HAPPY TO BE…ME

THE AMOUNT OF CANA­DIAN WOMEN WHO ARE HAPPY WITH THEIR AP­PEAR­ANCE, AC­CORD­ING TO THE ELLE WOMEN IN SO­CI­ETY SURVEY. “It’s a hel­luva start, be­ing able to rec­og­nize what makes you happy.” – Lu­cille Ball

Elle (Canada) - - Special - By Joana Lourenço

It Brit cater­ers to the stars Melissa and Jas­mine Hem­s­ley have just re­leased The Art of Eat­ing Well, a guide for those who want but­ter to be a part of their healthy-eat­ing plan. (Yes, please.) “When you eat well, you feel lighter, brighter and more en­er­gized and you don’t feel guilt. And that makes you happy!” says Jas­mine, who also mod­els. Here are four ways they eat for en­light­en­ment:

1. 2. But­ter up. “Ev­ery mouth­ful of Get soup for the soul. “Suf­fer­ing food should give your body good from bloat­ing or a foggy brain? Try things but also taste de­li­cious—so sooth­ing broth, which is pow­er­ful

sauté veg­gies with but­ter and for gut and brain health and the roast them with co­conut oil. When base for many of our recipes. Use you coat vegetables with fat, not grass-fed or­ganic bones and si­monly are they tastier but the oil mer un­til chicken bones almost en­hances their nu­tri­ents.” crum­ble or beef bones turn white.”

3. 4. Slow down. “Chew­ing your food Say no to joe. “In­stead of cof­fee, will make you happy! So much of we serve a con­coc­tion of fresh the time, peo­ple eat and eat and le­mon juice with a ginger, turmeric eat, and 20 min­utes later they’re and cayenne in­fu­sion. When you stuffed and lethar­gic. If you chew drink it, you can feel the warmth and take 20 min­utes over a meal, in your body, aid­ing with di­ges­tion it gives you time to think and realand boost­ing your brain. It’s anti

ize that you’re sat­is­fied.” in­flam­ma­tory and hy­drat­ing.” There’s this idea float­ing around that hap­pi­ness isn’t sim­ply a feel­ing but some­thing that you should ac­tu­ally prac­tise reg­u­larly. My first thought upon hear­ing this was “Great, another thing to add to my to-do list.” But maybe it’s worth putting in ex­tra ef­fort: Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent survey by psy­chol­o­gists at the Univer­sity of Hert­ford­shire, the key to con­tent­ment could lie in cer­tain “happy habits.”

Re­searchers iden­ti­fied 10 daily habits, rang­ing from ex­er­cis­ing to learn­ing new things, that af­fect men­tal well­be­ing. (Shock­ingly, eat­ing vast quan­ti­ties of re­ally good cheese was not listed as one such “happy habit.”) They then sur­veyed 5,000 peo­ple about how of­ten they per­form th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties. The re­sults re­vealed that prac­tis­ing daily self­ac­cep­tance was most strongly tied to hap­pi­ness—but un­for­tu­nately it hap­pened to be one of the habits few peo­ple ac­tu­ally had. Go fig­ure.

In fact, help­ing oth­ers was the top habit per­formed by par­tic­i­pants. When you con­sider that self-ac­cep­tance is be­ing kind to your­self, it quickly be­comes clear that we’re treat­ing other peo­ple h

IT’S TOUGH TO AP­PRE­CI­ATE your sur­round­ings at a time of year when get­ting from point A to point B re­quires don­ning a parka and ski mask. But your ur­ban back­drop might be mak­ing you hap­pier. Ac­cord­ing to a sta­tis­ti­cal anal­y­sis of hap­pi­ness in New York, London, Paris, Berlin and Toronto, liv­ing in a beau­ti­ful city is as­so­ci­ated with in­creased per­sonal con­tent­ment. Easy ac­cess to cul­tural han­gouts—like parks and mu­se­ums—helps make cit­i­zens hap­pier. Bonus: Handy shop­ping also does the trick. Not that you needed a study to know that.... J.L.

We can all agree that flow­ers are a univer­sal short­cut to happy days (un­less you have al­ler­gies or are at a fu­neral, in which case con­do­lences). Maija Reise­nauer, of

Toronto’s Midge Flower De­signs, sug­gests three ways to get the most

bliss from your blos­soms: Who says cre­ative types tend to be more tor­tured than the av­er­age soul? Sarah Thorn­ton, au­thor of has found a pre­scrip­tion for hap­pi­ness in the some­times baf­fling world of con­tem­po­rary art. “Open your mind to new things,” she ex­plains. “En­joy­ing con­tem­po­rary art can be re­ju­ve­nat­ing be­cause it’s good for the soul to find beauty where you wouldn’t nor­mally— like in a uri­nal, in the man­ner of artist Mar­cel Duchamp.” So, your chal­lenge? To find beauty at th­ese three ex­hibits in 2015.

33 Artists in 3 Acts,

We are un­happy be­cause we re­sist the nat­u­ral ebb and flow of life. When we find hap­pi­ness, we cling to it, try­ing to or­ches­trate our lives in ways to make it stay for­ever. When sad­ness comes, we run away, we es­cape, look­ing for ways to avoid pain. The truth is this: Hap­pi­ness comes and hap­pi­ness goes, in the same way that sad­ness comes and sad­ness goes. Nei­ther is a per­ma­nent state of be­ing. When you’re happy, be grate­ful. Embrace it. When you’re sad, be grate­ful and embrace that too.

A nugget of wis­dom from Rachel Bra­then, a.k.a. Yoga Girl, the Swedish yogi who has over 1 mil­lion In­sta­gram

fol­low­ers queu­ing up to get daily doses of in­sight. We’re loving the cheeky, cheery looks from this sea­son’s Shrimps col­lec­tion, al­ready a fave of fun fash­ion girls like Alexa

Chung. For a mel­low-Sun­day mood, opt for Mikky Ekko’s “Smile.” Ma­rina and the Di­a­monds’ “Froot” will make you dance. One D’s “Steal My Girl”: new-crush gid­di­ness on tap. bet­ter than our­selves—and it could be mak­ing us mis­er­able.

The re­searchers had a few help­ful sug­ges­tions for boost­ing self-con­fi­dence. First, ask some­one you trust—your spouse, a friend, your colourist, some­one who re­ally gets you—what your strengths are (nat­u­ral high­lights for the win!). Then, take a minute to ap­pre­ci­ate those virtues. Another sug­ges­tion: No­tice things you do well, even if they’re small. Maybe you can rock a top­knot or tell a great joke or plan an ex­cel­lent trip. Th­ese are su­per­hero-level skills, and not ev­ery­one can master them.

It’s easy to be hard on your­self when you’re hav­ing a rough day and your Face­book feed is filled with friends who are #100dayshappy. To this I say: Re­sist the shame spi­ral that comes from com­par­ing your­self to ev­ery­one else. It’s great to have per­sonal goals, but con­stantly chas­ing after other peo­ple’s ideas of self-im­prove­ment (Jackie just ran another marathon! Sum­mer makes her own kom­bucha! That aw­ful woman in my book club has read War and Peace!) just paves the way to burnout, not ful­fill­ment.

Which brings me to the last and, in my opin­ion, most im­por­tant rec­om­men­da­tion: Show your­self as much com­pas­sion as you show oth­ers. Ki­bosh that nasty voice in your head that crit­i­cizes your ev­ery move. In her new book, Yes Please, Amy Poehler de­scribes that neg­a­tive self-talk as a stran­gled-yetse­duc­tive “de­mon voice” that sounds like a cross be­tween Darth Vader and an angry Lau­ren Ba­call. When the slith­er­ing de­mon rears its ugly head, her ad­vice is to treat it like it’s trash-talk­ing a good friend. “Stick­ing up for our­selves in the same way we would one of our friends is a hard but sat­is­fy­ing thing to do,” she writes.

So ex­er­cise a lit­tle self-care ev­ery day and you’ll strengthen your hap­pi­ness mus­cles. And don’t worry about “mis­takes.” Go ahead and eat all the cheese you want. Like Bri­tish au­thor Caitlin Mo­ran says, “Je ne re­grette brie-n.” ■

At the Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Cana­dian Art in Toronto (from Jan­uary 31 to April 19, 2015). 2. FIND MECCA at the Los An­ge­les County Mu­seum of Art (on in­def­i­nitely). 3. WAR STO­RIES Con­flict, Time, Pho­tog­ra­phy at the Tate Mod­ern in London (to March 15, 2015)

For more re­sults from the ELLE Women in So­ci­ety survey, go to

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