Your Happiness Five a Day

Simple steps can help you on the pathway to happiness

Maryalicia Post

Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019

There was a time when happiness was for children and newlyweds. Times change. Research confirms that happiness contributes to health and productivity. Consequently, being happy is recognised not as an optional extra but as a necessary component of a healthy lifestyle. Ophthalmologists are already in an advantageous position in the happiness stakes. When the happiness quota of a variety of medical specialties is surveyed, ophthalmology always figures highly; this year it was at number 8 of 29 specialties reporting.

As happiness contributes to creativity, productivity and longevity, why wouldn’t you check once in a while – ‘am I happy?’ You’re probably already pretty sure you know the answer, but should you be in any doubt here is an app to help. And if you discover you are not happy, there is plenty of advice on the web for turning the situation around.

I’ve had a look at 15 Habits of Incredibly Happy People, 10 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Incredibly Happy and the marginally less self-assured 25 Habits to Help You be Happy.

Aside from the impression that being able to count is the pathway to happiness, I’ve also garnered enough advice to formulate a plan. I’ll it call it the Happiness Five a Day.

Here it is:

1, 2, 3: Be kind; grateful; generous
We all know how to be do this – the warm smile, the sincere compliment, the understanding when things go wrong – consciously practising these virtues daily really does makes us happier.

4: Follow your dream
To give happiness a boost, find something to be excited about, a special interest that makes you glad to wake up in the morning. Need inspiration? Read this.

5: Nurture your relationships.
Maintain a healthy balance of life/work. If you aren’t sure you are in optimal balance, check it out here. If you discover you’re teetering, there are tips for improving your balance here and here.  And remember, ‘no one ever died wishing they’d spent more time at the office’. Regretting not getting the life/work balance right is as poignant for an ophthalmologist as for anyone else.

Happiness is not finding this out at the last minute.

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