New mum Matilda Green knows a lot about happiness. After all, she met the love of her life Art Green on the set of the Bachelor and has counted her blessings ever since.
Welcoming their first child Milo earlier this year was the icing on the cake for the newly-wed couple something Matilda described as a "dream come true."
Already a published author, Matilda has just released her second book: The Feel Good Guide. Here are her top tips for living a healthy, happy life full of gratitude and kindness.
When someone does something nice for you, do something nice for someone else. Such a simple but powerful idea. Imagine if everyone in the world did this!
Saying sorry is actually a sign of strength, not of weakness. I've learnt that being right all the time doesn't mean much if you have hurt someone in the process.
This one is a suggestion from my husband Art, bless him. Whenever Art eats one of his favourite meals (steak and veges), he takes a moment to send respect to the animal that gave their life so he could eat, and he thinks about the farms and the hard work that went into growing and harvesting the vegetables he's eating. I really like this one!
...rather than what you don't. It could be your family, your friends, your pets, your intelligence, your sense of humour, a roof over your head – pretty much anything. You're allowed to be grateful for these things.
Voice it. I've started doing this, and it's amazing how much joy it brings both me and the person I'm complimenting. I love it! Think of a time you got a compliment from a stranger. It made you feel pretty good, am I right? I'll never forget the time an old lady at the supermarket told me I looked "as cool as a cucumber" in my outfit. It completely turned my day around. Spend a day voicing every positive thought you have about others. It might feel unusual, but that's just a sign we should do it more.
...whether it's your parents, grandparents or your friends who are like family. The one thing I always hear from people who have lost someone close to them is that they wish they'd spent more time talking to that person and hearing their stories. Don't take the people in your life for granted.
I personally think that, to lead a happy and fulfilled life, you need purpose, and purpose comes from helping other people. We are all connected and we need to look after each other. Plus, there's nothing wrong with admitting that helping people also makes you feel good. It's a win-win! There are lots of ways you can help someone out. Volunteer for a charity, help a neighbour with their garden, or just be there for your friends when they're having a hard time. Big or small, it all counts.
There are so many out there to buy that already have everything handily set out for you – just do an internet search for "gratitude journal" and you'll see what I mean. You can also just use a good old notepad and pen, or even keep notes on your phone. Every evening, write down three things that you are grateful for and three things that made you smile that day.
...when you're with other people. You'll be better placed to experience their company fully. It shows them you are present, and that you're appreciating and listening to them. Ever been out for dinner and someone has whipped out their phone to start scrolling through their social media notifications? It's super rude, and it basically says, "I think this post from this person who I don't even know is more interesting and important than you are right now."
Even just a little one for your partner or a family member to say thanks for something they've done. This is a super-sweet token of appreciation and will leave both of you feeling all the fuzzies.
Had a good experience in a restaurant? A noticeably friendlier-than average customer service rep? Let people know! Tell their manager or leave a review online. If you've ever worked in customer service or hospo, you'll know it can be hard yakka with little to no thanks, so when someone takes time out of their day to acknowledge you've done a good job, it is certainly appreciated. It doesn't fall on deaf ears.
This one is always quite difficult for me. I can be a little lazy (you may remember my previous book?), so I really have to make an effort here. Walking gives you extra time to be outside, appreciate your surroundings and smell the flowers, so to speak. Well, literally too, I guess. It's also better for the environment.
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