We all want to be happy, but how do you find happiness throughout an overall busy day? When I was working full time I often felt exhausted and broken. In retrospect I believe part of my misery was a result of my environment. Not the bosses, paperwork, endless meetings and general coworker-related frustration, but the fact that I spent nearly every waking hour of my day sitting inside a stale and stuffy building.
As a stay-at-home mom I now spend a minimum of two to three hours outside each day. My son loves to step outside of the house and to be honest I love to let him run around and release his toddler energy. On those days when rain keeps us inside I can definitely sense a change in my mood.
I believe the combination of physical activity and sunshine brighten my spirits. It’s tough to sit still outside with a two year old. My son wants to explore everything. We check out the flowers in the front yard and herbs in the garden. We fill watering cans and nourish the plants, we kick balls, ride bikes and run around in circles.
What is it about nature that makes you feel so connected to the universe. As soon as I push the stroller out of the garage and feel the sunlight hit my cheeks I know the day will immediately be that much brighter. Outside you can hear the birds chirping and watch the leaves swirling.
In fact, thinking back I believe my best days on the job were those when I left the office for lunch. I didn’t realize it then, but the sunshine and fresh air definitely lifted my spirits, particularly on not-so-pleasant days. I’m sure the combination of exercise, (walking to the sandwich shop), and being outside worked as a solid one-two combination.
Happiness seems like an elusive goal, but there are many simple acts that we can perform each day to lift our spirits. While exercise and sunshine certainly top the list there are other solid suggestions like listening to music, caring for other people, making plans and having sex.
I often forget how big of an impact music can have on my mood. Lucky for me my son loves to turn up the speakers in our house and thankfully he loves real music more than baby tunes. At two and a half he has become a huge fan of Bob Marley. My husband started singing them to him one evening and I can now find him walking around the house quietly humming the songs and reciting the lyrics. Right now one of his favorite songs is Three Little Birds. At any given moment, (eating cereal, putting on his shoes or putting together puzzles on the living room floor), you can hear him singing “Don’t worry about a thing, ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.” If those words, (being sung by a two year old), don’t help you release your stress and brighten your day I don’t know what would.