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International Day of Happiness 2023
March 20th is the UN International Day of Happiness.
We all need happy hormones for good brain health such as Dopamine, Endorphin, Serotonin and Oxytocin.
For the International Day of Happiness, I was thinking about the way I get my happy hormones.
Many years ago, I was sitting in a practical philosophy class (weekly) - I did this for 3 years and it changed the way I view the world. The topic was happiness or more appropriately “living a happy life”.
Our lecturer set us homework to design and live a “Beautiful Day.” To luxuriate in planning this, booking it, waking up in the morning of this Beautiful Day full of anticipation and then living the Beautiful Day. I had a spectacular time!
All my Beautiful Days have a food theme. Food is one of my passions. I’m always motivated to cook. I love ALL food, even food that some people may think is disgusting. I love the way it looks, the taste, the smell, the texture – I use all my senses – I immerse myself.
People who know me will tell you I reach heights of delirium when I run across goose eggs for sale – I start to dance. Pure Happiness.
I love the taste of hare (yep…that bigger rabbit). I love cooking hare as it transports me to my childhood when we would gather to eat hare cooked the Greek way with lots of onions and potatoes in a tomato-based sauce. But more importantly, it transports me to beautiful memories of my Yiayia (grandmother) and dad, both no longer with us. Making Baklava with my mum helping me, transports me to being 10, and being taught how to lay filo pastry. I still can’t go past dandelions when I’m on a bush walk without having an overwhelming desire to pick and cook them, serving them simply with good olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
You might be thinking "Maria loves gourmet food". But it can be a humble vanilla slice in a country Victorian town or great tasting farm fresh eggs in a roadhouse. And who doesn't like a chip sandwich on fresh white bread!! It can even be something outside the box – cricket flour biscuits (my mum still won’t eat my biscuits because she believes I’ve snuck in crickets…).
I love all food and all food makes me happy.
But everyone’s beautiful day will be different. You might want to spend it snuggled with your cats reading a book, watching movies with friends, playing a board game, doing your gardening, shopping, cleaning the house, being silly at a playground…...
That’s the point - “It’s your beautiful day.”
So design it, make a date with yourself (and don’t change it because it’s easy to – its important) and think of it as it approaches and then enjoy it. During the day, remind yourself that this is your Beautiful Day! Have fun and increase those happiness hormones we all need. Make sure you have at least one Beautiful Day every 2 months (a mini holiday for your brain).
My Beautiful Day planning and doing is still happening 16 years after that lecture!
The Team at Paragon PsychConnect see the therapeutic benefit of beautiful days and we can help you create them.