„Research has shown that being happy might have a positive effect on our immune system“
Hedgehog and balloon in Brussels – photo by (c) howlzap Cologne

A friend of mine has „eating fresh mango in the bath“ on her list of things that make her happy. I made a long “happy list” too and it was surprisingly revealing.  Some things were expected; watching a sunset, swimming in the sea, live music, being with friends and travelling. Some more unexpected; being in or looking at a garden, light shining on flower petals, a hug, a cup of green tea and laughing. Turns out most things aren’t bucket list things; they’re things I can do every day. However, just knowing they’re on my” happy list” adds to the pleasure I get from them. Little things bring happiness and moments of happiness are important for everyone but especially if we’re sick or suffering from a chronic condition. Research has shown that being happy might have a positive effect on our immune system, so it’s certainly worth pursuing and writing a “happy list”.

Writing this reminds me of a book I both loved as a child and read to my daughter “My naughty little sister” by Dorothy Edwards. In the book when someone is sick the “get better box” is brought out. The person confined to bed explores the treasures and whiles away some time with the box. There are some things that remain in it; a shell, a pretty postcard, a mini puzzle, a snow-globe and something sparkly like a kaleidoscope. Each time the box comes out though, something new is added; a book or magazine, a balloon, a trinket, a game to play and something to listen to.

It’s a simple idea and probably boosts the immune system too. My daughter always loved hers and I’ve just realized I’ve been recreating that box idea when gathering small treats and simple pleasures around myself when I’m sick, it seems to help.

Does anyone you know need a “get better box”?