After a whirlwind five weeks in which I traveled to 10 cities – I gladly welcomed a week with no travel. After a day off on Tuesday, my brain still wasn’t quite ready to go back to work. So around 1 pm on Wednesday, I plopped myself down in front of the desk of my right-hand dynamo Erika and said, “I’m going home. I need a nap.”
As I climbed into bed in the middle of the afternoon, I took a deep breath, exhaled, and smiled. The feeling of relaxation was pure bliss. It occurs to me that a mid-afternoon nap was not my idea of happiness 20 years ago. As a college student, happiness was going out, meeting new people, doing something – anything – exciting. I’m not saying I don’t love adventure and activity at 40, but honestly, some of my happiest days are spent doing nothing – especially when I get to do nothing with people I love being with.
Relaxation is a happiness trigger. For me, it comes in dead last when I took the happy woman test. But I’m not alone. Nearly 8,000 people have taken the happiness test at happywomantest.com since we launched it recently in conjunction with my new book Happy Women Live Better, and I can tell you that hands down, the least used happiness trigger among women is … you guessed it … Relaxation!
So this week, I want to encourage you to take a little time to do absolutely nothing. Just before my travel schedule went hectic, I had back-to-back weekends with nothing at all on my schedule. I could literally feel the adrenaline leave my body as I spent the weekend reading in bed, taking naps, and sitting on my deck looking at the trees, and listening to birds chirp and kids play on the street. “This feeling is vaguely familiar,” I thought. “… like how I used to feel when I had a not-so-demanding job and no cares in the world.” Needless to say, that was a long time ago. But I’m determined to have that feeling more often. It’ll mean some shifts and changes in how I work, and I don’t have all the answers yet.
What I know for sure is that tapping into one of my “power triggers” – a happiness trigger that doesn’t come so naturally – has the power to boost my happiness in big ways. How about you? I’d love to hear your comments on this topic out on my blog.
My challenge to you this week:
Take a break. Take a nap. Do nothing.
Which of your “power triggers” would you most like to start using to boost your happiness? (Find out your personal triggers and power triggers at happywomantest.com). What could you do to activate that trigger this week?