Gransnet forums


How to be happy - 5 golden rules

(53 Posts)
Foxygloves Sun 24-Sep-23 08:30:15

Interested by this article in the Sunday Telegraph this morning and wondering what your “Golden Rules” might be.
Sleep longer
Only drink in moderation
Improve your number of social connections
Exercise regularly
Eat an anti- inflammatory diet
Develop a healthy life style at a young age
Here it is in full:!preferred/0/package/1435/pub/1435/page/80/article/NaN
I would add
Keep an open mind about the world, (however much you want to throw your hands up in horror) - avoid “hardening of the attitudes”

Urmstongran Sun 24-Sep-23 12:46:45

True, Kate and StacyAnna. It’s the shock I think. Everything else in life pales into insignificance for a while. Sad ‘acceptance’ comes next and things such as fresh air on a walk do help equilibrium.

Kate1949 Sun 24-Sep-23 12:53:29

Yes the shock Urms. I think we are slightly guilty of 'It won't happen to us'. I'm not sure why. We are all human beings.

Galaxy Sun 24-Sep-23 13:03:09

flowers urms. There is a school of thought that we shoudnt aim for happiness but should aim for the ability to survive difficult times as life is not going to be happy, its frequently going to be a hard slog.

HousePlantQueen Sun 24-Sep-23 13:04:49

Sorry to hear that life has dealt you a serious blow, Urmstongran.

I am not particularily good with exercise as an event in itself, but I do try not to sit around too much. I always sleep with a window open, and spend a lot of time outside, just sitting in the sun with a good book if the weather is appropriate.

Our diet is fairly good, not many refined carbs, no meat, a few glasses of decent wine which is a fair compromise I feel.

Interesting thread.

Would add; don't fret about things you can't change, don't lie awake at 2am going over things which happened years ago and you can do nothing about......but then I would be guilty of hypocrisy.

StacyAnna Sun 24-Sep-23 13:21:21


flowers urms. There is a school of thought that we shoudnt aim for happiness but should aim for the ability to survive difficult times as life is not going to be happy, its frequently going to be a hard slog.

Yes, resilience.

Urmstongran Sun 24-Sep-23 13:34:12

I agree. Contentment in life is what is best aimed for I think. Smooth and settled times.

Bursts of Pure Happiness (like unhappiness) come and go. They are not sustainable but we recognise them.

Sadly I suppose we need the contrasts in life to appreciate what we do have.

HeavenLeigh Sun 24-Sep-23 13:42:58

Good sense of humour, eat as well as you can, cut the sugar, go for a walk. Appreciate what you have. And above all try not to stress about things you cannot change

GrannySomerset Sun 24-Sep-23 14:02:20

My sympathy, Urms, I know what you mean. It seems a long time since I felt really happy but I am getting better at recognising contentment and being glad of it. Meanwhile Foxy’s suggestions are all worth building in to everyday life.

Marydoll Sun 24-Sep-23 21:24:40



flowers urms. There is a school of thought that we shoudnt aim for happiness but should aim for the ability to survive difficult times as life is not going to be happy, its frequently going to be a hard slog.

Yes, resilience.

Resilience, I second that.
The rules are hard to follow, when chronic ill health becomes the norm.
If you don't have resilience, you are totally scuppered! Not everyone has that.

Foxygloves Sun 24-Sep-23 21:37:00


Urms flowers How right you are. Also, when the sideswipes come one after the other it's hard to follow someone else's 'rules for happiness'. Life really isn't like that.

I hope you don’t mean from this that these are my rules

God knows I’ve had enough sideswipes- lost my first child as a 4-week old baby, lost a much wanted grandchild -to-be who was so “damaged” it would not have made term, and after years of ill health including an organ transplant, open heart surgery and a stroke lost my DH six short years ago just weeks after his 70th birthday.
I feel pretty “sideswept” but one foot in front of the other . I’m not the first and I won’t be the last.
I’m sorry some people have put this interpretation on what was a fairly light hearted thread .
Perhaps I won’t bother in future.

cornergran Sun 24-Sep-23 21:41:50

Life has taught me the value of resilience which for me includes the ability to adapt. Without it happiness or indeed contentment is beyond reach. Or has been for me. Agree with much of the list while firmly putting resilience at the top. A hug on its way to you urms flowers.

Cabbie21 Sun 24-Sep-23 22:12:48

Yes, resilience, persistence are often what is needed in the face of life’s difficulties.

Going back to the original list, not everyone can afford to eat nutritiously, not everyone has the time, ability or opportunity for exercise or sleep. These are ideals not always attainable.

For my well- being, singing in a choir is far better than a walk in fresh air. Music is good for the body, mind and soul.

Romola Sun 24-Sep-23 22:57:48

This sort of article is always appearing in the Sunday papers. How to declutter, how to improve your sex life, how to be a better parent, how to eat a healthy diet, how to exercise.... it goes on and on.
Reading most of them makes me feel guilty and UNhappy.

Kate1949 Sun 24-Sep-23 23:51:21

Oh no Foxygloves I don't think they are your rules. I realise you were quoting. Apologies if I offended you.

Foxygloves Mon 25-Sep-23 04:27:16

Apologies for being over-sensitive Kate , all 3 sad anniversaries approaching 🙏

Hiraeth Mon 25-Sep-23 04:59:06

Definitely Urms I too had a devastating life change in my family .Today I look back and am grateful for the wonderful years we had together . I’m happy now but in a different way .I have young grand- children that make me laugh and I’m in good health but it’s a completely different life than in the past .
Life is still good and precious .

jvertalka Mon 25-Sep-23 12:28:21

Agree with all suggestions, but how do you make new friends in your 70s? My life-long friends are all dying, or retiring thousands of miles away. Can’t really figure out how to make young friends.

polnan Mon 25-Sep-23 12:30:15

Urmstongran Sun 24-Sep-23 10:32:50
I did all those things on the list. I was a happy go lucky bunny in good health and content with my life. Grateful too. Shared what I have with others less fortunate (a good one to add to the list I think?). Then a devastating illness within our family recently knocked me down like a skittle. True ‘happiness’ eludes me now. I have a feeling it always will. Life events can sideswipe any of us at any time, sadly

thanks for this Urms and other comments here,, this is me also, I am elderly, yes, over 80 and for me, being of an age, and failing health myself, from always being quite healthy, shock to the system,, I read all the suggestions, but the one that gets me, is "sleep well" if only!
so we can only just keep on , keeping on.

Actually it has helped me to read this thread, at least I know it is not just me!

MadeInYorkshire Mon 25-Sep-23 12:46:07


And have enough money to be able to live well.

Exactly ... there are several things that I would love to make me feel better, like counselling (the NHS nurse finally called 6 months to the day that my daughter died, had one appointment, to make a plan, and a new phone appointment was made for the 15th August - not heard a thing.) Same with Social Prescriber ...

I would like to have someone to come out with me as I am now scared to go out on my own, but couldn't go anywhere as cannot afford it.

Would like a dog walker, again at £10 per dog for 30 mins in my area, that is never going to happen.

Some therapy of some sort, such as Craniosacral Therapy, used to help me but can't afford that anymore either since I became unable to work.

If I could 'buy' contentment I would as it is a miserable existence on your own with only a carer here for 45 mins for company - I literally talk non-stop getting all my words out! Once she has gone, that's it, just my computer, radio, tv for company, and I HATE it!!

Urmstongran Mon 25-Sep-23 13:17:37

MadeInYorkshire my heartfelt sympathies to you. Life, for some on here is very hard. You have the double whammy of Bereavement and little in the way of disposable income which limits your choices, undeniably so. I bet you feel,like howling at the wind some days.

And apologies too from me Foxygloves I feel I brought what was intended as a lighthearted discussion thread down somewhat by my posts. I really must learn not to post when I’m having a difficult day or I’m feeling emotional - it’s not fair to you all. Sorry.

Bella23 Mon 25-Sep-23 13:44:58

I would say try not to dwell on the bad and unsettling, enjoy and appreciate what you already have and don't wish for the moon.
Our extended family have had a few sideways knocks in the last few years as well.
I sympathise with Urmsflowers

Annierob Mon 25-Sep-23 13:54:22

I have always liked the ‘rules’ by R L Stevenson.

Annierob Mon 25-Sep-23 13:55:47

The one ‘rule’ I particularly like is ‘avoid people who make you unhappy’. Life is too short.

queenofsaanich69 Mon 25-Sep-23 16:11:01

So sad for you Urmstongran,consider yourself hugged,take care.

Tanjamaltija Mon 25-Sep-23 16:36:19

I wrote this some time ago: