working on being happy

Hiya!  How’s you doing today?

I’m sitting on my sofa finally after a massively long working week (including Saturday and Sunday aaaagh) – it’s been one crazy week with one thing and another!  I am so grateful for my sofa right now (and my iPad, which is playing iPlayer in the background and my phone which is keeping me entertained with some of my crazier WhatsApp groups’ messages) because I am SHAT.TERED!

IMG_4375I think my sanity’s been saved this week by a chance purchase last week – my Kikki.K happiness journal.  My lovely friend Romy Alexandra (who is the queen of all things beautiful) has absolutely been raving about Kikki.K recently, which is a Swedish stationery store which has just opened up in London.  I popped into the pop-up store last week intending just to have a quick look round for five minutes and ended up spending almost two hours chatting with the LOVELY staff and looking at the gorgeous, shiny, happy stationery.  I loved it all, but I’m saving money at the moment so I had to choose one thing to buy and it was this beautiful journal.

To me, being happy and healthy go hand in hand and although I definitely believe that being healthy leads to being happy naturally, I also believe that you can make yourself happier super-easily, just by looking for the good stuff!  It seems to me that in practically any given situation there are always going to be good things and bad things and whichever you look for, that is exactly what you will find.  Once you’ve found either the good or the bad, it becomes really really hard to see the other  because your brain is full!  Either way, it tends to be a habit as to whether you look for the good naturally, or whether you tend to focus on the bad.  However, this differs from normal habits in that:

  1. It’s a very subconscious habit; whereas you generally know whether you have a particular habit or not, most people don’t think about whether they habitually look for the good or the bad; and
  2. Most habits are behaviour which on some level you want to engage in, whereas looking for the bad in a situation is not behaviour which, either objectively or subjectively, most people want to hold on to!

Accordingly it’s pretty easy to switch from looking for the negative to looking for the positive just by focusing on what you’re thinking and identifying your thought patterns.  Sitting down with the challenge of looking for something good in a particular situation can be super-helpful because it really focuses your mind on what’s good.
IMG_4377So – enter the Kikki.K journal this week!  When I got home on Thursday, I was absolutely knackered; I had discovered that day that the project I was working on was going to take way longer than I’d thought and I was staring down the barrel of working all weekend, skipping trampolining and gymnastics and having to cancel my social plans all week.  Believe me, I was not that happy about this as you can well imagine!  I wasn’t really thinking about the bad stuff about the day, but I definitely wasn’t thinking about the good stuff either!  I had already had a particularly fun training session the day before and I’d kicked off my journal with some pictures and a chart of how good I felt, but that was easy because it was an objectively good time.  This was different in that it was a day which was not inherently positive, so I had actively to look for the happy things in it.  I thought I’d only be able to find one or two, but actually I managed to fill up a whole page!  It was late so I stopped at that point but I bet I could have gone on.  The upshot was that I went to bed with a massive smile on my face, feeling fine about the day and not absolutely dreading the next few days, which would have been how I’d felt if I hadn’t sat down and actually thought about what had been good in the day.

IMG_4384The journal itself is basically pretty repetitive; it has various page layouts which variously have happiness cues such as thinking of a happy song or writing out a happy quote, have space to draw on or stick things in, or lists where you can set out either things that have made you happy during the day or things you’re looking forward to.  It also contains some quotes every now and again but not enough to be annoying … It’s a fine line but to my mind they’ve nailed it.

Obvs, you don’t need a Kikki.K in the hood to do this; you can just use any old notebook (although I’m sure that psychologically happy shiny notebooks make you feel better than the run of the mill school refill zzzzzzzzz!) or you could create it on a computer and print it out … which would also have the added advantage of letting you create your own happiness triggers and cues.  I like the ones in the Kikki.K journal a lot but I also like the idea of personalising it to maximise my potential for getting the most out of it.

I love the idea of being able to be happier just by focusing a little bit on the good stuff – I hope you do too!  Let me know whether you think you’re more of a positive person or a negative person and whether you think a happiness journal like this would help you.  Leaving you with my favourite quote from the journal, which also is my life-long mantra!



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