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Investment In Happiness

Shan & Mands, co-directors of Holistic Hikes guiding a hike along the Great Ocean Walk.

I love this term. Shan presented the idea to me in reference to a gift he bought when we first got together 11 years ago. A single mother, I was staunch about my independence and paying my way, refusing to be wooed by gifts of grandeur.

I couldn’t afford a push bike and wanted to upgrade so that we could go on active adventures together. Shan bought me the bike, reluctantly I accepted as if I had been punished by some means to eat my ego. Seeing I was uncomfortable with being spoilt, he put it to me like this;

“We are a partnership and in wanting to experience the best of life’s adventures with you, I am simply investing in your happiness. Your happiness directly affects my happiness.”

It was never about the money but what the gift would provide in pleasure.

This is a concept that we still live with to this date. Our happiness as a team directly affects one another and our family. I quickly lost the non-serving staunchness (a protective mechanism) and conceded to the fact that Shan is mostly right. Our happiness is an investment.

As I touched on last week in the blog (5 Aspects of Holistic Health & How Hiking Ticks All The Boxes ), the holistic elements of our mental, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual elements are intertwined, one affects the other. Our state of contentment lies in the balance of these aspects.

What is happiness to you?

Happiness looks different to everyone. Have you ever thought about the things that truly make you happy? It can be the simple joys that are most impactful, particularly when repeated. How we show up for ourselves each day determines how happy we are.

Whilst a shopping spree can raise the dopamine levels for a quick happy fix, it’s the meaningful investments that provide long-lasting dividends.

For me, it’s the simple pleasure of walking by the sea or in the bush by myself, engrossed in a book in the sunshine or writing poetry – getting lost in time. The solitude and stillness, the quiet moments when I can switch off are the best investment that I can make for my own happiness.

Happiness is also our achievement. The challenging hike that you completed made you feel euphoric, accomplished, and confident.

It's why we thrive when we are outside of our comfort zone. It sounds counter-intuitive but considers a time when you pushed through, overcome barriers, and succeeded in a goal or task.

How did you feel? The bigger the obstacle overcome, the more meaning associated with the experience and the more happiness felt.

It’s like pack hiking. It’s hard, challenging you on many levels; mindset, physical, emotional, and often you need to back it up a few days. After the experience, you continue to reflect on your achievements, gain confidence and experience improved wellbeing – aka happiness!

What do you do that brings you joy?

What are the things that you enjoy that bring you happiness?

It’s important that each and every day we find little ways in which we can invest in our joy. It can be the meals we enjoy with family. The routine of washing your face and self-care. The moments where we can melt into the couch and listen to a podcast. Meditation practice or a yoga class.

The more meaningful, impactful events and experiences that bring us sustained happiness are the ones that we invest more in. Invest our time, energy, and resources, not just money. The more time and energy we spend on building our happiness in things we love, the longer the effect.

Investment of our resources could be our skills, abilities, and or our desire to learn. I am such a self-professed nerd, that I absolutely love learning. I am always studying, and this is an investment of my time, energy, resources, and money. Upskilling and learning improve our well-being.

Who is investing in your happiness?

We are all responsible for our own happiness, however in our shared human experience, we invest in others we love and care about and it directly affects our happiness. As parents, we invest in our daughter’s happiness through the experiences we provide, be it holidays, weekly sports or simply showing up for them in loving, supportive ways that they need to navigate life.

Our investments as couples could be sharing a load of chores at home. Cooking meals and sharing experiences together strengthens your relationship and connection. It flows to our friendships too. How we show up for our friends, listen to them, take a walk, or connect over dinner.

It all holds to this concept of investing our time, our energy not just our money in their happiness and vice versa.

We’ve had couples this year experience their first hike together. Investing in their shared experience, strengthening their connection, and building their active lifestyles to support their happiness together. It is beautiful to witness this investment that each makes to their collective happiness.

When Shan bought me that bike, he was investing in my future happiness.

I still have that bike and planning our next adventure now that we live right on the Bay Trail.

How are you investing in your happiness?

Mands xx

For more mood-boosting, adventure inspiring stories, check out my catalog of work on the blog

Keen to invest in a hiking experience, check out the hiking adventures below.

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