Wednesday, September 4, 2013

10 Secrets for Happiness

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
― Abraham Lincoln

I obsess about happiness.  "Am I happy?"  "Are my kids happy?"  "Are my DOGS happy?"  "Is that cashier happy?"  I have no idea why I do it.  I do know that I've ALWAYS done it.  I have these long rambling journals from my teenage years (yes, I do realize nothing's changed) where I ponder the meaning of happiness, how happiness is achieved, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.  I've read entire BOOKS devoted to happiness. 

I've finally discovered the secret to happiness:  Be happy.


I know.  It's ridiculous.  And it's easy.  BE FLIPPIN' HAPPY.  Happiness is a choice.  Anger is a choice.  Misery is a choice.  CHOOSE HAPPY.  It's that easy.

In order to add credibility, however, I'm going to share the elusive 10 secrets to happiness.  Ready?  This is life-changing so you may want to take a shower and look pretty before you go shouting it out to the streets.

  1. Share your life.  Share it with people you love or people you like.  Share it with people who make you laugh.  Share it with pets.  Share it with social media. Share it with the stranger you meet on the street.  Connect.  Connect.  Connect.
  2. Smile.  Have you ever heard the saying, "Fake it 'til you make it?"  It's true.  Smiling makes you happy.  It's really hard to frown when you're smiling.  Try it.  Right now.
  3. Give of yourself.  This is different from sharing your life.  This is doing things for other people.  Even if it's as simple as opening a door.  Try going through your day just doing really simple, easy things for others.  It's a huge mood booster.
  4. Wear something that makes you feel handsome/pretty.  I'm not saying you have to dress up every day.  But wear something that makes you think, "I look GOOD."  You'll feel happy when you think you're rockin' that leisure suit.
  5. Go outside.  Every day.  No matter the weather. Take a walk.  Drink your coffee on your front porch or your back deck.  Breathe it in.  What a beautiful world we live in.  
  6. Breathe.  Deeply. And appreciatively.  Every breath is a gift.  Pausing to appreciate it always makes me smile.
  7. SingSing a song, make it simple to last your whole life long.  Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear.  Just sing, sing a song.  I have loved that old Carpenters song for my ENTIRE LIFE.  It's true, too.  Singing begets happiness.  I dare you to sing (out loud) and not feel good.  
  8. Move.  Get off your keister.  Move your body.  Find an exercise you enjoy.  And then...enjoy it.  You can't be miserable if you're hula hooping or bowling or playing tennis.  There's just no time for it.
  9. Turn off the TV.  The stories that other people make up are mesmerizing. But more and more people are watching what I call junk tv.  They're watching reality shows with miserable people making miserable choices. Don't watch it.  Turn it off.  Live your own stories.
  10. Learn.  Every day, learn something new.  Don't just skim over that word you don't recognize.  Look it up.  Use your brain.  Stretch your mind.  
Happiness is attainable.  And you can get to it in this instant.  Start small.  Maybe just a slight upturn of your mouth is enough for now.  But start.

Life is a gift.  We should receive it happily.

END NOTE:  There are some cases where choosing happiness just doesn't work.  I do realize that clinical depression is REAL.  And the above steps and choices do not apply in that situation.  If you are clinically depressed, I hope that you see a doctor to help guide you into a better state.  I DO know that depression is a will deceive you and destroy you.  If this is your truth, I send love your way.

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1 comment:

  1. Well said. The TV off works well. Especially avoiding news in any media. Listening to or talking with you generally always powers the happy needle to the right for me. Way better than drugs or doctors, and almost as effective as enjoying my dog. (Who never utters a verbal word, but can make anyone in my family happy in two seconds flat. Imagine that.)