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International day of happiness

Celebrating International Day of Happiness

International Day of Happiness is a relatively new holiday. Created by the United Nations in 2013, International Day of Happiness is a day to focus on yourself: your well-being, goals and aspirations and to be, well, happy! 

When we’re happy, we feel good, we feel positive; ambitions suddenly seem within reach. Happiness is also infectious, and by simply being happy around others we can have a positive influence on their feelings too.  After a year of uncertainty, looking after ourselves and staying happy has never been more important. So, we spoke to Floss Knight, Psychodynamic Psychotherapist and founder of UK Therapy Guide to give us some tips on keeping a positive attitude.

What is a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist?

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in present behavior. So, put simply, I help my clients look at past events, and together, we untangle emotions to understand why it is they end up or feel like they’re in the position they are. We then look at different ways of doing things. 

Describe a typical working day for you? 

In the morning I like to spend a little me time: I do some yoga, take five minutes to write down my thoughts before getting ready for work. I then walk to my practice in West London and will see some clients (either face to face or virtually) and then spend a few hours working on my UK Therapy Guide website. Evenings are usually more relaxed, spending time with my family – it’s really important for therapists to have their own down time too.

Portrait of Floss Knight, Psychodynamic Psychotherapist

What does ‘wellness’ mean to you?

Mind, body and soul: to keep our bodies functioning the best they can, we need to pay attention to every aspect. Working on our fitness is just as important as working on our mind, as is the diet we consume – if you oil one part, oil the others and you will be a far more happier and more rounded person. 

Why is it so important that we are kind to ourselves?

When we’re kind to ourselves we automatically feel better and can be the best projection of ourselves. It also promotes happiness and confidence, and sets the tone for how others will treat you too. 

How are you spending International Day of Happiness? 

As it’s the weekend, I will be spending time with my family (and my dog – animals really do make us happier, they can pick up on how we’re feeling). I will probably go for a long walk in London, along the river – hopefully the sun will be shining. I’ll then enjoy a nice meal with my family and a non-alcoholic tipple – I’m 26 years sober this month.

Selection of Mexican inspired dishes

What are your top 5 activities that people can do to celebrate International Day of Happiness?

  1. Wake up and do a five minute meditation

This is a practice I use often in therapy. Everyone has a place where they feel safe, happy and warm. Take five minutes to imagine yourself in this place, how do you feel when you’re there? What can you hear? What can you smell?

  1. Write down five affirmations

Affirmations are positive statements that can help you to challenge and overcome negative thoughts. When you repeat them often, and believe in them, you can start to make positive changes.

  1. Move your body

Whether you go for a run, walk, cycle or do a yoga session, we feel so much better when we move our body – even just walking to the shop for that fresh loaf of sourdough can make us feel happy.

  1. Human interaction

We always feel much better after a good chat with a friend. Schedule in a video call or even a walk (if you can).

  1. Eat well

Food brings so much happiness and joy. I love starting my day with pancakes and finishing with a nice meal. Plus, it’s Saturday, take a trip to your favourite bakery and treat yourself to something yummy!