How Happy Are You?
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it – Ferris Bueller
On Sunday, my little one turned 3. I can’t believe it. If you ask him how old he is, he insists 2. If you tell him he’s a big three year old boy, he cries and nods his head “No, I’m 2!” Okay, you’re two! And then he barfed, twice. No joke. It feels like just yesterday my water broke, on my due date, on the examining table, so in a diaper, off I ran to the hospital. Aaah.
So, today I want to talk about just how quickly life moves and the secret to being happy throughout. How many of you walk around in a bad mood, pissed off, down and un-optimistic? A lot. Sometimes we can’t help it. Sometimes things happen, beyond our control that gets us down. I can recall many times, just as my hubby and I are having a nice romantic dinner, or a great Sunday afternoon with the kids, we get the call. An order is stuck at the border, and the client is screaming at my husband over the phone to get them their goods. Or the other call…. he lost an order. Right away, the mood dampens. And while he has so many strengths, regrouping just ain’t one of ’em.
So every time something like this happens, the rest of our day is shot. I try and be understanding. I also let these things kill my day when I owned my business. But, I try and remind him of the good, and of what he has to be happy for.
Just so you know, if you’re a person who is going through life without true sense of meaning, purpose and zest, the news is not good for your longevity. People who are happy, resilient and optimistic live longer and live healthier. And while some people may be born with sunny dispositions, happiness isn’t necessarily based on genes or luck. Psychologists now believe it’s a learned skill, almost like bike-riding. In fact, Harvard’s ‘how-to-be-happy’ course, with more than 850 enrollees, has become the university’s most popular class. Its first lesson? Embrace your failures and frustrations. “When you give yourself permission to be human,” says the course instructor and psychologist, “you are more likely to open yourself up to positive emotions.” (US News)
So how can you be happy?
- Well, you can first start being grateful for what you DO HAVE. I remind my husband of all he does have, when he gets into those worried moods. It’s a process, I admit, one we haven’t fully mastered yet in this house.
- Look for happiness in the right places. Not in cars, and trips and clothes. The joy in acquiring objects of desire fades quickly, and life becomes a moving target, “If only I could have this, then I’ll be happy.” How soon does that target move once you’ve acquired those things? Very quickly. Happiness then almost seems impossible.
- Set realistic goals and let one of them be to live a meaningful life. Life is about waking up and loving what you do, where you’re going, your friends and family, being in the zone. Try and make your days have meaning and purpose. Incorporate things you love to do at least three times a week, to help offset some of life’s redundancies.
- Surround yourself with positive thinkers. This is more important than you think. Don’t you have that friend who is always negative, or always pulling you down? I am not saying to diss them, and you probably should be there to comfort that friend, but if you are struggling with your own happiness, seek out positive people. When I’m feeling down, I always call my mom. She is a very positive person with an optimistic look at life. She always talks me through my dark moments. Find your darkness phone buddy.
- I don’t have to tell you how important diet and exercise is. You know how exercise reduces serotonin levels, which uplifts your spirits. This is a no-brainer and should be part of your schedule for happiness.
- Finally work towards lifelong financial security. It’s not that money buys happiness, but financial freedom and security, debt elimination and retirement accounts, will give you more control of your future. And independence is power.
So I want to remind you again, 2010 is around the corner. It isn’t too late to make happiness #1 on your priority list. Try and smile. Life’s a journey, not a destination. Learn how to be happy. It’s possible.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”
How happy are you? Take this Happiness Self Test and see!
And tell us readers, what is keeping you down and preventing you from being happy? Do you have any happiness tips or techniques to help our readers?