Ups And (slight) Downs – Monthly Happiness Report – June 2018

Man, I have no idea how but June flew by super fast to me. It was another good month for me with a lot of great moments and happy times. June consisted of quite a bit of relaxing and spending time with my girlfriend. The weather was great and we enjoyed a nice little holiday in Portugal.

Why am I typing this? Well, I want to show you (and myself) what exactly influences my happiness. Could I have been happier this month if I had done things differently? That's what I want to find it out!

I've tracked my happiness on every single day of the month. Let's get started with a simple overview of my average happiness ratings.

After a rough start, 2018 is really turning out to be a very nice and relaxing year for me.

My average happiness rating for the first half is pretty high, with a 7,79. And I'm happy about that! I moved in with my girlfriend to a new apartment, work has been treating me well and I've been spending a decent time with my friends and family!

That all continued in June, which is why my average happiness rating for the month was a 7,93.

relaxing on a sunny day in june 2018
One of the reasons why I was happy in June: relaxing in the park on a sunny day!

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 June. I have added some comments here and there to add context to this data.

Apart from two dips - on the 5th and 17th - this month consisted of mostly ups, ups, and more ups.

I'll talk more about the dips later, but June mostly consisted of a lot of relaxing days with my girlfriend. You can see in the chart how quite a lot of days received a happiness rating higher than an 8. 🙂

But it's not all about the happiness ratings, of course. What about the happiness factors?

Happiness factors

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

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June started very well, with a short streak of very happy days.

However, I experienced the biggest dip in my happiness on the 5th of June. You see, my work was slowly becoming very - VERY - busy. It already started in May when I experienced another busy period.

The stress that I built up over this time came down on me on the 5th. I rated that Tuesday with a 6,5 on my happiness rating scale. Not too high, right? I wrote about it in my happiness tracking journal:

Today was pretty fucked up. I had to do SO much at work. I feel like a fucking machine. Not a lot of people are aware of everything that I'm doing at the moment though. Only 2 people actually need the stuff I do now, and they both don't really realise the amount of work that is needed. Anyway, I'm doing it the right way and I feel like I'm doing a good job.

I was home at 6 and was com-ple-te-ly exhausted. Had a pizza for dinner on the couch with my girlfriend. We initially wanted to go for a swim but I started feeling really uncorfortable. Just this uneasy feeling, and I noticed my blood pressure rising with a rapid heartrate. Not chill at all.

I went to bed at 19:30 to just lie down and apparenty slept for 2 hours. After I woke up, I just showered and prepared my breakfast and called it a day. The frustrating this is that I am still awake and it's already 23:00! I already took 2 sleeping pills and I'm just waiting to fall asleep now. What a shitty evening... I guess this is what happens when work demands me to give more than a 100%. I hope this improves fast.

You can see how this busy work affected my happiness.

However, I think there were other factors at play here as well. You see, I tend to keep myself busy a lot. I actually WANT to be busy and being productive is one of the ways I can feel happy and good about myself.

It may sound silly, but I can get a little wrapped up in this productivity mindset. I have to-do lists for just about anything, and try to spend my time as efficiently as possible. It's how I manage to run, spend time with my girlfriend, speak to my friends, all while working >40 hours a week and also maintaining this website!

I think I overdid it this time, and I had to bear the consequences of that on this Tuesday.

Returning to my normal relaxing life

Luckily, my workload returned to a relatively normal state after that shitty Tuesday, after which I got back to living my relaxing boring life! HURRAY.

In fact, my workload really transformed from 200% crunch mode to a nice and easy mellow workload of perhaps 50%. My job as an engineer tends to be filled with quite a bit of ups and downs like that. Being flexible and versatile is key, I guess. 😉

I wrote the following on the 14th of June, which was a perfect example of one of my boring and relaxing days. I rated this Thursday with an 8,00 on my happiness rating scale!

Today was alright. It started at work where I had 0.0000000 motivation to do anything. I did literally nothing. Nada. I need a holiday.

Back home was really relaxing and just what I needed. Played a game of Battlefield (which I always like) and went to the local swimming pool with my girlfriend. It was exceptionally nice, since there was almost no one there. We just relaxed for 1,5 hours - going down the slides and all - and eventually swam laps for 30 minutes. It was really nice together.

On the way back, we walked past a group of teenagers that just started figthing. Fun fact: my girlfriend wanted to break them up, where I was more like "Meh, they will figure it out themselves". It's an interesting difference between us. They actually did stop fighting when my girlfriend approached them, so that's one point for her I guess. When we were home, we just landed on the couch and called it a day. ALMOST HOLIDAY.

You may read this and think: "What a boring life!"

Well, I am very happy to call this my life. I take a lot of pleasure from the small and uneventful moments in my life. These things make me happy.

I was however really looking forward to our holiday to Portugal. We had planned this holiday quite some time ago, and both my girlfriend and I really needed it. We were both quite consumed with our jobs and needed the break. We left the Netherlands in the early morning on the 17th, after spending the previous day spending time with our friends and family.

Driving around the beautiful Peneda Geres National Park in Portugal
Driving around the beautiful Peneda Geres National Park in Portugal

This holiday turned out to be exactly what we needed. We spent our days mostly relaxing and enjoyed the weather. We had rented a small car for the entire duration of our stay and peacefully explored the countryside of the Northern provinces of Portugal.

The 20th of June was one of the best days of the month, as my girlfriend and I enjoyed yet another typical day of our vacation. I wrote about this nice day in the comments of my happiness tracking journal again on the morning of the day after. This day received a happiness rating of 8,50!

Yesterday was relaxing. I am now typing this while sitting on the edge of the pool. I just ran 4 kilometers and finished my run with a dip in the water. Lovely.

But more about yesterday. I slept wonderfully long again, although I had a lot of crazy weird dreams. At least I'm sleeping more than enough here. We drove our car down to one of the national parks here in Portugal today. I don't know the name of the park anymore. We explored a lot of bumpy mountain roads again until we hit a dead end, which was fun. I always like exploring the parts that are not that often traveled. The weather was freaking hot though, so we went to the city of Braga afterwards.

We watched Portugal play in the World Cup while enjoying lunch and a beer which was nice. It was a pretty bad game though. We visited the Bom Jesus after that as a final stop on our  selfmade sightseeing itinerary. Pretty impressive! We had dinner in a nice restaurant afterwards and just relaxed for the rest of the evening. It was really a lovely day!

This is basically what every day on our holiday looked like. We really took things easy and used our time to relax and detox from our work.

I think these journal excerpts show you a lot of what my life looks like at the moment! June was a really relaxing month for me and I enjoyed a lot of my rather uneventful but happy life.

I track my happiness like this every single day. This allows me to reflect on every good thing that happens in my life. Relaxing is obviously something I REALLY appreciate. And for that, I am grateful.

Let's have a look at the complete list of positive happiness factors.

Positive happiness factors

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

The two clear winners here are my relationship and relaxing.

This pretty much sums the month up for me. I tried to spend as much time relaxing with (and without) my girlfriend in June. Especially since I finally ended a very busy period at work.

If it were totally up to me, I would love the rest of 2018 to be just as relaxing as June. I will try everything in my power to make that happen! 🙂

A lot of the remaining positive happiness factors are regular features of my monthly happiness reports. I try to find as much time as possible for the things that I am passionate about.

Negative happiness factors

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

Only eleven factors had a significant negative effect on my happiness in June.

Not too bad!

These negative happiness factors are quite similar to the things I have experienced in previous months.

One of these actually caught me off-guard though, and that was a crushing headache. My girlfriend and I boarded our plane to Portugal on the 17th of June. Just as the plane was starting its descent, I started having very fierce headaches. It felt like a knife was being pushed in my skull. And it continued throughout a big part of the day as well. As a result, I spent half of our first day in Portugal feeling miserable and in pain. It was seriously SUCKED.

Even now I occasionally have the feeling that this type of a headache is returning. It hasn't impacted me that much these last couple of days, but I still feel quite anxious about it actually. I must keep an eye on this!

Closing words

Anyway, let's wrap this monthly happiness report up! I can't believe we are already halfway through the year 2018. Time is seriously flying by SO fast, and I'm not sure if I like that. Sure, being happy makes it feel like time goes by really fast, but I want to make sure I enjoy it all to the fullest!

I want to take my time to look back every once in a while, which is partially why I like writing these monthly happiness reports.

I'm planning to continue this happy life of mine into July, and am going to try everything I can to make it an even better month than June!

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!

2 thoughts on “Ups And (slight) Downs – Monthly Happiness Report – June 2018

  1. This project is really eye-opening to me, as it’s mostly the small things in life that can provide the biggest amount of happiness. I am loving this series so far and can’t wait to look back on my own happiness data. Keep it up!

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