What if maintaining regular happiness was as easy as pie?
Have I ever told you that I’m really sensitive to caffeine? I’m talking about the can’t-even-drink-decaf-coffee-first-thing-in-the-morning kind of sensitive.
Well, as fate would have it, last week while out grocery shopping I spotted a 4-pack of elderberry kombucha beer that looked quite tasty and decided to give it a go (and indeed it was quite tasty). However, that night after lying awake in bed from the hours of 1 am to 7 am (yes really) it occurred to me to go downstairs and check the ingredients – and what do you know, I’d had myself a healthy dose of black tea before bed!
But the good news here (and my entire reason for telling you this slumberless story) is that at around 3 am that morning, the idea for today’s blog came bouncing into my brain.
Here’s what occurred to me: during the times in my life when I felt really good, I was spending some time each day with most or all of six core activities. Conversely, during the times in my life when I felt pretty down or depressed, I was only spending time with one or two of those core activities – or maybe even none at all.
I decided to call these my “happiness building activities,” drew them into a pie chart, and put them on my wall.
I’m calling this the Pie Chart of Happiness and what I love most about it is its simplicity: if we can consistently make time for most or all of the items in our pie chart, we’ll probably feel good. And if we realize at some point that we’re not feeling good, we can come back to our pie chart and most likely realize why.
Now it’s your turn: here are three easy steps to putting your own Pie Chart of Happiness into practice.
1) Identify your core happiness-building activities.
When you think about the activities in life that bring you the most joy, what comes to mind? Try to make them as broad as possible so multiple activities can fit under one category. For example, if I’m able to really connect with some friends, my family, or my partner in a day, my “human contact” quotient will be met! And if I can spend some time playing my clarinet/guitar or instead attend a live performance, I will have had music in my life that day.
2) Draw your pie chart!
It doesn’t have to be fancy. Make it as elaborate or as simple as you like. The important thing is that you feel excited when you look at it (so if it overwhelms you to look at it, you might want to simplify things). Put it up somewhere you’ll see it every day.
3) Put together a plan.
Remember that it’s not feasible to get every piece of the pie every day – it’s more about a general average. I find that if I’m getting four of five out of six most days, I’ll be in a good place. How can you make time for your pie chart activities on a regular basis? What would that look like?
I hope you enjoyed this blog, and if you feel inclined, I’d love to hear what pieces are in your pie chart of happiness in the comments below 😉