Columnists,Lorraine Cattell,Main Slider,Top Story l by Lorraine Cattell l 30 Aug 2022     - 179

The A – Z of Happiness


Nothing beats waking up in the morning feeling positive, stress-free and energised. However, life can throw us countless challenges to test our strength and resilience. Whether its work/studies or financial issues, personal relationships, parenting, daily life or illness, it can be difficult to stay upbeat and enjoy each day full of optimism and energy.

Never fear, Hi!! is here with the A – Z of ideas on how to make every day a little less ordinary! Are you ready?

Arrange your schedule and plan what clothes you'll wear the next day (after checking your calendar and the weather forecast). Picking out your outfit in advance saves time and reduces stress because you have one less decision to make in the morning.

Blend 2 cups of king coconut (thambili) water, 1 mango, 1 papaya, ½ cup of pineapple and a peeled banana to produce an aromatic and refreshing all-natural smoothie.

Cleanse your face with this simple homemade nourishing cleanser. Combine ¼ cup aloe vera gel, ¼ cup honey, and 1 tbs jojoba or sweet almond oil. Can be stored in a sealed jar or soap dispenser.

Dance like no one is watching, free from judgment or concern about what others might think. Find the beats and melodies that move you and let them take over your body. Dancing is a great form of exercise that produces endorphins ... and endorphins make you happy.

Eat a fresh banana blossom curry. These purple-skinned flowers contain many nutrients, including antioxidants and several minerals. They're low in calories and fat while offering a balance of insoluble and soluble fibre.

Familiarise yourself with the relaxing and revitalising spas in Sri Lanka. These spas often combine traditional massages with yoga and Ayurveda whilst offering a rejuvenating experience for anyone wishing to unwind from the everyday stresses of life.

Gather your friends or colleagues together for a meal at your home. Prepare something informal or have everyone bring a different dish to share. Conversation with friends over food is easy and fun!

Help your (elderly) neighbours by checking in on them or dropping off groceries. Random acts of kindness will help you, too, by keeping you connected with your community. Discover topics people care about, and organise ways to help each other.

Increase your confidence by stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying new things. This will help you find out your true potential and live a more fulfilling life. Start by changing your routine, travelling somewhere new, or doing something that you've always wanted to do.

Jog along one of Sri Lanka’s scenic palm-fringed coastal roads and discover the incredibly rich flora and fauna, not to mention golden beaches and spectacular views of the ocean. For an off-the-beaten-path experience, head up to the mountains for a trek through the jungle.

Kick-start your creativity with a gem and jewellery workshop in Galle where you can create a piece of jewellery in the traditional way, paying a reasonable price for gold/silver and gems. Or check online for classes or workshops in your area.

Listen to the 'Tri Angle Podcast'. Produced by three Sri Lankans living in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, they release a new podcast every week sharing their life experiences from the standpoint of a Sri Lankan.

Moisturise your face and achieve glowing skin with a nourishing DIY hydrating facial mask. Mix 1 ripe avocado, 2 tsp. honey, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, and 1/3 cup plain yoghurt in a blender. Wash your skin, pat it dry, and then apply the mask liberally to face and neck for about 20 minutes before rinsing off.

Nurture positive relationships with other people and work on improving your relationships with close friends and family. By spending quality time with others and strengthening bonds, you'll find yourself feeling generally happier.

Organise an afternoon of dining alfresco, enjoying favourite snacks and picnic foods. St. Clair's Falls ('Little Niagara of Sri Lanka') and the Hakgala Botanic Gardens (Nuwara Eliya) are two popular spots.

Plan 24 hours without the internet, radio or television and spend some time living life in the moment. Log off now and then to reconnect and interact with people around you in the real world.

Quench your thirst for knowledge and feed your curiosity: every day brings opportunities to learn new things from the most unlikely sources, in almost everything we do and from everyone we meet.

Ride a bicycle from Sigiriya in the north down to the coast around Galle via the high tea country of Kandy and Ella. Keep fit while marvelling at ancient temples, tea plantations and ruined cities, bustling spice markets, cave temples and national parks.

Savour exotic aromas in the tea gardens of Masala and Chai. Lush forests of herbs and trees boast a plethora of spice plants including cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, pepper, mace, saffron, cocoa, and vanilla. Don't take your sense of smell for granted – discover how much of a role it plays in your pleasures, emotions and memories.

Try morning meditation when you are quiet and fresh. Training the mind to remain calm, even in stressful situations, can give a new perspective on life, increase self-awareness, reduce negative emotions, and develop patience and tolerance.

Use a journal to organise your thoughts, analyse your feelings, and make plans. Keeping a daily record helps you to make sense of your personal behavioural patterns so you are better able to pursue your goals and respond successfully to adversity.

Value yourself while acknowledging your ‘inner critic’. Instead of allowing it to call the shots, learn to appreciate your intrinsic strengths, resilience and potential.

Wallow in the sand. Similar to bathing in water or wallowing in mud, a sand bath is a relaxing and natural therapy. The weight of the hot sand pressing down loosens muscles, whilst removing toxins from the body through sweating.

Xeriscape your garden or land by choosing plants that need little water. This environmentally-friendly landscaping technique creates a low-maintenance garden where you can spend more time relaxing and less working.

Yell your head off to release anger and frustration or to ease anxiety. 'Primal scream therapy' is recommended by enthusiasts of ancient Chinese wisdom – though you may prefer to have an experienced psychologist guide you through a holistic treatment plan rather than stressing out your neighbours with your screaming!

Zhuzh up your appearance with a complete zany new makeover. Clothing/accessories, haircut/colouring, eyebrows/eyelashes, grooming, pedicure, manicure, waxing, new makeup ... a head-to-toe extreme makeover can be a huge confidence booster.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lorraine Cattell

Lorraine Cattell (Eyre) is a renowned international British Fashion Journalist. Her articles & interviews appear regularly in magazines & online across the globe.

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