The concept of happiness was somewhat elusive as I sat in a crowded airport with three flights to catch to get home for Christmas while a storm wreaked havoc with my flight path. It was testament to my lesson with Giuseppe, the Master of Laughter, that I could manage even a wry smile.
I was returning from Puglia’s Borgo Egnazia, and its Happiness Break. The inner self is gaining ground in the trillion-dollar wellness world. Two paths seem to have opened up: one that follows a results-driven, science-based, medical concept, and another, still in infancy, which focuses on improving health by increasing happiness, whether through helping you realise your purpose in life or just encouraging you to slow down enough to smell the roses.
Smelling is key on the Happiness Break. It’s the starting point to the programme (although a ‘pro-happiness questionnaire’ sent out before you arrive acts as a supporting tool, mainly around diet). At the first consultation you are given four little bottles to smell, and your reaction tells the therapists what you need.
I very much liked the first smell, was indifferent to the second, quite liked the third and was indifferent to the fourth. They represented resistance, resilience, opportunity and activity, in that order, so my strong response to the first indicated a need to strengthen my resistance, to help me say no and switch off mentally, which chimed painfully with how I was feeling. I had arrived frazzled from a busy few months of…
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