10 Keys to Happier Living - A Practical Guide

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Handbook for Happiness – Slow Down And Get Curious


Holidays are the perfect occasion for switching off and recharging your batteries. It’s known that during this downtime we are more alert to the world around us and it’s in these moments that the best ideas are likely to come along. Vanessa King, author of 10 Keys to Happier Living – A Practical Handbook for Happiness, tells us how to make the most of our holiday. Who knows, maybe this could be the holiday that offers up a great idea?

Vanessa King

Vanessa King , author of 10 Keys to Happier Living – A Practical Handbook for Happiness, shares with us her tips for using your holiday as a time for creative thinking and reflection.

“Ever had the experience of a great new idea popping into your head on holiday while you’re on the sun lounger or out pottering?

When we’re in a good mood – feeling relaxed, happy and content – we are more open to trying new things and we see more possibilities around us – ideas that in the busy day-to-day life might slip by unnoticed. When our normal routine has been abandoned for some pure me-time, we become more flexible and that helps open up our minds. Apart from being enormously enjoyable it can fuel our creativity. Ideas happen when our sub-conscious connects two seemingly unrelated things. It doesn’t need conscious effort – our minds are there working in the background.

There’s something about having the space to let our mind wander and make new discoveries – that’s why holidays are a potent source of creative thinking potential.

What do you like to explore on your holiday? A pile of  new books, the local cuisine, adventure into nature, art and culture, or a new sport or activity? Psychological research shows that curiosity doesn’t just lead to ideas, it can help us enjoy life more and find it more fulfilling. It may even and help us live longer.

Walking on holiday

When you’re out walking on holiday, take the time to pause and absorb the minute details of your surroundings.

So how can we spark our curiosity and creativity while we’re away? How about going for a slow, mindful walk – noticing what’s new or different, taking time to meander, looking up and around as well as down – after all, there’s no rush. When something catches your eye, get interested – question why it is like it is, how it got there or how it was made. Strike up a conversation with someone locally about it.

When you notice something beautiful, sit and savour it. Notice its details – textures, colours, sounds or taste. Luxuriate in having more time than you get back at home. You could even prolong your enjoyment by making it a daily holiday practice to reflect back each day on what you’ve enjoyed and found most curious.

Psychologists have also found that we tend to remember most readily the peak of any experience and the end of it. So don’t forget to save something special for the last day of your stay!”

10 Keys to Happier Living

Vanessa King’s book, 10 Keys to Happier Living – A Practical Handbook for Happiness is out now in paperback and ebook for £12.99.

Do you find yourself coming up with great ideas and enjoying a happier temperament while on holiday? Learn how to tap into that feeling when you’re back home and bring that holiday happiness into your everyday life. For more evidence-based ideas on what enables us to enjoy life more, Vanessa King’s new book 10 Keys to Happier Living – A Practical Handbook for Happiness (from Headline Publishing, priced at £12.99), is a perfect holiday read and available to buy in trade paperback and ebook now.


Vicky is a Team Bookends, Headline Publishing at James Villa Holidays.

My job means I’m surrounded by one of my favourite things: books! At Bookends we love...

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