Happiness – synonyms: contentment, pleasure, satisfaction, cheerfulness, merriment, joy, delight, high spirits, well being, enjoyment!

The list is endless and you can’t help but smile when thinking about the word and meanings of happiness. 

What happiness means to individuals though is entirely different:

  • A tired mother will tell you that happiness is rest and alone time to catch up on lost zzz’s
  • A child may tell you that happiness is a favourite toy or game
  • A woman trying to conceive will tell you that happiness would be seeing two lines on a pregnancy test
  • A traveller will tell you that happiness is a favourite destination or trip
  • An elderly relative may tell you that happiness is having company with a cheese and cucumber sandwich and warm scones

If you ask me; easy, chocolate!

What about those that struggle with expression though, my son has autism and learning feelings was really difficult for him. 

He knows from early intervention and the use of picture cards the basics of sad, happy, and angry – but the explanation of these words and learning the understanding of them isn’t so black and white.

He achieved something a while back and I cried, he looked at me confused and asked “why are you crying mummy – are you sad!”? 

I was able to explain that no; in fact I was the happiest I had been in a while. 

I told him that sometimes people cry when they are happy but he looked at me confused and said “but when you cry it means you are sad!”. 

For someone whose brain is wired in a way that logical thinking in the only way, this is a really hard concept.

There are many people with disabilities that result in them being non verbal and again difficult to understand and communicate with, the fact that you see tears from that person may not necessarily mean that they are sad but consider the possibility that they are tears of intense joy.  

That maybe you did something for them just at the right time when they needed something without you even realising.

I’m not one for resolutions when each New Year comes around but when I saw the pledge for the international day of happiness I thought; I can do that, I can actually make a small difference and make people happy and its costs nothing:

"I will try to create more happiness in the world around me"

So I made my husband a steak tea, I took my granny shopping, I bought a colleague a coffee in the canteen at work, I paid a compliment to a person who I don’t know in TESCO who had a lovely coat on.

All these people smiled.

An action, a comment, a thoughtful gesture in an instant in this crazy busy life we all lead are all moments that can change a person’s attitude and make all the difference to that persons well being.

Go on; try it, I did!

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