Health

Be happier at home with five easy tips

Gretchen Rubin is the now-famous woman behind The Happiness Project blog, where she's tested an impressive number of happiness theories and come up with some interesting conclusions.

Jumping on the bed

Masterfile

Gretchen Rubin is the now-famous woman behind The Happiness Project blog, where she’s tested an impressive number of happiness theories and come up with some interesting conclusions. I really like that she made a list of personal commandments, including let it go, act the way I want to feel, do it now, and enjoy the process.

Rubin has a new book, Happier at Home and we asked for some of her home-related happy tips. Here they are:

Q: Can you explain why your home has such a crucial influence on happiness?
A:
For me, and most people, home is the foundation. It’s the place you go to from the rest of the world. So many elements of a happy life converge at home: relationships, our bodies, our possessions, our neighbourhoods. It’s a place in our imaginations as well as a physical place.

Q: How did you identify which areas of your home life needed improvement?
A:
That’s one of the most challenging and interesting parts of it. It took me a while to think about how to engage in my neighbourhood better, to become a tourist without leaving home. Things like marriage and parenthood were more obvious.

One of the things that always surprises me is just how much outer order influences inner calm. An overcrowded closet doesn’t seem like a big deal, but getting rid of things that we don’t need, use or love gives us more energy and greater courage to pursue the things we do want. Frame one great picture instead of keeping all of them.

Here are Rubin’s top five tips for being happier at home:

1. Get enough sleep. Always.

2. Give yourself a quitting time every night. After that, you’re at leisure and you can goof off any way you like.

3. If you live with other people, give warming greetings or farewells every time someone comes or goes. Get up. Don’t just grunt without looking up.

4. Be a tourist without leaving home. It’s a state of mind. Read and look at things carefully. Find things you’ve never seen before in your own hometown to give yourself a feeling of novelty or exploration.

5. Embrace good smells. It’s a quick hit of pleasure or happiness. Wear perfume you love. Tune into the things you love: fresh laundry, grapefruit. It’s an easy and immediate hit.

How do you ensure you’ve got a happy atmosphere at home?


For more happiness articles get Chatelaine’s How to be Happy: 50 Extraordinary Revelations on Love, Life, Lattes & Summer Camp, $4.99, on Kobo or iTunes.