Here Comes The Sun – Monthly Happiness Report – May, 2018

Time for another monthly happiness report. May was a beautiful month, and I was very happy in general. I continued tracking my happiness on every single day of the month. I want to show you exactly what influenced my happiness. This monthly happiness report covers everything that happened to me in May, from a beautiful weekend trip to Lille, France to a very busy period at work.

But let's start with the basics. How happy was I in May 2018?

Here's a simple overview of my average happiness ratings.

My average happiness rating of May was a 7,98. By coincidence, this is exactly the same as it was last month. After a relatively rough start to 2018, I was really enjoying my happy little life in May. These last couple of weeks have been simply great, even though nothing really extraordinary happened.

Let's see how this month became such a happy month for me.

Monthly happiness

The chart below visualizes exactly what my happiness ratings looked like throughout May. I have sprinkled some comments here and there to add context to this data.

Just like last month, May was generally an awesome month for me.

My girlfriend and I had finally settled in our new apartment together, and life was great. The weather was getting better and better, and I enjoyed my day-to-day job as an engineer just as much. I had nothing to complain about. I want to show you more details about what influenced my happiness though.

I have tracked every significant factor that has influenced my happiness this past month. Let's see what affected my happiness the most!

Happiness factors

The table below shows all the happiness factors that influenced my happiness in May 2018.

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By glancing over this table, you can probably see that my girlfriend had a huge positive effect on my happiness in May.

We tried to do as much fun stuff together as possible. These things didn't even have to be special. We had fun just walking around the block, having a beer outside in the sun or visiting a local swimming pool Simple stuff, really. My girlfriend and I have been together for over 5 years now, and she really makes me a happy person.

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Let me show you one of my entries from my happiness tracking journal.

A perfect day in the park

I wrote the following on the 5th of May, which was a truly magnificent day. The weather was perfect and my girlfriend and I both had a day off. So we decided to go to the park to just lay in the grass and enjoy the weather. I rated this Saturday with an 8,50 on my happiness rating scale!

It was actually the happiest day of the month for me! 🙂

This is what I had to say:

A fantastic day. Woke up at 10:00 after a lovely night's rest. My girlfriend and I finished cleaning the apartment at around 12:30, which meant we had the rest of the day to ourselves.

We drove our bicycles down to the central park  with a bag filled with beer, wine, crackers and cards. The weather was soooo good: beautiful blue skies, a light wind and blossoming trees everywhere. You see, this is what really makes me happy. Small shit like this. Especially when I get to spend it with my girlfriend. HAHA. I know I'm sounding like a dork now, but it truly does make me happy. On a day like this, everybody else seems to be happy too.

Anyway, it was really nice at the park. After 4 beers, I got into a light state of tipsy-ness. Honestly, it made it even better. Everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves and there wasn't a thing in the world that could bother me.

We left the park at 17:00 to have a quick bite back at our apartment. My girlfriend went out for the rest of the evening, which meant I had a night off to myself. I ran 7 kilometers in the setting sun, which was great. And I just finished working on my website for 2 hours. It's going pretty well if I say so myself. I'm finished for now, so I'm just gonna watch an episode of The Office for now and then calling it a day. What a fantastic Saturday. I want more of this, please!

You can probably see why I rated this day with an 8,50. It was the happiest day of the month for me, while I really just spent the day relaxing with my girlfriend. You see, I don't need to do extravagant activities or to spend money in order to be happy. It's the simple things in life that make me happy! 🙂

Enjoying the sunny weather in the park
One of the best days of the month: enjoying a day at the park with my girlfriend

If only every single day could be like this, right?!?!

A slight dip in happiness?

Unfortunately, my happiness experienced a slight dip a couple of days later.

I try to keep myself pretty busy. You know, I'm either at work, spending time with my girlfriend, running, building this website or doing some other stuff that I feel like I need to do. I have always tried to find a perfect balance between keeping myself busy and relaxing. And sometimes, I take it a little too far. And then my happiness suffers because of it.

That's what happened on the 8th of May, which was my worst day of the month. Mind you, it wasn't a bad day, but I still feel like my happiness could have been higher had I taken better care of myself. I briefly wrote about it in my happiness tracking journal. I rated this Tuesday with a 6,75 on my happiness rating scale.

This is what I had to say:

Today was pretty lousy. Work was fine. Nothing spectacular. The time seems to pass a little slower than usual these days. And I feel agitated as a result. Like a cranky old man...

Had a small argument with my girlfriend today, which we spent the first full hour talking about. We both spoke our minds and finally buried the hatchet so to speak. But I was a little more agitated for the rest of the evening as a result. My girlfriend, she has no trouble moving on from arguments. Me, not so much unfortunately. I don't know why, but I couldn't get rid of my cranky feeling.

Spent the rest of the night playing video games together, which was nice. I wanted to go out for a run at 21:30 which usually lifts my spirit straight away. But after just 20o meters I noticed a big blister on my heel. Turns out my running sneakers are already broken... ALREADY??? I didn't even reach a total of 500 kilometers on these shoes. Needless to say, I was done with the day after I decided to head back home. Took a shower and am now resting in bed. A day to forget.

This was the only day that my happiness really suffered, and I could have prevented it had I better managed to react to all these happiness factors. I know I need to learn to better react to negativity. You see, I obviously want to maximize my happiness every day, and choosing how to react to negativity is such a huge part of it.

I guess I still have much to learn... 🙂

The rest of my month

I was able to remain constantly happy for the remainder of May.

On the weekend of the 20th, my girlfriend and I spent a weekend in Lille, France in order to take a break from our lives in the Netherlands. It was a very welcome change of pace for us, and we really enjoyed spending this quality time together. The weather was great this weekend, so it was really easy for us to relax and just take things easy.

Spending a nice weekend in Lille, France, 2018 May
Spending a nice weekend in Lille, France

Working on Tracking Happiness

I actually also spent a LOT of time working on this little website. You see, ever since I started this journey over a year ago, I have learned a lot about building a website and generating content. But there is still just as much stuff that I still need to do. Well, in May I decided to up my game and reached out to a couple of other websites hoping to build a connection.

You see, I think a lot of people can benefit from Tracking Happiness. I dream of a world where people are more aware of the things that actually do have a significant influence on happiness. Nowadays, people are too inclined to focus on things that are actually not as important as they are projected to be. Think about career goals, finances, income, fancy clothing, prestigious items or expensive meals. I believe a lot of people should open their eyes to find out that these things are all just a proxy for happiness. We want to become as happy as possible, and we might not need all these things in order to get there.

Anyway, I'm rambling.

What I wanted to say is that I need the help of other websites (or you!) in order to grow Tracking Happiness into something bigger. And I spent quite a bit of time reaching out to other websites for help. I was actually amazed at how willing people are to help me out when they read about what my website is about. For example, Tracking Happiness is now included in a great list of resources on how to be happy in general. It's things like this that can really help this website grow into something bigger!

Besides, I just generally like to work on this website. It keeps me busy! Sometimes a little too busy, I have to admit, but I really enjoy it.

Anyway, the rest of May was absolutely fantastic. The weather was brilliant, I tried running as much as possible and I really enjoyed my happy quiet life.

Let's have a look at all the positive happiness factors of this month, shall we?

Positive happiness factors

The chart below shows all the positive happiness factors of May 2018.

This beautiful chart just summarizes how much I got to enjoy May. You can pretty much see every single passion of mine in this chart!

My relationship

Best of all here is my relationship. My girlfriend had a positive influence on my happiness on 20 days in May. My girlfriend was by far the biggest source of my happiness this last month!

So far, the effect of us moving in together has been great. We enjoy each others company a lot and our relationship has only gotten stronger because of it.

Running as much as possible

I also tried to continue running as much as realistically possible. After a long string of injuries and a couple of fevers, I am finally fully recovered and back on my feet. It will take a long time before I can finish another marathon again, but I can at least dream about it again. Maybe, just maybe, I can sign up for my fifth marathon in April 2019? I have my fingers crossed. But first, I will just have to take it one run at the time. It feels great to go out on late night runs again, and it has a huge positive influence on my happiness!

I am enjoying my work!

Wait.... what?!

YES. I actually enjoyed my work in May. Or at least for the most part.

You see, I started my career as an engineer at the end of 2014. Even though I am still relatively young, I feel like I have grown quite a bit over the last 3 years in my role as an engineer. And with that growth comes added responsibility and freedom. And I am LOVING every bit of it.

I worked on a lot of exciting projects in May and it was generally quite busy throughout the days. And don't get me wrong, I like to be busy! Time really flew by this past month, which is only an indication that I'm enjoying my work. I actually liked my job so much that I recorded it as a positive happiness factor on 7 days!

As you know, I record the negative happiness factors as well. They are just as important to my happiness tracking method.

Let's see what factors had a negative effect on my happiness!

Negative happiness factors

The chart below shows all the negative happiness factors of May.

My happiness was negatively influenced by 12 happiness factors, of which the biggest are all related to my personal mindset.

You see, I believe happiness is a choice. Or at the very least, we can control how we let certain negative factors influence our state of happiness. This has a lot to do with being self-aware of your own personal preferences and state of mind.

In May, I got stressed, tired and agitated a combined 9 times. Especially the last 10 days of the month were relatively dense with negative happiness factors. The exciting projects at my work demanded a little too much of me, which led to me being stressed, tired and agitated.

But I believe this could have been prevented if I had tried harder to improve my circumstances. For example, I could have gone to bed earlier in order to prevent feeling tired. Sleep deprivation is a well-known cause of unhappiness for me, and I really should have tried harder to prevent this tiredness.

But I should have also tried harder to react better to my increased workload at the office. I should not have allowed this stress to negatively influence my happiness. Luckily, I still managed to remain generally happy during these days. After every single long day at work, I knew I could count on a relaxing night with my girlfriend. Despite being negatively influenced by the stress at work, I was able to counter it pretty well with positive happiness factors. 🙂 My girlfriend, friends, family and running all had a great positive effect on my happiness in May.

May was truly a fantastic month for me. If it were up to me - and it is in a way - I would REALLY like this happiness to continue for as long as possible!

Closing words

And with that said, I want to finish this monthly happiness report. I hope I can continue this happy trend for as long as possible. June will hopefully be another great month. With a bit of luck, the weather in the Netherlands will remain great and my workload will decrease a little back to normal.

My girlfriend and I have a nice holiday planned to Portugal in June as well, so I'm sure next month's update will be filled with happiness as well!

I hope these posts give you a general idea of what tracking happiness means to me. Because I'm tracking my happiness ratings and factors every single day, I am fully aware of what I need to do in order to become as happy as I can be. With that said, I hope I can somehow inspire you to also start tracking your happiness. 🙂

If you have any questions about anything, please let me know in the comments below, and I'll be happy to answer you!

Cheers!

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