So January and the media is full of new year, new you, how to be fitter, more successful, reach your goals, be happier, drink less (or not at all) etc. etc. It’s quite exhausting and after my strivings of 2015 I’m ignoring all of it – apart from the happy bit – that’s always good to aim for. So how do I start climbing those ladders. Well according to a 75 year old Harvard study it’s all about being socially connected and having good relationships. If that is all you do, you’ll be happier and healthier than most. Check out the TED talk by Robert Waldinger. It’s an amazing study that followed 700 men from their 20’s through to their 90’s. Of the original 700, 60 are still actively engaged in the study.
This is backed up by Dr McCulloch, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation who credits being social and interconnected as top tips for health and happiness. Other things to strive for include being connected with nature, having things to look forward to and doing nice things for others.
I reckon all of that is very possible and more than enough.
Last January I tried taking a picture outside each day, looking back at these I realise how beneficial that was to my mood. The difference this January I think is in the mindset, that sometimes just having these moments each day is enough. One of these photos came up on Facebook today – ‘Sharing a memory of one year ago’ – It was a lovely photo of the beach at sunset with my dog Arnie who died in May 2015. I’ve taken another one today – same beach, sunset and with my puppy Monty. New year, new motivations, less striving, just being, happy photo. It’s a rung up a ladder.