Posts Tagged With: sunset

Happiness, where the blooming hell are ya?

Last night I went to bed earlier than usual, as I have had a busy couple of weeks and have been very tired. Tired ‘to have my eyes closing when I’m on the sofa’ tired. But then I woke up, feeling completely awake and uneasy. I couldn’t find a comfortable position, I couldn’t get back to sleep. Because I went to bed early, I wasn’t tired anymore, as this was about 6 in the morning. So I just stayed there, lying in bed, thinking about how I didn’t want to sleep, but how I didn’t feel like getting up either.

Why are there days like this? Am I the only one? I’m not depressed or sad or anything like that – as far as I know!  – and, still, some days, I just can’t get going. I then picked up my phone and went on the internet. I typed in ‘happiness’ and found some excellend stuff that calmed my spirits. And so I decided to share it with you.

Apparently, there are 4 mistakes we make when we are pursuing happiness. 4, that’s it. And here they are:

1. Let it flow.

When we are thinking about happiness and trying to establish if we are happy, we end up comparing current experiences to past ones. We don’t notice when we do this, exactly, but this alone blocks a happy moment. The minute you start making comparisons, you shift from experiencing mode to evaluating mode. Think of the days when you are enjoying your work so much that when you look again it’s 5pm. Think of the holidays in the sunshine that go so quickly. Think of being immersed in a book that you are really enjoying. Think of savouring  some nice food. Think of having great sex. Think of ice cream, think of a good movie, think of admiring the sunset, think of cold beer when you are really really thirsty.Yes, you’re in the zone. You’re so immersed in the task that you lose track of time and the outside world. This is happiness.

2. Get real.

The second thing that we do that makes us dodge happiness is to overestimate the emotional impact of positive life events. We think that a major promotion, a new partner, a new house or a new car will make us happier, overlooking the fact that we’ll adapt to the new circumstances. Each time something changes for the better in our lives, we get happy… and so we should. However, that something won’t change our lives forever. We will get used to things again and will probably question again if we should be pursuing something or someone else that will bring us happiness. So I guess it’s not about the what, but more about the how.

3. It’s everywhere.

Happiness is an individual state, so we tend to look for it in ourselves. However, in a recent study, the greater the value people placed on happiness, the more lonely they felt every day for the next two weeks. I think the clue here is to get involved with other people, to let them be in our lives and let us be in theirs too. I’m guilty of this myself. Lately, I have found that I like my own company and I like being at home, so I don’t do much socialising. I’m lazy for it, that’s the honest truth. In fact, I’m just like my dad. He is not a person to do much small talk and I’m the same. If it won’t be meaningful, I’d rather read a book, thanks. I don’t do it on purpose, though, I guess I have just learned how to say no when I want to. However, it doesn’t look like this is the right approach. We need contact to be happy. We need to interact. Hermits like me can only get depressed, so I’ll have to sart being really careful and getting my bum off the sofa and out the door. Soon.

4. Mild is fine, thanks very much.

The fourth and last mistake we make is to look for intense happiness. When we want to be happy, we look for strong positive emotions like joy, elation, enthusiasm, and excitement. Research shows, however, that this isn’t the best path to happiness. Apparently, happiness is driven by the frequency, not the intensity, of positive emotions. When we aim for intense positive emotions, we evaluate our experiences against a higher standard, which makes it easier to be disappointed, since an intense positive experience can only lead us to frame ordinary experiences as less positive. So, this one is a given, right? Again, it’s the little things. Receiving a smile from a stranger on the street, finding parking space on a busy road, being driven somewhere by your mum whilst having a nice chat, achieving something before the microwave pings (ha! I knew you’d identify with this one!), lying on the grass on a sunny day. That’s it. No mater how small, happiness is in everything. And if we think about it, there are many more small opportunities that can bring us happiness than massive ones. So mild happiness can become ‘big time’ happiness. If you give it a chance.

So, overall, I think that if we change our actions, and not our circumstances, we have a much better chance to let happiness be in our lives. And then, we probably won’t even notice it, as it will be part of our day, every day, every minute of it.

By the way, I did get up. I also went to work, went to a shop and returned an item that I no longer wanted, came back home, made my dinner and I’m now about to watch a movie with my partner Lee, so I guess the day went fairly well after all. Sometimes all you need is to just get up and get out, without thinking too much.

By the way (2), the source for this post is here.

 

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Categories: Happiness | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy? So be it!

As with many of us, the approach of a new year makes us look at life and analyse where we are, what we are doing and how we want things to happen in the future. This thinking is what forms goals and plans for the times ahead. However, no matter how great it is to have a plan for the future, it is also an amazing thing to be in the present, feel it and discover happiness in it.

The happiest people aren’t the ones with the most money, things, friends, power, attention, health or even love. Neither are they always the ones with the least. The happiest people  are the ones who practice gratitude and focus on loving life consistently (and ok, having goals and trying your best to achieve them helps too!).

So in this post, I would like to take the opportunity to list a few reasons to be grateful and HAPPY about this crazy little maze that we call life.

1. Nature: who doesn’t love the sunset? It’s my favourite part of the day. I like all the colours turning into one, the sun going smaller, smaller and smaller until it disappears into the ocean or behind the hills. It makes me feel calm. And it’s free, with access to anyone who cares to open their eyes to appreciate it.

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2. Random kindness: a chat with the neighbour, some unexpected help when you need it, a smile when you don’t expect it. These little surprises make life what it is, a little magic trick waiting to happen.

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3. Art: it’s everywhere, even you make it, I bet! Again, it’s a case of opening your eyes to the new, to the crazy, to the inspiring and let your newly found perspective broaden your mind. Seeing it, reading it, listening to it, watching it will only enhance your life.

book shelf

4. Nice food, especially if cooked in good company. Chop, chop, chop, chat, chat, chat (drink, drink, drink). The greatest recipe I’ve ever known.

Plate of food on table with wine glass in background

5. Great people around you. Happy people are infectious, so the more ‘happies’ you have around you, the more are the chances of you being happy too. Surround yourself with positive people and your mood will reflect their joyful spirit.

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6. Great working environment. Working with people that inspire you, understand you and value your work makes the 9-5 part of your life a pleasure, not a chore. If you love what you do, even better! Just don’t forget to count your blessing here, as many people work for the weekend.

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7. A great network. A big family that likes to interfere in everyone’s business (like mine), great close friends and a partner that ‘has got your back’ is all you need anytime: when you are down, to pick you up; when you are happy, to celebrate with you.

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8. Fun times. Appreciate having fun when you can. Our crazy daily lives don’t always allow specific times to have fun, but you can make the time for it. Have a laugh with your colleague at work, make a joke when you can, do an impromptu little dance, laugh with others. And always remember to find the funny side of things. There is always one.

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9. Good health. Be grateful for being healthy and enjoy looking after yourself.

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10. Live in the present and savour every moment as if it was your last.

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So there you go: these are my reasons to be happy and grateful. Would you care to share yours?

Categories: Creativity, Dreams, Energy, Friendship | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My neck of the woods…

When I first came to England, I lived in London for 3 years. Then, I went back to Brazil to finish university (I was half way through it at that point) and then moved back to the UK to be with the person I (then) loved. We then went to live in Lancashire because of his work. We are no longer together, but I’m still here! I ended up in this little part of the world by chance and now feel so at home that I miss it when I’m not here. Talk about destiny…

I’m originally from Novo Hamburgo, a city in the south of Brazil and, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the place. It’s where I was born, where my family and best friends are and it’s the place that I know like the palm of my hand. However, I think that sometimes you just connect with other places and this is exactly what happened when I moved to Lytham St Annes. As the expression goes, this is my neck of the woods.

Lytham St Annes is a conurbation in the Fylde district of Lancashire. The neighbouring towns of Lytham and Lytham St Annes form a seaside resort. These towns are situated to the south of Blackpool at the point where the coastline turns east to form the estuary of the River Ribble (often called Ribble Ribble by the locals) inland to Preston. St Annes, like Blackpool, overlooks the Irish sea.

St Annes is internationally renowned for golf and has four golf courses and links, the most famous being the Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, one of the hosts for the Open Championship (also known as the ‘British Open’), which has been a competition course since first hosting the Open in 1926. Approximately once every ten years, the coming of The Open—a major sporting event—brings a major influx of visitors, including the world’s media, into our fairly peaceful community. Celebrities come to appreciate the golf championship and cause a bit of a havoc in the community. As you can see, the place is nothing like London, where celebrities can be spotted at Nando’s anytime. This year St Annes was the host for The Open again and I could witness the buzz for myself. Many people are out and about and the athmosphere is great!

St Annes, as the place is usually called (dropping the ‘Lytham’) is magical. You have sea, sand, nice people, nice pubs, international sport events (once every ten years so it doesn’t spoil the calmness of the place), amazing sunsets and a peaceful life. What more can you ask for?

Below are some of my snaps of St Annes, so I can share what all the fuss is about… there is a lot to see and do, but you’ll still feel like you are on a peaceful holiday.

The St Annes Pier…

The band stand…

The beach huts on the prom…

The swam and the ducks… Awww…

The ice cream stand…

The little café on the prom…

The local pub…

The main promenade…

A carefully placed bench…

Another great local pub, 5 minutes from home…

And yet another pub… no shortage here. This is 2 minutes from home!

Part of the lovely ‘square’, which is the main shopping area of S Annes…

The train station…

And even if all of the above didn’t exist, I’d still want to live here because of this one below… the sunset is the most amazing I have ever seen!

So there you have it… my little tribute to St Annes, a little town that welcomed me with arms wide open and that makes me feel at home every single day. So much so that I can’t think of living anywhere else anymore…

Categories: Living away from home, St Annes living | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The real house by the beach

We moved! After quite a few posts about the preparations of moving from one place to another, I can now say that we have actually done it. Lee and I transferred our little lives from a house to a flat, from sharing accommodation to living all by ourselves. OOooo, I’m scared! (nah, not really).

I’m most excited about being able to do whatever I want to the place. Ok, it’s rented so I may not have all that freedom, really, but I can have it as we want it and I can do one of my favourite things: change stuff around without consulting anyone. Well, the quick word with Lee helps, I guess, but he always grunts some “fine” and I carry on.

The new place is great. It’s at the top of our budget and let’s hope we don’t lose our jobs, but we are quite amazed that we were lucky to find a place that is just literally opposite the sea and that we could afford. My new morning routine now consists of having a coffee watching the sea from the sofa before going to work, as opposed to dashing off in a hurry, and this kind of thing is what I call improved quality of life.

Now let me just say this… I’m not bragging… we have been thinking about doing this for quite some time and we had to plan and save pennies to be able to do it so, if anything, I’m proud of our little achievement and just thought I’d share my happiness here. Life is not easy nowadays and when you achieve something, however small, I reckon it’s worth celebrating!  hehe…

The strangest thing to get used to is all the different noises of the building. You know when you have been in a place for a while and know all the sounds? By this I mean all the stair noises, all the cracking when you walk around, the sound of the heating going on, etc. Small things, really. Well, this takes some getting used to and I’m still in the process. I’m naturally quite jumpy and seem to live in a world of my own sometimes, so when I hear a different noise, one I haven’t heard before, I go and investigate or kind of make a mental note of it for next time. I like to know my surroundings quite well.

The place where we live now is an old building of 8 flats that was refurbished entirely, apart from the back of it. Therefore, the old staircase of the building is still there and people still use it. In our flat, we have a door with glass panels at the end of the corridor, so if people use the stairs at the back and turn the light on, the light makes our corridor a bit more illuminated. This, in the beginning, used to make me jump and I considered blocking that door with something, but now I’m kind of used to it and don’t even mind.

Also, the neighbours above us are a couple of lovely oldies and they like their tv… a LOT. And they like to watch it as loud as possible, so this is something I have to get used to. Having lived in a house before, we are not so used to the noise, but in just a week I can tell you that I don’t mind it anymore, which I find kind of strange. It seems like this place has so much to offer that a bit of a muffled tv sound can’t really become a big deal.

I started this blog in January and at that point we were not sure where we were going to move to yet. I named the blog housebythebeach and this was because living very near the sea has always been one of my wildest dreams. How funny is it that when we actually write about it and make our goals in life very specific (and graphic), they kind of make a way to actually happen? I didn’t have any idea that I’d be living by the sea, especially not this soon. And then life kind of makes its own little movements and makes things fall into place. It’s good to feel like the universe is moving in your favour sometimes and I guess I appreciate it because I know it doesn’t happen all the time.

It’s priceless (well, not quite) to get up in the morning and watch the sea. It’s even better to enjoy a Saturday morning watching how the sea changes… we had a high tide today and it was great to watch the people walking their dogs give space for the sea to come forward and cover the ground like a blanket. And then as the evening comes, the sky changes and looks amazing with all the yellowy shades going pink, then red, then blue, followed by a dark night. I absolutely love watching the nature at my doorstep and feel quite lucky right now. And by the way, I feel quite generous at the moment too, so if you fancy a visit to Lytham St Annes, just let me know. You’ll love it, I’m sure.

Categories: Beautiful nature, Home, St Annes living | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Big cheese

The moon tonight looks absolutely amazing here in my little corner of the world! It looks like a massive cheese full of holes and wonderful yellowy shades. I’m in love with it at the moment and have been going to my window every five minutes to check it out (as if it would disappear any second!).

I saw a beautiful sunset yesterday and today the moon is making my night. Lucky me! I’ve been really tuned into nature stuff lately, especially what is on the sky. I must like looking up, which is not bad, but I have to be careful not to trip up! Oh dear, where is this post going?

My point is… we have blessings every day, we just need to open our eyes and welcome them into our lives.

Categories: Beautiful nature | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Always there

I went for a walk today and witnessed a gorgeous sunset. St Annes never fails to present people who can be bothered to walk to the beach with a marvellous array of colours when the sun goes down. I don’t go to see it every day but, when I do, I feel so so lucky! I don’t yet have the house by the beach, but the beach is not too far, so for now I guess it’s good enough. : )

Sunset in St Annes

Categories: St Annes living | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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