If someone were to look at my reading list, they’d think I might be bordering on depression. 😛 There’s a fair number of books there around finding happiness. I think that list speaks more to my realisation about the importance of self-reflection rather than my actual state of mind!
“Happiness” is a funny word. While it sounds like I’m just chasing after getting that “happy happy joy joy” feeling all the time, I realised that it wasn’t only that. I was looking for contentment about my circumstances despite whatever hardships the Universe threw my way and a sense of meaning around my life. Reading all those books made it clear that while the term “happiness” may have been the bait to hook people in, the concept of happiness centred around living a better life.
I haven’t been reading much the past two months because I’ve been consuming other things, which I’m going to share with y’all here, just in case one of my lovely friends reading this finds it helpful. 🙂
The Science of Happiness
This is a free online course from the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. It’s quite intense. There is a fair amount of readings and videos involved. What I like about it is that, as a logical person, a lot of the concepts were backed up by research.
This is a free meditation app. I loved Headspace, but wanted to cut down on my ongoing expenses. I’m still getting used to the app, but it seems like a good alternative!
Oliver Burkeman is busy
OK, so technically this isn’t about happiness per se, but one of the things I’ve discovered is how becoming more focused and intentional with my actions has a positive impact on my mental health.
I was wondering a couple of weekends ago if I was spending too much time just thinking about things. Then I listened to the last episode where Burkeman talks about reflection is an antidote to busy-ness. HA! So seems like I’m on the right track, after all.
I think it’s been working! So, the past week, no less then four people have commented on how much happier I seem. “Not that you were super sad or anything,” A said. “But you seem much happier now!”
People have tried to pinpoint it on one of a couple of good things that have happened lately, but I think it’s the sum of everything. I have to admit that the good things definitely did have a positive impact on my general mood, but I like to think I can cope better with things now! While there’s still plenty of room for improvement, I’ve discarded some of the time-wasters eating up my energy (like mindless Internet surfing) and learned to savour more the experiences that I do have.
When I started blogging early this year, I spoke mainly about how I wanted to declutter my possessions and simplify. While my focus had been on my tangible things, it turned out to be much more than that — I ended up clearing my life of all things that were unnecessary so I could focus on the essential — my relationships, my health, my interests.
I wrote a few months ago that my life felt uneventful. I think the latter part of the year ended up pretty interesting! That being said, I’ve had enough of this excitement for now and can’t wait for a fresh new year in 2017!