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Personal resilience, Day 16 – 23rd of March 2020

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”

We hope that by following these emails, completing the self-reflection exercises is not only the catalyst to you making some small changes, it is also having a positive effect on how resilient you feel.  The natural consequence of all of this is that you are less likely to have an emotional response to changes and people around you.  An extension of that is that you will feel happier, we hope!

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”- Abraham Lincoln

Happiness is more than a positive mood; it is a state of well-being that encompasses living a good life.  Often difficult to define but we know it when we feel it.  It is unique and different for each of us.

It is also good for our health.  A growing body of research suggests that happiness can improve our physical health; feelings of positivity and fulfilment seem to benefit cardiovascular health, the immune system, inflammation levels, and blood pressure, among other things.  Happiness has even been linked to a longevity as well as a higher quality of life and well-being.

How often do you stop and take time to think about it?  Some of us have an instant response and that is happiness comes from our family.  For many of us, that is true.  However, for those of you who have children you just have to think of the many great highs of being a parent and also the associated worries.  Of course, family is also not a source of happiness for everyone.

  • What is it that makes you happy – do you know?
  • Do you give focus to it (refer to Lincoln’s quote above)?
  • Do you give enough time to it?

We spoke to Becci Barr, a farmer in Midlothian about her experiences as a new entrant farmer, what she learned from her time on the Rural Leadership Programme and a spell of illness, and how she now focusses on what makes her happy and resilient.  You can listen to her podcast here.


If any of these emails or exercises have affected you and you feel you would like to speak to someone, support is available through RSABI.  You can call them on 0300 111 4166.  Their helpline is open from 7am to 11pm all year.

These resources have been developed by Kim Walker of Advance Consultancy for the Farm Advisory Service.

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