The recipe for happiness is a hard one to find. Just like the perfect cake, it won’t be enough to follow your grandma’s instructions. You will have to figure out on your own how much water your flour absorbs, how your oven works and which combination of fruit and icing better suits your tastes. Just like the perfect cake, there’s no exact recipe for happiness. I could write an entire manual on how to live your best life, but it probably won’t work for you.
However, there are seven main aspects of life that we all share. The perfect recipe for happiness can be found in their balance!
Health is at the core of well-being. In order to feel fulfilled you need to conduct a healthy lifestyle. Make sure to take care of your body every day by choosing a healthy diet and adopting an active lifestyle. But don’t worry too much, you probably already have a quite healthy life and simply need to adjust a few variables. As the old saying goes ‘All in moderation, including moderation’.
My number one rule for food is to try to avoid everything that comes prepacked. If you crave some prepacked food such as cookies simply make your own! Obviously, this should be a general rule as everything is allowed in moderation. Regarding movement, you don’t need to join the gym or start watching Pamela Reif on Youtube, but if you have a sedentary job, take time to go on a walk after your shift and spend some time outdoors during your weekends. Small differences in our routine can have a drastic consequence on our body.
Many people consider sleeping a waste of time. The truth couldn’t be further from this. Only by sleeping, you will make sure to have enough energy throughout the day to be the best version of yourself! But sleeping eight hours every night is not enough. You need to have a regular sleeping schedule in order to wake up fresh and rested every day! Make sure you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. After a while, your body will get used to it and you will wake up naturally just a few minutes, or even seconds, before your alarm!
However, sometimes you may sleep enough hours and still have a drop of energy during the day, for instance after lunch or after a long shift at work. In this case, a power nap of about 30 minutes may help. Alternatively, you may choose to rest by reading a book, going for a walk or playing an instrument. These are all forms of ‘active rest’ which should always be preferred to ‘passive rest’ which refers to activities such as watching Netflix or scrolling through your Instagram feed. Active rest is likely to re-energize the body, while passive rest kills motivation.
Money cannot buy happiness but surely they can contribute to it. The financial aspect of your life can be a constant source of stress and anxiety if not properly balanced. Find out how much money you tend to spend every month and make sure it’s in your budget. If your dream is to live in a luxurious apartment in the centre of Paris but you only work a part-time job on the minimum wage, you will soon feel frustrated and demoralised. If, on the other hand, your only wish is to have enough time to spend with your friends and family, a part-time job could be the perfect choice for you. We all have different financial needs, making sure we can meet them is fundamental for our general well-being.
Although some of us can be quite introverted, the small daily interactions we have with the people around us play a much bigger role in our lives than what you may expect. Humans are social animals and as such the community in which they live has a strong influence on their well-being. Make sure to exchange a few words every day with the people around you, from the cashier at your local store to the postman and your neighbour. They are all part of your community, having a little chat every day will lighten up both your mood as well as theirs!
As the community we live in has such a great impact on our life, make sure you choose the right one! Spend some time searching for the perfect housemates and the right neighbourhood for you!
What is life without love? Empty! Nonetheless, we often tend to take for granted the ones we love the most, such as our partner, our relatives or our best friends. Most of us live far away from our parents and best friends and as a consequence tend to forget about them. Those are the most important people in our lives and we should always make sure to find the time to keep in contact with them.
If you live abroad, make sure to organize regular phone calls or even video calls with your family and do the same with your best friends! You will be surprised by how much a simple call may change your day!
Just like the body, taking care of our mental well-being is fundamental. Especially after the challenges that 2020 put in front of us, we all need to give a bit more attention to the mental aspect of our lives. Ask yourself questions such as ’Are you satisfied with your life?’ and ‘Are you proud of yourself?’. Keeping a journal may help you organise your thoughts and analyse your feelings. If you are constantly stressed, anxious or simply unhappy, try to find out what the causes are. Booking an appointment with a specialist is always a good idea when feeling stuck. Chances are that one aspect of your life, whether financial, physical or social, is causing this distress. The first step to solve a problem is to acknowledge its existence.
What makes you different from others? What are your passions and your hobbies? Our personal interests are at the core of our individuality. Only by nourishing our talents will we find accomplishment in life, becoming the person we want to be. Sometimes we tend to put these aside as we consider them useless, but they play an important role in our well-being. Spending time cultivating our passions is the best form of self-care we can give to ourselves.
These are the seven main aspects of life. Now it’s up to you to find the right balance between them. Just like the perfect cake, it will take many trials and tons of mistakes before you will succeed, but don’t give up! Eternal happiness is the final prize for your efforts!