Working on Happiness

happiness journal mindfulness serafina Jun 13, 2023

We, as humans, cannot always be happy. There is the good in life and the not good and everything in between, and we get to experience it all with a wide range of emotions. I think it is a great skill to learn to accept your own feelings and to not fight them. Nonetheless, I still think it is a wonderful idea to work on happiness. 

What recently inspired me to reflect on how to find more happiness, was reading Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy by Mo Gawdat. From this book I was able to draw two key learnings for myself. 


We are not our thoughts and we have the ability to choose our thoughts. Sometimes it doesn't feel like it, but we can control our brain. We can remind it to think thoughts that are pleasant. We can learn to catch ourselves when we are in a negative headspace or even in a dark downward spiral. From what I understood, guiding our thoughts is a skill that we can learn. One that takes a lot of practice and one that is not easy, but it can be done. 

After reading the book I had a month or two where this idea really stuck with me and helped me with my headspace. However, like with many thoughts it slipped my mind again. So here I am, reminding myself of this learning. 


I loved the exercise of creating a list of items that make me feel happy. Mo Gawdat suggests to look at it every day and add to it. I haven't looked at my list in a while so I thought I would find it and share it with you. Maybe you'll find some inspiration. :-)

I feel happy when:

  • I am healthy
  • I've had a great workout
  • I'm cooking
  • I'm eating a good meal
  • I'm spending time with loved ones
  • I'm sailing
  • I spend quality time with my dog Genie
  • I'm in nature
  • I get to be creative
  • I go on an early morning hike
  • I've had a good nights sleep
  • I wear my favorite clothes or get to choose a fun outfit
  • I've taken care of my body and feel good in it
  • I get a massage
  • I have time for daydreaming 
  • I watch the sunrise or sunset
  • I get to go travel
  • I listen to good music
  • it rains
  • I accomplish or finish a task
  • I read
  • I finish a book
  • I drink a cup of coffee (preferably made for me by a loved one)
  • I get to experience or learn something new
  • I get to crawl into a freshly made bed
  • I do yoga or stretch, particularly afterwards
  • I work on my journal
  • I get to use my fountain pens
  • there is something to celebrate and it is celebrated
  • I meditate
  • I smell something that reminds me of good times
  • I take a deep breath of fresh air

After finishing typing this list into my computer I couldn't help but smile. Aside from being a reminder of what brings me joy, it is also a great reminder of what I am grateful for. I have even come up with a few new items. 

I definitely see the worth of having this list somewhere very present and potentially working on it daily or at least weekly. It can serve as a guide for when I am feeling down. I can choose anything on the list that is realistic in that moment as a pick me up. It will not solve any problems, but it will certainly help to feel a little bit better. 

I highly encourage you to create your own list of happy. If you want to share it with us or any thoughts you have on this topic, feel free to send us an e-mail to [email protected]



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