The Duchess of Sussex told ITV’s Tom Bradby that the point of life is to “thrive”, not just survive.
And Meghan’s approach is partly down to her former meditation coach, Light Watkins, who she once credited with helping her find inner peace.
After taking an intensive one-to-one course with Light in 2014, Meghan later got back in touch to tell him she was meditating twice a day.
She praised his teaching of Vedic meditation on her now defunct website The Tig, saying: “He was one of those people that has such quiet confidence, a manner that makes you calm the F down.”
As Blue Monday – statistically the most depressing day of the year – falls tomorrow, here, Light shares his top tips on how to get happy during 2020.
1 Make lists Inner chaos loves disorganisation. A manageable to-do list will increase your happiness every time you check off an item.
2 Dance to your favourite tunes Moving to upbeat music releases chemicals that can boost your happiness levels. Stick the radio on, or one of your favourite albums, and get jiggy while making your breakfast.
3 Do the right thing Money can buy happiness… for charitable causes. Try donating a small amount to a charity close to your heart each month, happy in the knowledge you are supporting others.
4 A hug a day The science says that we need at least five proper hugs a day to be happy. That means using both arms, and a little heartfelt squeeze.
5 Keep a ‘gratitude journal’ Buy a new notebook and write a list of what you’re grateful for, or what you’re looking forward to each week. Writing down these positive thoughts will lead to increased positivity.
6 Don’t forget the flowers Bringing fresh flowers home can spike your happiness levels almost instantly.
7 Stillness Daily meditation helps to generate happiness from the inside out. Sit on the floor or sofa, wherever you are comfortable, and close your eyes. Make no effort to control the breath; just breathe naturally. Focus on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Stay this way for 10 minutes.
8 Daily exercise Moving our bodies releases endorphins, which is one of the happiness chemicals. Try and exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes every day. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a spot of gardening or a trip to your local swimming pool, every little helps.
9 Take the hourly job over a salary Turns out, hourly employees report greater happiness than their salaried counterparts.
10 Hit the snooze button Just one extra hour of sleep a night increases life
satisfaction significantly. Enjoy a mini lay-in once a week, or more.
11 Be a master of your domain When you practise conquering any skill, studies say you become happier.
12 Invest in experiences Instead of buying that new pair of jeans, put the money to one side and save it to invest in your next outing instead.
13 Find your passion Taking up a new hobby is a great way to boost your mood. Whether it’s learning a new language or painting in a park, identify what sparks the joy within.
14 Serve Volunteering your time to charitable causes is a way to increase oxytocin levels, which bonds you more to humanity.
15 Book a holiday Frequenting warm-weather climates has been proven to reduce stress levels, which in turn boosts happiness.
16 Take a bath Being in or near water puts you in a happy place. Light some candles and read a book while you soak.
17 While you’re there, bust a tune Singing is a form of creative expression and any sort of art can be therapeutic to the soul.
18 Stream it Not telly, your thoughts. Write down your stream of consciousness first thing in the morning or last thing at night. You will find it cathartic.
19 Stimulate yourself By challenging your mind with puzzles and problem-solving exercises, you will simultaneously tease out more happiness.
20 Be here now Mindfulness can alleviate boredom and plug you into a greater state of fulfilment. Sit at your kitchen table and think about what you can see, smell, taste, hear and touch. Take it all in for five minutes each day.
21 Exhale Deepen your breath, paying special attention to your exhales. This will reduce anxiety, and uncover underlying happiness.
22 Cut something out Ditch inflammation-inducing food and beverages. Try and go a month without things such as coffee and meat.
23 See the light Let more light into your space by drawing curtains, opening blinds and decluttering the rooms you like to relax in.
24 Take the long route Walking is great exercise, without feeling like you’re exercising. It also stimulates creative thinking, which leads to happier solutions to our problems.
25 Silence is golden Turn off the telly and make friends with the silence. This can be challenging at first, but your inner happiness will thank you for it.
26 Stop dressing like you’re going to a funeral Apparently, wearing black can have a negative effect in your state of mind. Yellow brings out the happiness.
27 Get a pet The companionship of a pooch will do wonders for your mental health.
28 See it, say it, sorted If you see something you like, say something. Giving compliments will give you a little boost as well.
29 Into the wild Take regular trips to the countryside and surround yourself with nature.
30 Spend quality time with others Whether it’s your spouse, children or a friend, chatting one-to-one without any distractions is a surefire way to boost your mood.
- Light Watkins is the author of Bliss More: How to Succeed in Meditation Without Really Trying. He holds regular Vedic meditation sessions in London. lightwatkins.com