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Give it time

Older isn’t just wiser. It is happier too. Research shows that happiness and optimism peak in your 70s and 80s. People are often less happy in their middle years because they get bogged down in responsibilities and anxiety but then well-being rises for the rest of...

Free gifts!

In Hamburg at the Christmas markets, we saw a group of students with ‘Free Hugs!’ banners. Everyone was studiously ignoring them, going about their serious shopping. Speaking halting German, the six of us went and claimed our free hugs from each of them. We made...

Dealing with grudges

Is there someone you resent? When their name comes up does that feeling boil up again. Where did this come from? How long has it been going on? How does it affect you? By holding this grudge are you making a difference? If stuck, draw a circle in the middle of a page....

Love to learn

Be open to new experiences as they can bring a fresh intensity and interest to your life. Train yourself to be more inquisitive. Don’t take anything at face value. Ask yourself, and others a myriad of questions. Be intrigued by the past, the present and the future....

Make people happy

It is hard to resist a smile. While smiling inanely and inappropriately is to be avoided, the science of facial expressions tells us that when face muscles are stimulated electrically to replicate different facial expressions, the subject reports feeling the emotions...

Make a connection

Technology connects us instantaneously with global events and the plight of others around the world. We can feel their pain but we can also experience joy at a distance. Writing at the time of the Royal Wedding in the UK, it is clear that people crave the opportunity...

Find Zest

Dictionary definitions: enthusiasm, energy, excitement, piquancy. Zest correlates highly with happiness. Realistically, you may have to spend a fair amount of time in dutiful activities. Commit as much time to the activities which make your energy surge. In fact, try...

Luxuriate in the best

There’s an irritating habit many people have. When good things are happening (a facial, a concert, a holiday) they waste time fretting about them ending too soon. Tell that voice in your head to shut up! Learn to luxuriate in the best moments with all your senses on...

Marvel at life

I remember as a child, out for a walk with my father, he picked a tiny flower and showed me what a completely perfect act of creation it was in every detail. Marvel at the beauty of the big stuff, a stunning rainbow, amazing architecture or your own success, but take...

Choose the movie

Without meaning to, we regularly run movies in our heads of what we don’t want to happen. The result: we scare ourselves stupid and our brain gets a signal that this is what we want and obliges with nerves and anxiety. Try this. Visualise yourself in the situation....

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