As I was searching for my topic this week (since no flashes of inspiration had come to me), the Universe reached out with a strong suggestion (about 5 different articles) that the topic was to be on happiness. So here goes…
What does it mean to be happy? How do you “get” happy? The first article starts out stating that while Americans standard of living has gone up, their level of happiness has not. The things that do matter to creating happiness are family, friends, community, and a sense of purpose.
Let’s start with a few suggestions:
- minimize participating in activities that bring you down
- add in more fun – if you like dancing join a dance class
- set realistic goals – ones that stretch you just enough to move you to the next challenge
- make time for reflection – find pockets of peace in your day (just 5 minutes will do)
- mingle – studies show that having a strong social support system is key to being happy
- be grateful – this one is critical
A few gratitude tips:
- Teach your kids – develop a habit or ritual of expressing gratitude each day
- Appreciate people – tell them how kind they are, how helpful they are – just be sure it is specific and true
- Put it in a letter – handwritten thank you notes can make a huge difference in a relationship
- Toot your own horn – validate yourself
- Get into the flow – the paradox of being in the flow is that when we immerse ourselves fully in an activity and stop trying to buy happiness, happiness may come of its own accord.
- Lend a hand – volunteering gives you a sense of purpose, check out volunteer activities in your community
Ultimately, being happy leads to being healthy. Scientific studies show that when you feel nurtured and cared for, you are less likely to get sick. But it is equally important in how much you give of those same qualities. The more love and support you give the more you benefit.
From me to you, I am grateful for the support you give that encourages me to continue to write this blog. Mahalo!
Until next time…