Find new ways to have fun

Imagine if you will your all-time favourite meal, perfectly-prepared, impeccably-served, and mouth-wateringly consumed in your idea of heavenly company.

Perhaps you’re thinking about a particular meal you enjoyed in the past, or you could be imagining a dish you have every now and then.

The point is, many of us have favourite foods, often with some nostalgic connection: it could be that they remind us of happy, secure, or inspirational times in our past, for example.

If you give yourself the time and space to create a picture – and even the aroma and taste – of this meal in your mind, it’s possible that this idea alone will be sufficient to set your tummy rumbling and your mouth watering.

But now let me suggest a second part to our little thought experiment. Once again imagine this very same meal, but this time you’ll never be allowed to eat anything else. Your “favourite” meal will be served up to you for breakfast, lunch and dinner from now until the end of time.

Suddenly it doesn’t sound so yummy, does it? The pleasure would soon wear off. I suspect you’d become bored. Maybe you’d even lose your appetite.

Now if this might be the case for your idea of the perfect meal, I wonder if the same could hold true for your “happiness strategies”?

Bet you didn’t know you had these, but I think you probably do. I’m fairly sure there are activities you undertake, places you go, and people you see that/who tend to lift your spirits.

However, effective though these may be, I wonder if it would be nearly as much fun were you never to engage in any other activities, nor go anywhere or see anyone else? Just as too much of a good thing food-wise isn’t a great idea, neither is sticking to one tried-and-tested way of boosting your mood, to the point that it becomes repetitive and ineffective.

So here’s a suggestion. On the basis that it may indeed be good for you to broaden your menu of happiness-inducing activities/places/people, how about creating some new ideas by connecting two or more existing ones?

I like walking, for example, and I also enjoy one-on-one conversations. Combining these two together, to whom might I suggest a walk and talk? Another thought? I enjoy sharing food with others, and I like helping people. So who might benefit from some advice from me over a sandwich one lunchtime?

Why not keep a look out for new ways to boost your mood? A varied diet is a healthy diet.

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