- Collect visual memories of moments when you were incredibly happy.
- Start an old-fashioned (hand-written) correspondence with a friend.
- Surround yourself with things that smell like green apple or cucumber.
- Carry yourself more erect. You can improve your outlook and confidence simply by improving your posture.
- Forget the brown rice sushi. The Japanese are some of the most long-lived people on the planet, and they only eat white rice.
We each develop our own strategies for preventing and relieving stress and promoting joy and contentment in our lives. The key is the idea of work / life integration. This is different to work / life balance that is so often talked about – the notion that happiness depends on making a series of trade-offs: home versus office, work versus family. This approach of sacrifice and subtraction is all wrong. An alternative philosophy is to bring each aspect of your daily life together into a satisfying whole. If you are happy in your personal life, work sits lighter on your shoulders; if work is stimulating and enjoyable, that will happily infect your life outside the office.
One way to achieve work / life integration is to be diligent about your happiness. Think about what brings happiness to your life, and make time for it. Plan for it and prioritise. Treat time to breathe and to enjoy life as vital and urgent priorities. Don't relegate or postpone. Your life – and work – will suffer if you do.