Tag Archives: happiness

Happiness Experiment No 36: make your day harder

One of the secrets to living a healthy and long life is to make your day harder.  This may sound counter intuitive but research has shown that the less time you spend sitting down and the more time you spend being active the healthier you are likely to be.  Being active doesn’t mean that you need to spend hours working out at the gym. It is easier to add small amounts of activity into your day by walking a bit more, taking the stairs instead of the lift, getting off the bus a stop earlier and so on.  This great video by Dr Mike Evans gives you lots of suggestions to “tweak the week” to make your day a bit harder. It may sound counter intuitive but it’s worth it for your long term happiness and well-being.


Dr Mike Evans – Make your day harder

Posted by Shona Lockhart on 13th April 2015

It’s never too late to be what you might have been

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” George Eliot

There is a general misconception that unless we have achieved “overnight success” in our chosen field by the time we are in our late 20s, we have somehow missed the boat.  Tom Butler-Bowdon who is famous for writing summaries of classics in the fields of self-help, business, psychology and spirituality has written a fascinating book which turns this idea on its head.  The book Never Too Late To Be Great focuses on the idea of slow-cooked success and argues that contrary to what we might think people actually need a long time to realise their true potential. Tom Butler-Bowdon makes the point that given advances in healthcare most people live well in to their eighties in rude health.  This means that we have on average a productive adult lifespan of 60 years (from 20 to 80) in which we have plenty time to realise our dreams and have much more time than… Read the rest...

Living beyond limits

I recently watched an interview with Amy Purdy on Oprah Winfrey’s show SuperSoulSunday and immediately purchased her new biography On My Own Two Feet.  Amy Purdy’s story of how she fought her way back to happiness after contracting meningitis at 19 is really remarkable.  Amy fought for her life in hospital for several months and lost both legs below the knee as a result of the illness, her ruptured spleen was removed and her father eventually gave her a kidney for her 21st birthday to replace her damaged kidney. Amy chose to embrace what is possible despite many months in hospital and aimed to be back on the slopes to practice her beloved sport of snowboarding within months of her illness.

Amy went on to become a Paralympic bronze medallist in snowboarding and to be a finalist in Dancing with the Stars (the US equivalent of Strictly Come Dancing) in which she changed her foot design according to the dance she was performing. Amy has also… Read the rest...

Happy Experiment No 27: Remember the first time

Today’s Happiness Experiment is a timely Valentine’s Day reminder to remember the first time you met the person you love most.  What were the characteristics that attracted you to them?  What would your life be like if you hadn’t met this person? How have they contributed to your happiness?

“Do what you did in the beginning of a relationship and there won’t be an end”  Tony Robbins


Matt Cardle sings First Time Ever I Saw Your Face for X Factor judges

Posted 12th February 2015 by Shona Lockhart

Shed loads of happiness

My only regret about going on my summer holidays this week is that I will miss the next two instalments of Channel 4′s Shed of the Year programme presented by architect George Clarke.  The science of positive psychology has long debated whether hedonism (a life devoted to pleasure seeking) versus eudaimonia (a life devoted to meaning) are the main routes to happiness.  It turns out science was wrong – what has been missing in our lives is more shedonism!

As I watched the first instalment of the programme which you can catch up on here I couldn’t help but wonder how the humble shed got to be so sexy!  The amazing creativity which the finalists had poured in to the construction of their sheds was breathtaking. Whether you choose to label the “sheddies” as maverick eccentrics or creative geniuses there is no denying their passion for creating a unique space of their own.

The first instalment of the programme looked… Read the rest...

I just stepped outside for a while….

“I am just going outside and may be some time.” Lawrence Oates

I recently declared that I was embarking on a 100 day challenge to photograph something every day which made me happy.  I did not envisage that this challenge would also coincide with The Happiness Experiment blog not working for a month due to technical issues making it impossible for me to write posts.

Day 34

Meanwhile I have been photographing and posting my #100happydays photographs on social media during my month of blog silence and it has been a really positive experience so far.  It’s a great way to appreciate the things I am grateful for and to make sure to savour experiences. These are both positive psychology practices proven to enhance wellbeing. I have also made a conscious effort to incorporate at least one thing that makes me happy in my life every day.  Some days there have been numerous pictures I could have taken and other days I have struggled to find … Read the rest...

It’s time for a challenge………

Anyone who knows me knows that I like a challenge.  I’m particularly partial to 30 day challenges and have tried out a range of these on the basis that you can cope with anything if it is only for 30 days.  The Happiness Experiment blog was set up as part of a 30 day challenge organised by Screw Work, Let’s Play author John Williams. You can read about the challenge here.   My very first blog post, written exactly two two years ago today, was about wishing yourself a happy New Year at any time of the year.

To celebrate the anniversary of launching my blog 2 years ago I have decided to go for another challenge. This time I am pushing the boat out and going for a 100 day challenge. I am signing up for the 100 days of happiness challenge with 100happydays.com.  The challenge consists of submitting a picture of what makes you happy for 100 days in a row via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.  It sounds easy enough doesn’t it? However 71% of people… Read the rest...

Willpower 101 – Part 2 Three willpower wonder drugs

In part 1 of this series on willpower we looked how children who were able to exercise self-control (or self-regulation to use the scientific term) when they took the marshmallow test were much more likely to be successful in later life.  The marshmallow test gave children the choice of having one marshmallow immediately or waiting for a period of time and getting two marshmallows.  We also looked at the importance of getting very clear about your values and of setting specific goals which are aligned with these values. So now that you have your shiny new goals at the ready what is the best way to ensure that you are successful at your will power challenges?  Here are three top willpower wonder drugs from the latest research in Kelly McGonical’s book Maximum Willpower to get you set on the track to success:

1. Get some exercise

How much is “some” you may ask? Kelly McGonical’s answer is how much are you willing to do? … Read the rest...