Skip to main contentSkip to footer
Louise Cosy Column
Digital Cover health-and-fitness

I chose gentle peace over explosive joy – and my life is better than ever

Louise Pentland has discovered that micro-moments of happiness are just important as big adventures

By: Louise Pentland
On 26 April 2024
Share this:

What does happiness mean to you? That’s something I’ve been asking myself a lot this month. On my quest to fill my life with guilt-free JOY, I’ve had to think about what that actually means to me. ‘To me’ is the crucial bit because the first thing I’ve come to realise that is happiness and joy look different to everyone and it changes over time.

Shifting happiness

Fifteen years ago, my idea of total happiness was a bubble hem dress (do you remember those?), skyscraper heels and a bar with music blaring so loud I couldn’t hear myself think. Five years ago, pure bliss would have been a dawn til dusk shopping day in London, with lunch, evening drinks and good chat with my friends the entire time.

woman in front of pink and green houses
Louise has found the value in micro moments of happiness

Now, things have shifted again. My social battery is smaller and my desire for stillness is greater. I don’t know if this is the new me or just a temporary me, but I’m yearning for gentle peace.

I’ve been resisting admitting to this because somehow that carries the stigma of ‘boring’ or ‘old’ but since I’m an ‘influencer, I’m going to use that influence to rebrand it! Are you with me?

Gentle peace

Don’t get me wrong, I can still see the appeal of wandering around a bustling department store with your bestie or dropping it like it’s hot on the dancefloor, but nowadays give me freshly washed sheets, an ice cold Diet Coke and the newest episodes of Bridgerton and I’m yours.

This month I’ve enjoyed being intentional with small pockets of purposeful joy. Little things in amongst the busyness of everyday life that have made a difference.

bunches of flowers
Louise is finding joy in micro moments

April has been a lot. Tonnes going on, lots of ‘getting through’ mentally, I think we’ve all had times like that. However, rather than lamenting that, I’ve focussed on ‘micro happies’. Teeny tiny things that when you take a moment to be grateful for and incite joy.

My micro happies

Most days I collect my children from school (Liam does the others, we don’t just leave them there, ha!). I throw on my coat, chuck my keys, phone, purse and polos into any crossbody bag I can find, plonk myself into the car and go. I bet a lot of you can relate.

This past week I’ve been doing two tiny things differently. Firstly, I take a couple of minutes to make myself a really zesty drink. Loads of crushed ice, lemon cordial (current obsession), water up to the top, the straw I really like (yep, I've got a preferred straw – is that normal?) and take it with me in the car. As I’m driving, instead of sticking to the same five albums I usually rotate, I’m going rogue and playing old school movie soundtracks. Need someone who knows all the words to Sister Act? Hi!

Woman holding an ice drink in the supermarket
Louise has been creating dreamy drinks to upgrade her days

It's such a teeny-tiny amount of effort, but for those few minutes I’m driving, I’m really feeling joyful. Singing along at the top of my voice and refreshing myself with that lovely drink is so much better than the usual humdrum task I’m used to. It’s not big or exciting, it’s not sociable, it’s not ‘wow’, but I like it.

 RELATED: Why wonderment is key for a happier day 

In the evenings, I’ve been going to a luxury hotel each night. Well, almost. Normally after we’ve put the girls to bed and done all the boring things like tidying up, Liam will watch something downstairs and I come up, do my skincare and let’s face it, scroll numbly on my phone for an hour. Not now though! We’re in the business of joy this year! This is a perfect opportunity for some intentional micro happy!

My happy bedtime routine

I come up, still do my skincare but perhaps light a candle whilst I do it - suddenly the experience is a little bit ritzy. I set a limit for the scroll hole so I still get my fix, but then I take just a couple of minutes to tidy our room. Clothes on the chair removed, debris off the bedside tables, fairy lights on, the TV set to a programme I really enjoy. Purposefully creating a calm, planned space.

Selfie of a woman with red lipstick
Louise favours peace now

I’ve either been watching things I’m interested in (have you watched Baby Reindeer? Uncomfortable but gripping!) or, bringing my little tray into bed and making bracelets – you know I love a craft session.

Again, all very gentle and nothing to write home about (although maybe enough to write a column about) but so worthwhile.

Taking that five minutes to reset the room makes it feel like I’m in a clean, calm hotel, over and is such a positive end to the day. Try it!

As I go through this journey of truly finding guilt-free joy, I’m learning that the quiet mini happies are just as valuable as the big belly laughs and thrilling adventures.

 INSPIRATION: 5 life coach-approved ways to feel happier - without spending a penny 

Last month was all about taking massive leaps into joy (the girl’s trip to America) but this month, has been much more simplified. Thinking about things on a much smaller level, which moments of joy in our everyday can we make happen? What can we squeeze into the routine? How can we feel intentional happiness within the chaos? It takes a bit of brain space but it’s doable.

Louise took her daughters to America for the first time last month
View post on Instagram

May is set to be a month of big projects so I’m excited to share those with you but first, this weekend it’s my birthday!

I’m turning 39! When I was younger I used to look at 39 year olds and think they were so old. I assumed they’d mastered life and knew it all. How wrong I was! Even at 39, I’m still figuring it out, still winging it most months… Are you?

I hope taking the time to read this column has given you a moment of micro happy. If you have anything particular you like to do each day that brings you a pop of positivity, please do let me know so I can try it too. I can always be found on social media - @louisepentland.

Until next month, sending joy-filled vibes,

Louise xxx

Visit HELLO!'s Happiness Hub for more inspiration on living a happier life

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More Health & Fitness

See more