What’s the big deal about leaving the toilet seat up? On the other hand, how hard is it to put the toilet seat down? Toilet jokes aside, sharing your life with another person isn’t always easy, but even a little effort focused on the right things can go a long way.
What makes happy couples? What do happy couples have in common? We asked three Canadian pairs to reveal their secrets for getting more enjoyment out of their lives together, stressing less with a supportive partner by your side…and maybe even getting to hold the remote once in a while.
1. Go on adventures together
“Relationships ain’t always easy. Whether it’s a disagreement, a disrespectful interaction, or even just a little cabin fever, taking a break from our daily routine by getting outside for a nature walk always brings us closer together. I love you, Devon. Here’s to many more adventures into the woods where we can ventilate our systems.” – Shea Emry – @sheaemry & @devdevelopment
2. Look for moments of connection throughout the day
“A fully focused, 60-second conversation, a quick phone call, a moment of eye contact or a tender touch can create strong emotional resonance. In the rush of daily life, it’s amazing how little time we can end up spending with those we love. Moments of emotional and physical connection are key to a lasting relationship.” – @adamkreek & Rebecca of @oneyearwithout
3. Love to laugh
“A sense of humour is usually near the top of any list of traits women find attractive, and my own wife has told me as much. When we share a laugh about the many challenges of life — goofy co-workers, misbehaving kids, misunderstood text messages — it shows us both that we can overcome anything together. The key is to stay positive and look for humour wherever you can.” – @adam_bisby ofMostly Amazing
So how do you benefit by “living in the present?” Pushing your boundaries by bungee jumping, pushing your credit limit by purchasing an expensive suit, or pushing your calorie count by ordering the nacho plate? Is it inspirational, indulgent…or neither?
Sign up for a free copy of our “7 Traits of the Happiest and Healthiest People” eBook.
For ancient Greek philosophers, “living in the present” was a state of mind one aspired to, becoming self-aware in order to experience and enjoy one’s current situation. Perhaps best captured by the slogan Carpe Diem — translated from Latin as ‘seize the day’ — the goal was to simply live in the moment… at least for emperors, noblemen, and anyone else that wasn’t busy doing intense labor.
How you can live like a king
We get it. You’re a regular guy with a regular job, not the King of England. You have commitments and responsibilities, which leaves little time for living in the present, right?
Thing is, you don’t need to throw lavish parties on luxury yachts, and you certainly don’t need to retreat to a cave and meditate, hoping for enlightenment. The key to being able to live in the present is to recognize that any situation presents opportunities.
Get started focusing on step one: breakfast.
Boost your mood with food
In theory, breakfast is a time to savor a meal while fueling yourself for the day ahead. In reality, you’re half-dressed, pushing the clock, chewing a bagel—briefcase in hand, moving towards the door. Don’t multitask around chewing and swallowing, schedule them in: HIGH PRIORITY! Meeting w/ oatmeal @ 7:40 a.m.
The key here is to remember to live in the present by dedicating your energy to the task at hand. Chances are, you’ll find that the more you put into living in the moment, the more you’ll get out of it.
We’ve all been there — stressed and sleep deprived, we gulp down caffeine and shovel in fast food in a rush — life happens, and it’s easy to fall into this unhealthy cycle. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to feel better that doesn’t involve slurping down green-looking and greener-tasting smoothies or chomping on a fist-full of kale!
While results from studies are mixed, they do seem to show an association between certain foods and improved mood. The point is, diet is important in every aspect of your well being: sleep, mood, energy levels, clear thinking, and even sex drive.
Here are three essential edibles that can help you on your way:
Why it’s important: Okay, we know you don’t necessarily eat water, but it’s super important to have lots of H2O. Your body is about 60% water and uses it in many ways. Water maintains essential functions such as blood circulation, temperature regulation, and food digestion.
What you need: Guys should replace around 3 litres of water a day, in other words, aim for 5-8 glasses of water a day. Try starting your day off with a fresh glass of water when you wake up!
Why they’re important: There are eight varieties of Vitamin B. All go by complicated scientific names, but the main point stands – they’re essential for bodily functions like converting food into energy.
What you need: Thankfully, B Vitamins are plentiful in most fibre-rich foods: Fruits, vegetables like peas and beans, and whole-grain breads and cereals. You can easily snack on some beans with your lunch for that extra B Vitamin boost!
Why it’s important: This mineral boosts guys’ fertility, sex drive and long-term sexual health.
What you need: Meat and dairy products contain lots of zinc, as do seeds, beans and nuts. Alternatively, you can simply take a zinc supplement for a boost if your diet is lacking. After all, what guy doesn’t enjoy a tasty steak? Silence, that’s what we thought. Cook up a tender T-bone for an awesome dinner that’ll give your body that extra bit of zinc it might need.
You really are what you eat! Remember, healthy foods build healthy bodies.
You don’t have to like the Pharrell Williams song “Happy” to be happy. If Motorhead or Mozart is more your speed, so be it. But if you find yourself not giving a sh**, well then maybe you — yes, you — should keep reading on, because after all, which one of us couldn’t use a little more happiness?
In fact, making an effort to be happy is the first and best thing all happy men do. Few are happy because of their circumstances – it’s how they respond to their circumstances, both good and bad, that gets the ball rolling.
So the good news, funny enough, is that happiness isn’t inherent. It’s about being a little proactive by making small changes all of us guys can implement today.
2. Look after yourself
No man can be happy if he’s unhealthy. Like happiness, an unhealthy life is fuelled by the choices we make, be it by working 18-hour days, eating the wrong foods, or never getting your heart rate up. Indeed, excess body weight and insomnia are two traits unhappy men share. Their happy counterparts, on the other hand, value their lives and want to keep the party going for as long as possible by making healthy choices.
3. Pursue your passion
That thing that makes you happy? Whether it’s time with your kids or a Jamaican beach or python wrangling (it’s surprisingly popular), your efforts to keep those people, places or things in your life can actually be more rewarding than the goals themselves. Getting there is half the fun, as the saying goes, and if your goal makes you happy then the process will always seem worthwhile. If one of your passions can be parlayed into your career, then success – however you choose to define it – is all the more likely to follow.
4. Be happy with yourself
Nobody’s perfect, and you don’t even have to be close to be happy. Your quirks, shortcomings and foibles define you as a person, and if you value these idiosyncrasies then you not only value your uniqueness, but also know how to look after, and even improve, yourself on your terms.
5. Live in the present
Reminisce and anticipation are all well and good, but don’t get stuck in the past or future. As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans,” and even if those other plans are happy ones you don’t want to miss any unscheduled happiness in the here and now. You can’t savour the here and now if you’re distracted by the next challenge – cellphone addicts, we’re looking at you here. In short, you can’t find happiness if it can’t find you.
6. Be part of the solution
Who says pessimists can’t be happy? Life is full of challenges – that’s why many pessimists say they are “realists” – but what really matters is how you handle them. Instead of always pointing out problems, as negative men do, and then waiting for someone else to solve them, as negative, lazy, “victims” do, take an active role in dealing with issues head on. If you have outside help, fantastic. If you don’t, however, knowing that you have the power to make a difference will put you on the positive path that leads to happiness.