Friday, 29 June 2012

Word of the Day Challenge: Day Twenty Seven

I’ve been reading a lot around happiness and mindfulness as a consequence of therapy. It was something I found really interesting – this concept of almost creating our own happiness rather than simply ‘being happy’. Finding pleasure in the small things. Really thinking about what makes us smile, what makes us feel connected, what makes us feel peaceful and calm.

I’ve started keeping a Wellness Journal, filling it with quotes I find inspiring, clippings from magazines, reminders to myself, to-do lists, affirmations. I found that I really enjoyed spending this time just sitting and thinking about positivity and health and how to maintain those things in my self.

One of the things that came out of that was a list – the Bliss List – where I started to write down the things that made me happy. It’s something I’ve been back to again and again, not just when I’m feeling a little blue and need a pick-me-up or an idea about what to do to make myself feel calm and centred, but also just to review how many things really do make me feel happy.

It’s amazing how simple a lot of the things are. A bubblebath with a good book, for example. A glass of wine. The smell of rain. And how they appeal to every sense: touch, taste, hearing, smell, sight.

I started to think about how I could incorporate as much bliss as possible into my day to day life. I love fresh flowers, for example, so I started to buy a bunch once a week, and I keep them in my room where they look and smell pretty. I love candles, so I bought sweet little glass votives and put them in my window. I read by them at night, and it feels so much more special and calm.

I’ve spoken a little about this in a previous post, I think. And it sounds so simple….but honestly, it’s so effective. It’s about giving yourself whatever small happinesses you can, whenever you can. Thinking about what appeals to each of your senses.

Here is a glimpse of my Bliss List. It’s not the full thing (the full thing is a notebook full of scrawls and scribblings, post-its I’ve written hastily at work and then stuck in later, pencilled notes in the margins) but it’s enough to give you an idea. And I really recommend doing this for yourself, even if you don’t necessarily write everything down. Just think about what makes you feel positive, happy, calm, centred, pleased. And then indulge that in any way you can. Or even better, combine as many things as possible. Love the smell of lemons? Love reading? Love bubblebaths? Get yourself some candles, some lemony bath oil and shut yourself in there with a good book.

Be creative!


Writing – journals, letters, poems, stories, lists
Buying new books
Creating something – making cards, cooking, drawing
Going to art galleries and museums
Sitting quietly in the library with a stack of books
Walking in the sunshine
Collecting quotes


Black and white photographs
Flavoured lipbalms
Just-washed bedding


Clean laundry
The sea


Petting my fluffball of a cat, stroking his little nose
A gentle massage
Hot water
Bare feet
Soft pyjamas




The colour pink
Painted nails
Art and photographs
The sky
Flowers – peonies, tulips, roses, lilies
Heavy rain
The Eiffel Tower
A real, handwritten letter


Cats purring
Poems, read aloud
A friend’s voice
A choir
The tapping of my laptop keys
The sound of water
Carousel music


  1. Thank you for this post Cheryl! Your Bliss List has so many resources in one spot will be really helpful for me next time I get stuck... which at this rate, has been more frequent than I wish to admit! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Ahhh, thank you for that lovely comment!

    Honestly, if someone had suggested doing a Bliss List to me even a couple of months ago, I'd have thought it a waste of time - airy fairy, not practical, and something that wouldn't be of any help at all in the real world.

    But as it turns out, I can't recomend it enough. Sometimes it's enough to just go through my notes and remember the things I love (there are pages of them, and I'm still adding!). Other times I'll pick and choose how to boost my mood by combining as many things from my lists as possible. And it really does work.

    I would HIGHLY recommend putting a Bliss List of your own together, it's been so helpful for me.

    And don't worry about the amount of times you stumble in your recovery - the important thing is that you're getting back up each time xxx

    1. I think that I just might have to put together a bliss list.... and you're so right about timing, there are so many things that I've been told over and over, but until the time is right, they don't sink in. Hmm... might have to go set up another page on my blog for the bliss list!