Create Consistent Happiness

Last week I had the great fortune to host a four workshops at Rancho La Puerta, a health retreat in Tecate, Mexico. The Ranch is definitely one of my happy places, so what better place to talk about cultivating happiness?

In this workshop we agreed that happiness wasn’t that over-the-moon feeling we get sometimes, but rather a feeling of contentedness, of being in the moment. We discussed all of the things science has shown can improve happiness, including:

  • Being in nature
  • Absorbing vitamin D from sunlight
  • Smiling
  • Exercising
  • Physical touch
  • Meditation
  • Social support, including friendship and family
  • Being around animals
  • Volunteering
  • Listening to music we like

We also talked about some of the individual ways we’ve found that we can be happy on our own, such as:

  • Engaging in a hobby
  • Cooking for friends
  • Being on the water
  • Reading a good book
  • Coming to Rancho La Puerta

Armed with this information, participants came up with their own plans to increase their happiness, such as making a goal of hosting dinner once a month, having a “get happy” playlist on hand, or making a regular date with nature.

During the session we used the following worksheet. I also handed out the below pdfs, which feature articles I’ve written on the subject.

SMART Goals worksheet “brainstorming solutions”

The 7 Most Powerful Ways to Boost Your Happiness Right Now
Sunny Side Up