How We Became Happy Campers and How You Can, Too!
Being happy is what life is all about, right? It is what we all have in common with each other and with every other creature on our planet; we all want to be happy. The quest for happiness is quite a journey, and it seems it is our life-long purpose to discover it. Here at Happy Campers, we’re just humble bakers and while we are no sages or philosophers, we do have some ideas about where true happiness is found.
We believe it’s found in sharing, helping, giving and connecting with others. And, of course, a delicious piece of toast helps, too!
We wanted to share with you some of our daily activities and tips that we believe bring about real happiness. As Happy Campers, in our small but genuine way, we’d like to humbly help usher the world into an era where possessions, social status, and “quick fixes” are no longer sought after as the sources of true happiness.
Don’t get us wrong, we pass no judgment and there is nothing wrong with enjoying all that life has to offer. (Unless it’s gluten, of course, hahaha!) We just want to encourage everyone to be aware and put intention behind this incredible opportunity we have on this planet – an opportunity to be happy, in a lasting and authentic way!
The Power of a Good Belly Laugh
Let’s start with something that we can all do very easily: laugh and smile! Smiling actually has a lot of health benefits. It is known to relieve stress and boost the immune system. So try to do things that keep you smiling and laughing every day. Read a funny story or joke, watch a funny video (my favorite ones are about “animal friendships,” do yourself a favor and Youtube it), visit your local comedy club or watch a funny show. When watching funny videos or shows, it’s helpful to set a time limit, so you don’t get sucked in and end up spending hours doing it. The goal is to infuse your day with a few extra laughs and smiles. When you do that, make sure to share it with someone else and make those smiles go even further!
Our next happiness tip is all about connecting with others. There are so many ways to get social and connect. The key is to bring out something that you have in common with others. Gather a group to play board games. Bring out the things you enjoyed as kids. You’re never too old to play games. What was your favorite game? Clue? Monopoly? Trouble? Blow off the dust and play with your friends and family. Reminiscing about the good old days will bring you back to when you were a kid. Be present and leave all the adult things you have to accomplish behind while you’re having fun.
A classic: dinner and a movie night. Lacy and I don’t go to movies very often (we actually have a rule of one movie a month), and when we do, we make sure the movie is about something that we care about and are excited to see. Afterward, we like to talk about it, discover the layers of the story and see what we can learn. That’s an amazing way to connect and have meaningful conversations, rather than just sitting in front of a movie mindlessly. That can be okay too sometimes, especially after a long hard week. The key is to be intentional and make a conscious decision of what kind of movie experience you’d like to have.
Spend time with friends that you haven’t seen in a while. Have a small gathering at your home. Talk about life and your goals for the future. Go to a comedy show or a concert. Go to a dance lesson. Lacy and I recently joined a local singing group, because we love music and singing. We’re not good musicians or singers though, so it was definitely a step outside of our comfort zone. We have learned that opening yourself up and being vulnerable, establishes a wonderful connection with others and helps make new friends, in a very meaningful and real way.
Show Some Love
Give hugs. Let’s not forget hugs. And high fives, those are awesome too. Studies show that physical touch is fundamental to human development and well-being. Hugs reduce stress, build trust, strengthen the immune system, and improve communication.
Express love and gratitude to yourself and to others. Expressing gratitude boosts your mood and it helps you to see the good in everything. Be positive and thankful for what you have — friends, family, and the opportunity to make a choice of how you perceive the challenges that life throws your way. We like to keep a gratitude journal every day of all that we are thankful for. We do this before going to bed, as well as write down anything else that comes to mind. This helps us to have a clear, calm and happy mind when falling asleep.
Sometimes it seems this is easier said than done, but starting each day with the right attitude makes all the difference in the world. If you wake up with the attitude of “I’m here to enjoy life and enjoy the journey, whatever it may bring,” you definitely set yourself up for success. Life is not always easy and it can bring about difficulties; especially when you’re faced with health challenges. Life is not always easy, but life is good. Really good.
From battling chronic disease since our late teens, we have learned that the only way to be happy in the face of adversity is to embrace life for everything that it has to offer. The good and the bad. This took us a long time to realize, and for years and years, we used to feel like victims. Especially as young people, still kids, really, we were thrown into the spiral of chronic disease by no fault of our own. Over the years, we kept seeking help and learning about not only the right medicines to heal the body, but also the right attitude we had to have so we wouldn’t suffer if the medicines didn’t work.
We aspire to inspire you and others, so obviously we portray the best, healthiest versions of ourselves. But let’s be real, there are plenty of hard days and due to our chronic disease, it’s very possible that our health will never be fully regained. We had to accept that possibility and see all those challenges as opportunities to learn and become the best versions of ourselves.
Probably the biggest challenge for us was that the people we are becoming are very different from the people we thought we would become when we were growing up. For example, Lacy wanted to travel the world and be a competitive athlete. Due to her health issues, that will most likely never happen. That is a painful reality to accept. But it is possible to accept. You can find a new identity and re-define who you are and who you become. You can let go, embrace the challenges and be happy, no matter what life throws your way.
We are just a couple of bakers, who are here to make your life easier and more nourished by baking a wholesome loaf of bread for you. But it’s about far more than that. It’s about helping each other on this journey and realizing that we’re all connected and we’re all seeking the same thing: to be happy. We’re so grateful and excited to begin (or continue) this journey toward wellness and happiness together!
- “Top 10 Reasons to Smile Every Day” https://www.verywellmind.com/top-reasons-to-smile-every-day-2223755
- “Why You Should Get (and Give) More Hugs” https://www.healthline.com/health/hugging-benefits#6
- “5 Reasons Gratitude is Good for You” https://www.onemedical.com/blog/live-well/gratitude