Happiness hacks #3: Embrace those daily CLANGERS

Ok, so I appreciate the word clanger is not something you would naturally associate with happiness. But, according to TV Dr Phil Hammond, who I was humbled to hear speak at the first ever British Health Journalism Awards, it could be exactly what is missing from your hectic daily routine.

By clangers, I don't mean mistakes. Clangers is actually an acronym or convenient check list of all the things Dr Phil believes we all need to build into our lives to ensure we get the right amount of self care to really be able to enjoy our lives. 

Connect: connection gives us a place in the world. We all need to hug, to chat, to feed off each other if we are to become better versions of ourselves. Never underestimate the restorative power of touch. 

Learn: see every day as a knowledge bank that is waiting for you to make a withdrawal. And don't be afraid to make deposits too. Helping others to discover new things can be so rewarding and life-enhancing. 

(Be) Active: for me, a good day is always one with a good few steps in it (whether it be in the park or up the eight flights it takes to get me to the office). Of course, it's not always possible for people to be active, so Dr Phil's alternative is finding 5 portions of fun a day. As we all know from Ron, anything that raises a smile can only be good for you. 

Notice: this takes me back to my post about mindfulness. I didn't tweet much at the awards ceremony, because I wanted to enjoy watching the look of gratitude and happiness on the faces of the winners and to really taste the candied fennel in my dessert. How often we hide behind a screen and miss the feeling of being present. 

Give back: if I could find a way, I would encourage all people from a young age to volunteer and allow kindness and compassion into their lives. Often, many of us feel we don't have time to volunteer. Then we find a cause. I have a cause. And, in finding that cause, I have brought happiness and purpose into my every day. When the currency is kindness, it is easy to feel wealthy. 

Eat well: as Phil describes, if your grandmother wouldn't recognise it, don't eat it. If we don't give our body the right fuel and lubrication, we will all end up back in the workshop after a failed MOT. 

Relax: meditation no longer means heading out to a remote temple in the mountains to find yourself. Even taking a few minutes to pause and breathe at your desk can make a huge difference to your piece of mind. 

Sleep: all batteries need a good charge

I have a huge amount of respect for a man who inspires a room full of people to stop rushing, slow it down and start hugging (strangers included). 

From 'this day forward' I promise to start celebrating clangers and giving more hugs (just maybe not to unsuspecting strangers)!