just brighten the room every time I pass. It always makes me smile :)

    I also do my gratitudes lately and, taking an idea from Kris Carr, I really enjoy creating Love Lists http://existingstricky.blogspot.com/2010/08/love-list.html

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  • http://natthepagodatreecomau.blogspot.com/ Nat Kringoudis

    Well I never… This is so true! If I don’t make my bed each morning I feel the disorganisation set it and suddenly my day is frantic… because of this reason. Its like I lost the controls for a minute. Wow. I love this!

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  • http://www.amandavella.wordpress.com Amanda

    I think deep, intimate relationships make humans truly happy. I am blessed with a happy marriage, two little girls, great parents, five siblings and four of the most amazingly generous, beautiful girlfriends you can imagine. Without the love, support and honesty from these people I know I wouldn’t be as happy as a bird with a french fry!

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  • http://lifebeautylaughter.blogspot.com Laura

    Hi Sarah,

    I really love this post… and because I’ve been thinking about the answer to your question lately, I’ve turned it into a blog post, just for fun (http://lifebeautylaughter.blogspot.com/2010/08/what-makes-humans-happy.html).

    I’ll reproduce most of it here…

    What makes humans happy? Well, I can only speak for myself, of course. I am no expert. But these past few days have been an ordeal… trying to stay happy, while my best friend lies in a hospital bed, feels wrong. I have struggled, I really have.

    Surprisingly enough, what transformed my outlook around was her. She is happy. My best friend, who has two broken legs, the love of her life stuck on the other side of the city awaiting numerous operations after his legs were shattered in the accident, the prospect of not being able to see him for weeks, at least, and months of rehab and recovery in front of her. She is putting on a brave face, but she is truly able to see the magic in I could only conceive as an awful, terribly unfair situation…. They will walk again. Somebody is watching over us, she reminded me, smiling brightly. Somebody, up there, loves us. Which made me take a deep breath and realise that what I could only perceive as a nightmare was, actually, a miracle.

    So, back to the question… What makes humans happy, in my short-lived experience, is that age-old, emancipating consciousness that we are lucky. I hope this doesn’t sound too morbid for what should be an uplifting post, but, just think about it – isn’t it a miracle that we are alive today? Our lives are kind of thrilling, when you think of it like that. That being alive itself is the miracle, not the achievements and the experiences and the people whose lives we have touched. Just being.

    And that’s when those other things come into play. When we think of our lives as a precious, beautiful gifts we are incredibly fortunate to be given, it is impossible to mindlessly fritter it away. Why wait until tomorrow, or the next day, to do what we want to do today? Why follow pointless rules? Why allow ourselves to succumb to fear? Everything futile and meaningless falls away when we realise that we are responsible for our own destiny and our own happiness. I don’t mean responsible just in the sense that we are in control, but also in the sense that we have a duty to all those people who are nowhere near as lucky as us (and no matter how dire the situation, there is always someone… in fact, several billion someones), to live in a way that fulfills our potential for happiness. Capiche?

    Of course, it’s impossible to maintain this mindset, all the time. Life often gets in the way. Our best friends are victims in horrific car accidents. We lose our jobs. Our hair doesn’t sit right. Everything just seems hopeless. So that’s when we need to be still. Close our eyes. Take a deep breath. And remind ourselves that we may not be perfect. Bad things may happen to us and the people we love. But… we’re alive. We have today, and the potential of tomorrow and the next day and the day after that, to change everything. Maybe not the physical things, but definitely our perception of ourselves and the world around us. Which, if you think about it, is everything. I don’t know about you, but this reminder makes me happy… and, since I am human, I thought it be one, of many, answers to this never-ending question, which we all share.

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  • http://fraichefoods.wordpress.com/ Rachel

    I know every life has different circumstances, but I am of the conviction that happiness is a choice.

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  • http://www.frockandrollonline.com x Corrine/Frock & Roll x

    My high school history teacher once said to me: ”do you know what the secret to life is? Just be HAPPY. Have FUN. There it is. That’s it!” It’s always stuck with me, and I’ve tried to live my life accordingly! :)

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  • Laura

    Happiness is when you make the conscious decision to stop wanting more and start appreciating what you have.

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  • http://www.sharnanigans.com Sharni

    Great post Sarah –

    Gretchen – my entry is:

    Humans are happy when they can live completely in the present. When you are not yearning for something or pining over the past – when you can completely and utterly appreciate the very moment you are in — you have unlocked happiness.

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  • http://www.myshoeboxlife.com Shelley

    As soon as I wake up, I have a cup of green tea. It makes me think twice for the rest of the day about putting anything unhealthy into my body.
    I’ve also ventured into the world of blogging in the past month, and this has given me a happiness I’ve never experienced before.
    There’s something about putting yourself ‘out there’ that I’m finding is giving me confidence in all areas of my life. Which is how I got onto the green tea thing to start, I blogged that I would quit caffeine. The next step this week is taking up running through the couch to 5k program.
    So happiness to me right now is putting things out into the universe, and seeing where the journey takes me.

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  • http://innerbeam.blogspot.com sarah

    To recognise a ‘dream’ I’m currently working towards and let the rest of my life become aligned with it, life then consists of the steps towards achieving my dream. The insignificant stuff can be just that, it makes things more simple and that makes me happy.

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  • http://www.sixkilosofpumpkin.blogspot.com Emily

    Firstly, Laura – I’m glad to hear your friend and her partner are okay, I read your blog post the other day and have been hoping they were alright!

    Happiness for me, is checking everything off my to-do list and having friends who make me comfortable enough to be myself – admitting that you don’t care for alcohol, are bad at video games and hate coffee as a uni student is generally frowned upon!

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  • Kim

    Recently when I was feeling really low, my 4-year-old daughter said to me “I know what will make us happy – a rainbow in the sky.”

    This is true for me – appreciation of the beauty that surrounds us can make us happy, especially as it helps to put things into perspective in our own day-to-day lives.

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  • Laura

    Happiness is much sought after but rarely found – often it belongs to those who aren’t looking for it! My observations of these happy individuals reveal a quest to live simply, freedom to choose things that drive happiness not only in ones self but in others too.

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  • Karyn

    Moving at your own pace
    Speaking up
    Saying ‘thank you’
    Receiving a ‘thank you’
    A nice cup of tea.

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  • Judy

    I’m a great believer in the fact that happiness is made up of small moments rather than big ones (although they are okay too!). But I tend to find happiness in a great cup of coffee, shared with a friend, a nice summery breeze blowing, birds chirping away in the trees, really just one of those little perfect moments that add up to a great feeling of happiness.
    One tip I read on Leo’s Zen Habits site is, if something will just take less than 5 mintues to do, rather than thinking about it and prevaricating, just get in there and do it! And that is a good feeling, getting something done quickly and easily, and the feeling of satisfaction of having it done.

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  • christie

    what makes humans happy?

    A smile from a stranger as you go about your day. It never fails to put a smile on my own face so I always try and smile at people as I walk along the street.

    Simple – yes
    doable every day – yes
    happy – yes

    enjoy your Sunday night all, Sunday nights make me happy too!
    :)

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  • http://www.holistic-counselling.com.au Sally Balfort

    When I was married, on the rare occasions that I would make the bed, it would be reluctantly and begrudgingly because I was mainly doing it for other people – i.e. visitors (to have the house looking perfect) or my husband (because I felt obliged to, being the last one out of bed). So when I was on my own, “not making my bed” was part of my new “I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do anymore” approach to life (although I would have loved to have had someone else make my bed for me – and for my kids to have made theirs!).

    This was until I saw the movie Invictus and there was Nelson Mandela, an old man and the President of a nation, being portrayed as someone who had the discipline to purposefully make his bed every morning before getting on with the day. I liked to believe that this was also true of the real Nelson Mandela and if it was – even though I suspected it would have been a habit formed while he was in prison – I knew that he could have easily considered himself to be “above” such a menial task.

    So, this inspired me to “just get on with it” and I now make my bed as soon as I get up – every morning – purposefully and without resistance – even on weekends – and even before I leave for gym at 5.50am in the morning (which I was able to do happily when it became an “every day” activity instead of 3 days a week). It’s easy to make the bed now and I am happier when I walk in the bedroom – even on the days it’s used as a wrestling ring by my son and our dog – as long as he is the one making it the second time around!

    This reminds me of the original question! I think happiness is also about being able to let go of outcome and be in the moment while you’re making the bed, doing the dishes, washing clothes, tidying the house etc – not thinking about the bed as being one of a myriad of household chores that need to be finished in order to be happy!

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  • http://hanxious.wordpress.com Hannah

    I recently saw Dr. Harry, the vet, on TV describing how kittens require 30 minutes of “positive play” each day to stay happy. I have started to apply this to my life, much to my partner’s irritation! My positive play involves play wrestling, jumping on the bed, dancing to loud music and chasing my partner around the house – anything that feels silly, gets me laughing and is physical. It’s childish and feels FABULOUS. On bored days or miserable days it has definately helped lift my spirits and makes both myself and my partner focus on fun for at least 30 minutes without thinking about uni assignments, bills, work etc.

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  • Lauren

    Oh…my messy bedroom, made complete by the centrepiece of a entirely disrupted bed! Making my bed has never been a strong point for me, neither has keeping my room tidy, but lately I’ve felt so restless because of it. Thank you (and the universe!) for the reminder that it’s such an easy fix!

    Lately I’ve been focussing on physical human connection and my happiness. I wasn’t bought up in a family where touching and physical closeness was really norm and that’s always made me a little awkward with my more relaxed and close friends. I always felt I was someone who communicated physically, but was so unsure of myself. I’ve just made a new friend though, who’s so at ease to dish out a hug, hold your hand or fix your hair, and even though they’re simple things it’s so touching for me to have that contact and warmth. It’s really made me aware of how I interact with people all the time, and so much more confident and happy within myself. Funny, isn’t it, that there can be all these little things to learn, and there’s almost a magic in discovering them as an adult that might have been missed as a child? I’m kind of glad I’m only learning now.

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  • Jotheglobalgirl

    My Daily Happiness tip? Well since you asked nicely…

    Smile at a stranger

    This is a simple and free gesture that takes moments. I find that it allows you to connect briefly with some else (which in turn creates happiness, at least for me) and I like to think that it may make a tiny difference to their day, whether it because they feel glum or even if its because they think “Why is that crazy lady smiling at me?”
    Either way its the power of an exchange with no expectation that appeals and doing it daily ensures that I remember to smile (which may sound strange however in our busy worlds its so easy to forget to, or indeed remember if you have)

    Thanks Sarah for once again reminding us to cherish the little things in life!

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  • http://www.lifebeautylaughter.blogspot.com Laura

    Thank you so much Emily xx

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  • Egle

    What makes human’s (me) happy? Two small words – inner peace :)

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  • Michelle M

    What makes us happy?… Brief happiness, well that’s easy – the sun on your skin, a perfect cup of tea, a cuddle from your kids, a rainbow, finding $20 in the pocket of last winter’s jacket….

    Long term happiness, well I’m not so sure about that. I kind of hope that if I knew then I’d be doing it. But I think it has a lot to do with choosing how you react to situations. Letting go of past hurts, choosing whether or not you are going to stress out about a situation, accepting some things just can’t be changed. So, I think happiness is mostly about how we choose to deal with things.

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  • http://www.lifelikelola.blogspot.com Karli

    That lightbulb moment makes me happy. Whether it be a kid realising something that I’ve been trying to teach him for weeks, a friend and I finally being on the same page or driving to get your groceries on a Sunday afternoon, when the sky is bluer than blue. Totally a light bulb being turned on somewhere. Total joy.

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  • Aine

    What makes me happy ?A cup of tea. When you’re feeling stressed, chaotic, when somebody pops in for a visit.Being Irish we have an obsession with tea. When you visit anyones house that is what is offerred. My Australian partner always makes jokes about having to consume hundreds on each trip to Ireland. On my most recent trip home I asked my mother what was the obsession( this question came as she was drinking a cup on the beach in 30 deg heat!) it’s relaxing to have a cup of tea”she replied, and you know what I agree.Irish tea is one of the best “Barrys” tea is great.

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  • Getmel

    I’ve found that pushing myself out if my comfort zone and learning how to do something that scares me is key to being happy. And it can be something simple like learning to swim (conquered in 2009) or learning how to drive again after years of not using my license (2010).

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  • Deborah

    Happiness is giving generously without anything in return.
    It’s bringing your 91 year old grandmother, an avid gardener a bouquet of flowers for her birthday. It’s seeing her eyes light up and her loving them so, because she doesn’t seem to receive flowers that often due to her thriving garden.

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  • http://punkelikat.se Greta

    I think that it’s all about loving. To bring love into everything you do, even if it’s hard sometimes. For example; eating well is an act of self-love, caring for others is an act of others-love, and I think that’s all there is to it. Love, love, love. All of the time.

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  • http://www.juliesmits.com Julie

    Just smile, everyday try to smile and laugh at the little things. It makes up for so much…and gives a certain sense of relief and joy

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  • Kaye

    Every day I check in with the sun. On rainy days I wish for it to return happy and on stunning sunrise mornings and sunset afternoons I look out to the colours and warmth, thanking the universe for happiness, health and life.

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  • Shanna

    I have found that my first line of attack is to smile. If I’m smiling, I have better encounters with strangers and friends alike, helping me to feel more connected to the world around me. So that’s my tip: Smile — even when you don’t feel like smiling — especially when you don’t feel like smiling!

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  • Cris

    I meditate weekday mornings (Loving Kindness meditation) and jog three days a week (using the ‘couch to 5k’ program. My key to physical and mental well being.

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  • James

    What is happiness? I’m not sure and i’m not sure whether it’s as simplistic as being a choice, that doesn’t account for a large percentage of the polulation who suffer mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety etc, a large part of which have genetic components.

    But it can be a conscious choice to improve my inner peace. Things that have worked for me include:
    * saying 3 things I am grateful for each night when I put my head on the pillow e.g. a warm bed, loving family, a roof over my head, a job.
    * feeling the water drops touch my body when I have a shower each morning.
    * doing something for someone else.
    * meditating.
    * exercise.
    * nature.
    Inner peace, and maybe happiness whatever it is, I have found takes practice. I believe it helps if one has reached a rock bottom, something to compare progress with.
    The subject of happiness has become an industry in itself in terms of selling books and services. I believe it comes from within, not outside oneself, and requires work and ultimely action. If making ones bed equates to action or practice then I can relate to the concept, otherwise it’s just another ‘cute’ means of selling ones individual experience. Everyone responds to different things, there’s only one way to find out what works best……..give it a go long enough and see how you feel.

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  • Tal

    Talking to random people makes me happy. So often we ignore everyone around us (it’s almost unacceptable to make eye contact with someone on the train!!), but it’s the unexpected chats and stories that make me smile for the rest of the day.

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  • Sarah

    Hello everyone, thanks so much for all the happy tips from Sunday’s post on Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project. All of them, caring, creative replies. Thank you!! Gretchen just got back to me with her verdict:

    Let’s see…so hard, so many of them are great, and a good cup of tea is always a good idea too!

    Christie: A smile from a stranger as you go about your day. It never fails to put a smile on my own face so I always try and smile at people as I walk along the street.

    Hannah: I recently saw Dr. Harry, the vet, on TV describing how kittens require 30 minutes of “positive play” each day to stay happy. I have started to apply this to my life, much to my partner’s irritation! My positive play involves play wrestling, jumping on the bed, dancing to loud music and chasing my partner around the house – anything that feels silly, gets me laughing and is physical. It’s childish and feels FABULOUS. On bored days or miserable days it has definately helped lift my spirits and makes both myself and my pa

    Kaye says: Every day I check in with the sun. On rainy days I wish for it to return happy and on stunning sunrise mornings and sunset afternoons I look out to the colours and warmth, thanking the universe for happiness, health and life.

    Kaye, Hannah and Christie email me with your addresses please and I’ll get a copy of the book to you in a jiffy. Hoorah to you!

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  • http://www.livingsavvy.com.au Jo – living savvy

    My beds (mine and the childrens) are made every morning very neatly with pillows ordered to perfection. When my beds are made I feel like my world could cave in and I would be able to handle it! Wonderful to know that I can quote reasons for my behavior and this need (& the sense of calmness that washed over me) for this rather then chalking it up to an obessive nature (yahoo)!

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  • Kaye

    Thankyou!!

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  • Ian

    Further to my note on Sunday, my son has made his bed all week and says he feels more in control. A great start, may it continue.

    [Reply]

  • aimee

    soaking my feet in a tub of warm water before bed. It feels great! Having warm feet helps you sleep along with warm milk and peanut butter on crackers. Its excellent in winter, when those cold toes keep you awake. A good night sleep keeps you happier and fresher for the next day. At least thats what my nursing lecturers and I think :)

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  • http://www.giftboxology.com.au jen

    for me its trying to practice mindfulness. when i’m thinking about all the things i should be doing or reciting mental lists about upcoming projects i start stressing. writing important dates and to do lists in my diary and then trying to forget about it heaps too.
    looking at my 2 year old son when i’m giving him a cuddle just makes me focus on the important things in life, family, loved ones, and how precious our life and time on earth really is.

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  • cynthia

    It’s music. Music does it for me!

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  • Tiffany

    Solitude. Taking time to be by myself – it doesn’t matter what I’m doing – recharges me and allows me to think and process.

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  • http://www.bestgamezone.org/ mahjong

    There are some fascinating cut-off dates in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want extra! Added to FeedBurner as well

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  • Thea

    Chooks – get chooks. When the kids are happy, hubby is occupied and happy, sun is shining, a friend drops around, and my chooks are scratching at the ground, that equals an unexpected formula for contentedness, everything in the right place kind of feeling.

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