Posts tagged Happy
I’ve been experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety lately for various reasons, so to remind myself of the good things I have going on, I’ve decided to take part in a tag that I’ve seen doing the rounds lately – 50 Things That Make Me Happy. Making this list has actually helped me feel a bit better and shift my focus away from the negative, so I tag anyone who’s been feeling a bit down in the dumps lately!
So in no particular order, here are my 50 things…
1. My fiancé, Charles.
2. My pet rats, past and present.
3. Cooking, and trying out and inventing new recipes.
4. Spending time with my family.
5. Seeing my friends.
6. Going to gigs. I love that feeling of being in the same air space as my musical heroes, and hearing them sing my favourite songs live.
7. Taking photographs. Whether it’s a snapshot for Instagram, or a shoot with my DSLR, photography is a definite passion of mine.
8. Being outdoors. I try to get out as much as possible as it makes me far happier than being cooped up inside all day.
9. Theme Parks. There’s nothing quite like the adrenaline rush you get from a massive rollercoaster!
10. Eating out at my favourite restaurants.
11. Being appreciated at work. It’s always nice to hear some good feedback, either from a manager, a colleague, or a student.
12. Running for charity. I try to complete an event every year. This year I’m doing the Race for Life.
13. That feeling of buying and wearing new shoes and clothes.
14. Glastonbury. The town, not the festival. It’s a beautiful place.
15. Dublin. Another of my favourite places.
16. Watching wildlife. Squirrels, foxes, hedgehogs, rabbits, everything. I especially have a thing for birds. My mum likens me to Bill Oddie…
17. Volunteering. I recently did some volunteering at the local wildlife hospital and I loved it.
18. Chocolate, cake, puddings, pastries, ice cream. All the sweet food.
19. Chilling with my favourite TV shows.
20. Mine and Charles’ takeaway and movie nights.
21. Getting home from work.
22. A good cup of tea.
23. Coca Cola from a cold glass bottle, especially on a hot day.
24. Finding a bargain. It makes getting something new feel that little bit sweeter!
25. Going to carboot sales. See above.
26. Books. The way they look, the way they feel, the way the smell, the stories within them.
27. Watching Grav3yardgirl videos.
28. Listening to my favourite music. In particular, Kate Bush, Nine Inch Nails, Placebo and Mike Oldfield take me to my happy place these days.
29. Fireworks. And bonfires. And Bonfire Night in general.
30. Halloween. It’s one of the best days of the year.
31. Going to the cinema.
32. Writing. Blogging, scribbling in my journal before bed, jotting down stories. Love it all.
33. Saving money for a house. I smile every time I see my savings account balance go up.
34. Weekend breakfasts. They usually consist of pain au chocolat, croissants, fruit toast, or something like that. Yum.
35. Storms. Thunder and lightning reminds me that I’m part of something big and powerful, and it’s amazing.
36. Walking and hiking.
37. Geocaching. It’s been a while since I last did any but it’s a lot of fun.
38. My mum’s cats.
39. Boxing Day. I like it more than Christmas Day and Boxing Day lunch is one of the best meals of the year.
40. My birthday.
41. Family and friends’ birthdays.
43. Foot and back rubs.
44. New Walk Museum in Leicester. It’s been one of my favourite places to go since I was a kid.
46. People showing that they care, with a gesture, a question, a smile etc.
47. Getting a good night’s sleep. They’re rare, but damn do I appreciate it when I get one.
48. Winning things. Competitions, games of Monopoly. S’all good.
49. Swimming in the sea.
50. Camping. Feeling the grass on my feet, the fresh smell of dew in the morning, watching the sun set, cooking breakfast on a camping stove. God I love it.
What are 50 things that make you happy?
Last year I realised something about myself… I was slightly overweight and I was unhappy, I lacked confidence and, to be honest, I wasn’t as healthy as I could have been. It was the photographs from my dad’s wedding in August 2011 that made me realise I wasn’t the person I wanted to be. It wasn’t necessarily the extra pounds that bothered me, but my own lack of motivation, so I set about fixing the issues that needed fixing. It just so happened that these fixes also meant that I started to lose the excess weight. Earlier this year I posted about my health and fitness regime. At the time of posting I had already lost 12 pounds, but I still had a little way to go. Now, exactly 51 weeks after deciding to change, I have reached my target! In total I have lost 25 pounds, which in 51 weeks is a very gradual weight-loss of around 1/2 a pound per week, and I now have a ‘normal’, healthy BMI of 23. I couldn’t be happier with my progress and I feel I have really succeeded in changing my lifestyle for the better.
The changes I decided to make were very serious to me. Faddy diets and weight-loss plans didn’t even cross my mind as I knew the results wouldn’t last (even if they were fast) and they only targeted one tiny part of what I wanted to change. Instead, I looked at my diet, saw where I was going wrong and altered it. I have been vegetarian for eleven years and have always cooked healthy meals for myself, so that wasn’t the main problem. The problem was snacking. I have a sweet tooth and in between meals I would always snack on chocolate, biscuits and cake, several times a day. I now avoid snacks unless I actually need one, and then I’ll choose something healthier. As a result, I appreciate my main meals a lot more and it’s made me realise that the snacks I was eating before were very unnecessary as I can survive without them! They were eaten out of habit or boredom, if anything, which is a pattern I am very glad to have broken. I by no means deny myself these sweet things… In fact I still eat them quite often, I just eat less of them. I used the MyFitnessPal application on my smart phone to track my meals too, which I found helped a lot as I could see if/when/where I was going wrong.
As well as eating better, I started to exercise more. I used to find exercising quite a chore, but now I really enjoy it. I’m not sure how I managed to change my mindset on this so easily, but the sheer determination I felt to change my lifestyle drove me forward and made me want to exercise. The more I did it the better I felt, and the better I felt the more I wanted to do it. Believe it or not, my main source of exercise is simply walking. I walk whenever and wherever I can and it really has helped. I also find the Wii Fit really useful as the fun element of it distracts me from the hard work! I have noticed a great difference in my health since starting to exercise more. I used to suffer from asthma which was aggravated if I exerted myself too much, but now the asthma is so much better and I hardly ever need to use my inhalers, which is a massive bonus.
As I got healthier, my confidence grew. In my case, a healthy body really has lead to a healthy mind. In February I started Bewitchery, which I would never have done this time last year, and getting positive feedback from my lovely readers has helped me a lot, so thank you to all of you for helping to boost my confidence. As Bewitchery grows, my confidence grows, which helps me in other ways too. I’m far more assertive now than I was a year ago, which has definitely helped with my university work, I now feel comfortable wearing clothes such as shorts and strapless tops, which I would never go near before, and I feel confident that I can achieve whatever I put my mind to, which is the most important thing I have taken from this.
Overall, I am now healthier, happier and more confident, both in my body and my mind. I’m glad I took the steps to change my lifestyle for the better and there’s no looking back now. This is me and this is how I want to be. It’s been an amazing year full of personal achievements, and here’s to many more to come!