Opinion: Finding the feelgood factor in winter

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I am a generally happy and cheery person with an optimistic “glass half full” attitude to life, and I can’t be doing with those who are eternally pessimistic, gloomy and always focusing on the negatives.

On pondering why I am usually in a sunny mood – even when it’s raining, I realised the secret to happiness is the little things that give us a glow.

These tiny things might not seem much in isolation, but when you add these small moments of joy together, they leave you with a smile on your face throughout the day.

For instance, the other day, I was rooting through my mass of handbags looking for one to go with an outfit when I opened a clutch purse I haven’t used since a Christmas party last year. To my delight, on opening it, I discovered a tenner in the zipped section.

Even though it was my own money, I felt like a millionaire and it gave my day a little lift.

In a similar vein is the thrill we get when we go to the till to buy something in the sale – only to find it’s been reduced even further and is cheaper than on the price tag.Getting something for free is also a pleasant surprise that cheers us up.

Some of the little things that make us happy don’t cost a penny.Getting into a bed with freshly washed bed sheets gives you a lovely glow – as does that moment when you wake up before your alarm goes off and realise you can sleep for longer.

The old saying may claim that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but when it comes to happiness, food certainly gives both men and women a slice of contentment. Especially chocolate and other sweet treats.

Having something to look forward to and a sense of anticipation also puts us in good spirits. Booking a holiday, planning a night out or even a night in can fill us with elation.

Random acts of kindness – whether we’re on the giving or receiving end – also give us a feeling of contentment.

Helping someone in need gives you the feelgood factor, having a stranger hold a door open for you or pay you a compliment can give you pleasure.

Along the same lines is the proof that saying thanks or acknowledging a job well done costs nothing, but is priceless in the spark of happiness it can give someone, as many people say praise from a boss or co-worker puts them in good humour.

Haphazard moments when luck is accidentally on our side can also fill us with glee. Take a look around you and you’ll find plenty of little things to perk you up – even if it’s only for a few minutes each day.