Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Hardwiring Happiness

I recently read about a book called Hardwiring Happiness, which explains how to reprogramme your brain by focusing on positive experiences through the senses on a daily basis. So, paying attention to a smell that conjures up a happy memory (maybe your grandmother's apple pie), a sound that lifts your spirits (a favourite song playing while you wait in line for a coffee), a sight that makes you smile — such a cliché, but the autumn leaves get me every single year!

I started trying to notice little things like this as often as possible each day and it really does work in terms of making you feel "glass half full". I was with my youngest daughter in a candy shop last weekend and Abracadabra by The Steve Miller Band was playing. It took me back to the happy, optimistic part of my teen self. I felt like she often lost out to the jaded, cynical part (although several friends have told me that what they remember most about me during those years was my laugh, so maybe not).

Abracadabra got stuck in my head and made me smile all day long. Little things like that go unnoticed if we don't make a conscious effort to stop and honour them, but it's so worth the effort because they can change the whole tenor of your day if you let them. Who says only the "bad" stuff should hold our attention? Here are some other happy things I noticed recently:

* Our apartment faces due west and every night I get to watch the spectacular colours as the sun sets, and it's always majestic

* I've started looking out for interesting doorways — they always hold "possibility"

* It makes me happy to see people wearing or displaying handcrafted things. I am lucky to live in a neighbourhood full of creative people so I watch out for their talents

* I visited a yarn shop this week and spent some time sitting on the floor immersed in the colours and textures of a whole wall of wool — and, of course, had to bring some home...

* My mother bought me a stunning mini orchid in a greeny-yellow shade that I just can't stop looking at

* I am obsessed with the smell of my new face oil (see post about it here)

What have you noticed lately?


  1. Aimee-this is so true and reminded me during this very hectic time of year to take a moment and enjoy. I did that last night as I turned off the TV and turned on the Christmas music and watch my children dance and act silly before bed!

  2. Isn't it amazing how easy it is to switch gear when we slow down?! So happy to hear about your pre-Christmas disco! So fun!