Happiness: Reasons to Be Cheerful

Today the sun's shining and I've ditched three layers of clothes. I've gone all morning without breaking my diet so I feel pounds lighter. I've washed the kitchen floor and it's as sparkly and bright as the floors in those adverts. I feel good.

But wait a minute. How can I be feeling so happy when there are wars, famines and disasters happening all over the world? Won't thinking about those things ruin the mood?

The good things that are making me cheerful today are all pretty trivial compared with the madness that's going on around the globe, but the truth is, the tiny details make a greater difference to my mood than worrying about the huge, important issues.

That's partly because I can do something about them, I guess, and partly because they're happening, now, today, and I feel the effects straight away.

The great thing is that if I'm having a blue day, when things aren't going so well, I can change one or two details and make myself feel better instantly. I can spray myself with a scent that I love, that persuades me take a deep relaxing breath. I can put on a pair of red socks to make myself smile. I can listen to Mozart and find myself enjoying the anticipation of waiting for my favourite moments.

I know that those things will pick me up. That boost might not last long, and it won't deal with real problems of illness, death and broken hearts. It won't solve anything, really. But just for a moment, a few seconds, a brief heartbeat, I'll feel better.

The things that enrich my life may be different from the things that work for other people, but we can all find our own mood-improvers. To write a list of 'what cheers me up' is a great start, and to patch one of them into everyday life is a brilliant second step.

Sometimes the things we can do on a small scale, in our corner of the earth, like charity donations or little kindnesses to friends, help us feel good and make a difference in the world at the same time.

They say 'don't sweat the small stuff,' but if we pay attention to the details, the aspects of life we can really control, maybe it gets easier to deal with the big scary stuff. It's worth a try, anyway.

If you'd like to know more about how we can work happiness into our lives, come and visit SpeechContacts

If you're the proud owner of an iphone, you can find a free application there that will offer you a daily dose of life-enhancing suggestions.

I write this Communication Blog

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Frances Evesham: on the run around Europe for years, with only a husband, three children and a succession of opinionated cats to keep me out of trouble. Somerset stopped me in my tracks. Now I walk in the country and breathe sea air. I will get around to cleaning the house soon.

I've been a speech therapist, a professional communication fiend and a road sweeper. I sometimes work in the criminal courts to uphold fair questioning of people with special needs.

I smell the roses, lavender and rosemary as I cook with a glass of wine in one hand and a bunch of chillies in the other. Writing historical romances and books on communication leaves enough time to enjoy bad jokes and puns and wish I’d kept on with the piano lessons.