Secrets to Happiness. Live Simply, Love Life and Have Pets

Live Simply, Love Life and Have Pets

Before the title misleads you I don’t go around everyday with a smile on my face, we all have bad days and I’m one of the many but if I were to look at my current situation I’d say I’m happy, yes there are people I’ve loved and lost, opportunities I feel I may have missed out on and uncertainties about the future but by meditating and focusing on the positives of the present I feel empowered to say I’m happy.

Living a life of simplicity contributes greatly to contentment. I’ve found that I’ve got into the habit of questioning my actions more often, so before I go to buy something or accept a freebie I ask myself whether or not it’s really necessary and this one habit has saved me hundreds of dollars in four months alone. Other than this, working through my home bit by bit has allowed me to sell things I haven’t needed or used online and I’ve made a couple of hundred dollars doing this too.

One of the most common questions I receive through my blog and social media outlets is what keeps me motivated and it’s one simple trick which keeps me going –

I write often about what I need to stay motivated about. Switching from vegetarianism to veganism? I blogged about it and formed a habit, routine and lifestyle that stuck. In terms of living minimalist, I blogged every step of the way and still do. Writing is my passion I have many passions, so write on the side of my full time University degree and the two businesses I run but as part of my pact to eliminate clutter and time spent in front of the television. I find that using writing and reading as healthy thought-provoking alternatives has brought out the creative author in me. In truth I’ve found inspiration from reading other freelance bloggers who share my philosophies in life, including Daniel Watson, Joshua Becker and Gerard Grimes amongst a host of others.

Another thing which keeps me happy is the fact that I live in a household filled with four loving, caring and personally-filled pets and it’s one of the best things about life. We have two rabbits and two cats and the cats are chased by the rabbits – it’s possibly the funniest thing I could ever see repeated daily and the look of shock on the faces of any visitors we have doesn’t get old either. My own experiences aside the therapeutic effects of having animals is recognised worldwide, from tackling anxiety to depression, having a household pet to love and have them return this affection is one of the best feelings in the world and the effects are noted throughout psychological literature. Myself and my fiancé got our kitten Lucy two years ago when we were in an inner city student apartment, adjustments were made to hide her from the landlord of course however and we were met from disapproval from family and friends with the usual of they cost too much, they get sick and then cost even more and so forth but we just got a good pet insurance company to cover us for the eventualities they through up – look for comprehensive policy types companies such as those Kanetix have and compare and contrast to see what’s right for you given your situation. Either way if you’re living alone or with a partner a pet is a great idea to boost your happiness levels.

Don’t forget though we are what we eat, so food and our overall diet has a lot more to do with our happiness levels than you may initially expect. Legumes such as peas boost magnesium levels which is involved in over 300 chemical reactions in the body, without this we can fizzle out quicker so stock up. There’s a host of other happiness inducing foods too…

    • Spinach – for its energy-boosting iron content
    • Quinoa – this prevents crazy blood sugar drops and is a complex carbohydrate which offers a steady release of energy (with minimal mood swings)
    • Walnuts – believe it or not these offer one of the richest dietary sources of serotonin, the mood enhancing neurotransmitter. Considering a recent Spanish study indicated that serotonin could be directly absorbed from food Walnuts may offer more than you think.

Laura O'Hanlon blogs daily on happiness, wellbeing, minimalist living and business start-ups.  She is the creator of the blogs Living Minimalist and Sweeter Business

So happiness is really found in the simple things in life, not striving for happiness but realising that we’re content in the present is, I’ve found another great way to just be happy and this is quite a mindfulness-based thought process. Either way happiness is something within everyone’s reach.

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