The big 5- Happiness

These are the most important things to get right for our happiness:

Flexible schedule

As International teachers, we get to make the most of this during the summer months. In fact, when this is posted I will either be walking up a volcano, walking through a monkey forest, doing yoga, or sitting on a beach in Bali. It’s easy to say without a doubt this is when we feel happiest and can recharge. I used to think “well duh” because we’re not working. However, I don’t think not working is the reason for this. It is the flexible schedule that makes us feel empowered. Each summer we have been on courses and do things that some people may feel like work. But it is because we are choosing what we are doing and when we do it that it still feels enjoyable.

This flexible schedule is possibly the most important area to work towards. As a teacher, there are obviously set hours that the children will be at work so it’s not an easy thing to achieve all year round. But for a lot of jobs working from home is possible. We’ve recently started to pay attention to our body’s natural energy levels and found what times of the day we are most productive, creative or when we just need to do mundane tasks.

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I’ve written about having something to look forward to as a way to improve happiness. This is because we are using our imagination to get a hit of positivity before the event even happens. We get another hit during the event itself but it shows the power our mind can have on how happy we are.

If you imagine the future to be worse and can’t see any way it will improve, your happiness levels will be much lower. However, if you have something you are working towards the imagination of this dream lifestyle does almost the same job as living this lifestyle.


I love to sleep! Something I have noticed is that I feel a lot more energised when I wake up naturally compared to from an alarm. I have tried an app called sleep cycle, which supposedly wakes you up when you are in light sleep within a half hour time gap. I found it works quite well but I did find that leaving my phone charging overnight seemed to make the battery on my phone die quicker. Since getting a new phone I’ve stopped using it.

It’s known that people that struggle with sleep quite often have something playing on their mind or have poor eating habits (particularly before bed). Meditation and focusing on how you feel after eating different foods can help to change this.


If you’ve ever spoken to a personal trainer about getting fit they would probably have said something like… “it’s 70% what you eat and only 30% how you train”. Within the last year I have trained for a marathon and then tried to gain weight. What I was eating at the time was so important for both. I really do find what foods I’m eating affects my energy levels, which in turn affects happiness levels.

Next week I will go into more detail about eating what you want when you want (this honestly does work!)


You would have probably heard some of the physiological benefits of exercising. Exercise releases the “happiness hormone” serotonin (also by being in the sun, having a massage and some foods such as seeds and food with B6 such as spinach, celery or garlic).

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The really interesting part found in studies is that the exercise doesn’t have to be too long or strenuous to achieve this. Going for a brisk walk can increase your immune system and mood.


Some people may think they’ll be happy when they find that dream job, spouse, house, holiday etc. The beauty is that when you get these 5 things right your chances of finding that dream thing you are looking for will improve, as you will feel better about yourself.






Scott Adams- How to fail at everything and still win big


We are Sarah and Mike Beatty, an international teaching couple, aged 29, from England. Since mid-2015 we have got married, moved to a new continent, started a business and visited over 10 countries.

So far, on our journey, we have realised the importance of continually being willing to change for the better. This is the reason for our business name “Kaizen”, which is a Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement. 


29 thoughts on “The big 5- Happiness

  1. As a former teacher whose working life was ruled by regularly scheduled bells, I can’t tell you how much happier I am to be on my own (flexible) schedule. I miss the students and the creativity of teaching, but LOVE being able to determine my own schedule.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great to hear Laurie. It is such a shame there no happy medium though. I think this is the one that most people won’t even be able to put their finger on why they aren’t feeling happier. It’s not until you get a patch of time on a flexible schedule that you realise (for a lot of jobs this patch of time never comes)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed this post. It was well written and gave very good, sound advice. Thank you for sharing and I hope you are enjoying your time in Bali (still jealous)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks again! It really is a special place, we’re staying at a yoga/ meditation retreat with loads of local Balinese cultural activities. We’ve had the chance to go into numerous people’s real homes and see how they live. It’s an amazing community culture with everyone looking out for each other and providing something for the community

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Agreed that the knowing we are choosing what to do in our day aka the flexible schedule is what keeps us energised. We know we aren’t in anyone else control than ours and it makes our work more enjoyable.

    I also used an app ‘pillow’ to wake me up when I am not in my REM sleep but it also did drain my battery pretty quickly and wasn’t an ideal solution.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One of the reasons I decided to go into self-employment was so that I could have a flexible schedule and look after my mental health, so I definitely agree that it makes a big difference on happiness levels! Unfortunately sleep will never be on my side thanks to a lifelong sleep disorder, but I think implementing a better diet and exercising more are definitely on the agenda for me in the coming months! Thanks for sharing.

    Rebekah Gillian |

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! I’m currently a self-employed content writer. I’m looking to diversify my income in the next few months, though.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is exactly why I’m working on becoming self-employed. You’re generally happier when you are in control of your own schedule, which of course equals to your own life. When you have time for just yourself and for the skills/things you want to make or build, you will just automatically wake up looking forward to your day every day.

    Great post, as usual!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing this post! I totally agree with all the points you mentioned. Having a good sleep and exercise well always make me feel better and happier. Also, having a flexible schedule is definitely very important and I’m working on it! Btw Have fun in Bali. Bali is a very beautiful country and I am sure you love it 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is wonderful! I totally agree what you eat really affects your mood and energy levels. I know it sounds like common sense but in all honesty I forget how important food is for your mind. It really goes beyond flavor and fueling your body. Great post! Thanks for the inspiring content you produce, I’m following you ❤

    Natonya |

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Natonya, yes I completely agree. It’s really amazing how food can make us feel even just a few minutes after eating it. Most of the time I don’t even notice it unless I consciously think about it.

      Thanks for reading


      Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the blog!! Some great tips here and for me it would have to be getting some more exercise in!

    Be great if you did a typical training week and a good day of your diet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mo!

      Exercise is one of those things that is so personal. What works for one person is like torture for another. Personally I try to keep it simple… be active everyday. That could be a 20 minute run, go to the gym, paddle board, go for a brisk walk, play football, yoga, or just do some press ups and sit ups. For me It doesn’t really matter what as long as it’s always something.

      At different time of the year I may be trying a different challenge or have something coming up so it’ll be different for that. The constant over the last couple of years has been yoga as I think the control and flexibility is crucial for sustained health. (I’ve done a couple of posts about trying to “bulk” and also what we did for a marathon)

      We’ve done a few posts on diet particularly things we’ve found out about whole food plant based diets. The main thing for me is avoiding processed food. If it’s a real food and you can pronounce all the ingredients on the label (ideally it won’t have a label/ packet) then we can eat as much as we want.

      Thanks for checking it out



  9. Your beautiful words just made my day. Thank you so much for adding such magical drop of words in my jar of motivation.I feel blessed by your writing right now.
    I found delight love in what you just said in your post.
    Again such a beautiful write up on your blog.
    Keep the vibes on.

    Peace ✌and Love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for replying me. This reply means alot to me.

        Such an awesome way of replying someone.
        Thanks. Again.

        You welcome dear friend.

        You can also check on my blog for the recent post and say your own views and contribution on it.
        I did a good post about :



        Peace ✌and Love ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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