It would seem that happiness is one thing that everyone is aspiring towards, but when it comes to the crunch, does finding happiness need to be so complicated?

When I started looking for happiness, it started showing up in the simple things, and when I stopped trying so hard, happiness started happening.

Sun is number One

Seasonal Affect Disorder is a thing. People get SAD when the sun don’t shine.

“Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, it’s not warm when she’s away, ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, and she’s always gone too long, anytime she goes away.” ~ Bill Withers

With the onset of winter, its important to soak up the sun whenever the opportunity presents itself. Whether it’s making the most of the sun when you see it, or planning a mid winter break, sunshine can make happiness happen in your body and brain so you can train yourself to be happy again.

Two. Hygge makes happiness happen

A Scandinavian concept, hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is like a direct response to Seasonal Affect Disorder. In places where the sun don’t shine 50% of the time, there are other ways to get warm when you hit a mid winter emotional storm. Enter hygge.  Whether it’s getting cosy on the couch with a cup of tea by the fire, or catching up with a few friends for an intimate dinner, schedule hygge time to trigger your brain onto the happy train.

Three. Seek Connection

I asked my friends and family what makes them happy, and the common thread was connection. Quality time with loved ones ranks right up the top of what makes for happy moments. Even making moves to connect by reaching out with a message or phone call can meet a movement into your happy place. I meet friends of mine regularly to create connection and cultivate core friendships.

Four. Express Appreciation

Everyone appreciates being thought of, so letting someone know you’re thinking of them can brighten their day and send some happiness their way. Saying thank you with a note can turn a hey into a yay by solidifying connection and letting someone know that you have taken the time to let them know that you care. It’s a wonderful way to make friends and influence people, and it can leave a lasting impression that makes them smile.

Five. Give Hugs

What better way to cultivate human connection than hugging? Sharing cuddles boosts intimacy and transmits good feelings. Finding people to hug helps to feel connected, comfortable and part of a community. Vanessa Van Edwards of Science of People says hugs increase oxytocin, they drop the stress hormone cortisol and they trigger the release of dopamine, which is responsible for pleasure. I went to a cuddle party this week to put happiness and hugs into perspective. Having been sitting on the hug party fence for a year or two, I was pleasantly surprised to feel so safe, supported and certain that more cuddles are definitely one of my keys to more happiness.

Six. Make a Gratitude List

My housemate tells me that a gratitude list is one of her tips for happiness. I’ve found that gratitude can bring happiness in place of hopelessness, by creating a simple shift in perspective. Moving out of despair can be as simple as finding something to be grateful for. Finding 17 seconds of positive momentum can sway your day into a happier place to stay, creating a new vibrational point of attraction. Check out Abraham Hicks on YouTube for inspiration.

Seven. Lighten up with Laughter

Look, there’s nothing like laughter to lift the atmosphere and lighten the mood. Letting go of pain can be a cause to laugh or cry, but for me, finding a reason to laugh is part of my big why. Some of the happiest humans I know laugh easily, loudly and often, and I’m grateful to be included in this group. We find fun even in the deep moments of darkness, and it’s this that creates resilience and youthfulness. Whether its laughing at a film or finding a reason to laugh at yourself, finding humour in a tough situation eases the pressure and allows the experience to shift of its own volition.

Happiness really is a choice. Choosing to be happy starts with choosing your thoughts.

When I started searching for happiness, it started showing up in simple pleasures. I’m curious to know, what are your simple sources of happiness?

Please share in the comments below one of your simple pleasures, or what you do when you need a dose of happy vibes.

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By Amorenda Bridgland

Amorenda is all about embodiment. A continuous learner, she’s been exploring the boundaries of intimacy in the context of conscious sexuality for the better part of a decade. She practices holistic bodywork, shamanic dance, partnership coaching and spiritual counselling. She offers a collaborative toolkit for transformation program in Brunswick.

She loves the skin she’s in.