Seeking Happiness This Spring

Today is both Spring Equinox and the International Day of Happiness so we thought this warranted a sharing of some more of our thoughts. For those not quite sure what the former means, the equinox marks the sun crossing the equator from south to north. This means that Earth’s tilt is now bringing spring and summer to the northern hemisphere; and after a very wet and dark winter, this is certainly good news indeed! Here at TOG, we’re really looking forward to longer, lighter, warmer and drier (we can hope!) days.

I think it’s fair to say that happiness is something that we all want to pursue and hold onto. But at times it does feel like there’s a lot to battle through to find that; be that on a personal level with poor health or financial, relational, or job stresses, or on a global scale with conflict, climate change, and poverty all regularly making the headlines. So we thought we’d have a look today at three ways to seek out happiness in our lives.

Finding joy in community

This year’s theme is ‘Happier Together’ with the tagline being the reminder that ‘lasting happiness comes from feeling connected to others and being part of something bigger.’ This is something that we couldn’t agree with more! Here at TOG, one of our core values is to build an awesome community, and we truly believe that being part of a community is key to a healthy, happy life. Communities offer support and encouragement, they offer challenge and push us to be the best version of ourselves, they give us a sense of purpose and belonging.

For us in our community, our purpose comes from giving all young people equal access to the outdoors and education and to our commitment to playing our part in stopping the climate crisis we find ourselves in. But regardless of what your community looks like and what it strives to do, we think that finding one that accepts and nourishes you, as you are, is the most important thing you can do to help you on your pathway to finding happiness within your life.

It’s all about the small things

This is a popular theme on social media and for good reason – sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the bigger picture and all the woe and grief that comes with it, that we miss something beautiful and joyful right in front of us. Making a conscious effort to seek out small moments of joy in your day to day life is one of the most powerful ways to inject bursts of happiness into your life. Whether that’s seeing spring flowers blooming on your way to work for the first time this year, the way your toddler’s face lights up when you come into a room, the sight of the sun for the first time after a week of rain, the taste of a particularly delicious meal, cooked for you with love, finishing a fantastic new book, running your first 5k…. we could go on, and on, and on. There are so many small moments of happiness in our lives, happening all the time, just ready for the taking. Notice them, embrace them, let them soak into your soul and lift your spirits. Why not jot down a few moments that have made you smile before you go to bed? It’s a lovely way to finish the day, remembering the joy that you’ve encountered.

Get outside, get moving

You’re probably not surprised to see this one as our final note on happiness. But we’re not going to apologise for being a broken record because it’s so true, and so important! Getting outside and getting moving is one of the most failsafe ways to improve your move. You don’t need us to present you with the research but to list just a few benefits…it provides you with vitamin D (which helps your immune system and mood), increases your cardiovascular health, gets you away from screens (and all the doom that comes with them!) and exercise brings endorphins (feel good hormones). You don’t have to drive for miles to a beauty spot or get out for hours every day but even a walk round the block for 30 minutes will have lasting benefits to your physical and mental health.

Whilst we can’t expect to be happy all the time (sadly, it’s just not how life works!) we hope that this has helped you to think about ways to incorporate moments of happy into your every day life. And here’s to the light returning and all the opportunities for joy that comes with it.

Author: Hannah Durdin, Content Officer & Forest School Leader

Date: Wednesday 20th March 2024

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