What makes people happy?

I asked about the things that bring you joy and you answered. 

I wanted to know because I think a lot about how we spend our time and money, and how it affects us. 

It turns out that joy has nothing to do with money, or indeed, commerce at all (unless we’re talking about buying coffee, books, movie tickets and wine).

What brings you joy is each other. Your pets. The sunrise. Your morning swim, walk or workout.

You love being in bed with your children, partner, cats and dogs.

You love cooking and eating with friends. You love long baths, quiet moments and naps.

There are so many of us who are heartsore and lonely, longing for comfort and connection. We’re worn out.

So here’s what I prescribe to bring more joy into your life as we approach midwinter.

Stay in bed: Invite someone to stay in bed with you. Cuddle your kids, let your cat sleep on your head, break your grandmother’s rules and let the dog sleep at your feet.

Have dinner together: Make some spicy lentil soup. Slow-cook a casserole. Mash some potatoes with butter or roast a chicken. Sit around a table together with good wine, comfort food and good people.

Get a pet: If you don’t have one, get one. Preferably a snuggly one.

Slow down: Stop and look around. Look at the sky. Meditate. Do a yoga class. Watch the sunrise or sunset. Take a moment to enjoy your tea, coffee, or wine. Read a book. Read a poem. Listen to a song. Have a nap. 

Get out into nature: It’s cold outside but you will feel a whole lot better if you do it. Walk in the park or on the beach. Swim somewhere heated (or swim swiftly!). Go somewhere wild and breathe it in.

Dance: Go out dancing. Dance at home. Dance to your favourite song. Dance yourself free. Whatever you do, just dance.

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