My Keys to Happiness
Several months ago my dad (Ken Morley, FMBR webmaster) asked me to write about the little things I do to maintain my happiness and positive thinking. It’s true, my glass tends to be half full. Lately, I haven’t felt so happy so I procrastinated. I couldn’t muster up the energy to write about something I wasn’t honestly feeling.
However, today I heard a mantra from Deepak Chopra:
"The happiness of others is my own happiness."
My first reaction was: "No!!" because I immediately interpreted it to mean: "If I make everyone else happy, I'll be happy." Then a soft voice in my head disagreed: "By making yourself happy, others will be happy too!!" It resonated with my heart and I feel back on track.
So here’s a list of the little (easy) things I do each day to help me stay positive:
1. I use Facebook and have “liked” a few great pages:
- Les Brown: He’s a motivational speaker whose posts are always relevant. My 16-year old son even loves him. His mantra is: "I see greatness in you!”
- Ellen Degeneres: She’s hilarious!! Laughter is great medicine for the soul. If you’re not an Ellen fan, find another comedian that posts one liners or short videos. A quick break with a hearty laugh is good for the soul.
- Humans of New York: This photographer walks around and takes portraits of random New Yorkers and then writes something about them. Human interest stories are great and they’re not all positive messages, which keeps it real.
- I’m interested in photography so I have liked several photography pages that often post things that peak my interest.
2. I tell my son every day that I love him and consequently he tells me too. I know he loves me but it sure is nice to hear.
3. I leave my cell phone at home when I go to the grocery store on the weekend. I’m almost 50 so I remember the pre-cell phone days. It’s nice to feel comfortable with being totally disconnected, even if it’s just for an hour.
4. I smile and say hi to strangers when we pass by each other and our eyes meet. It was uncomfortable at first, but the worst thing that can happen is they ignore me. But if they smile and say hi back, it gives me a warm sense of community. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. Try it.
5. I believe that:
a) Everything happens for a reason, even if I don’t understand it in the moment.
b) I control my attitude and my effort and happiness is a choice.
c) The past is history, the future is a mystery and all I really have is today, right now.
d) Life is a journey and it’s not the destination that’s important. After all, it’s just a date. Life has a beginning date (mine is January 28, 1965) and an end date (that has yet to be determined) and it’s the dash or the journey that is important.
6. I meditate regularly in the early hours of the morning.
7. I use up my vacation time every year. Some of my coworkers have hundreds of hours banked away. Not me. I work to live not live to work.
8. At the grocery store, I treat myself to my favorite fruit, raspberries. They may be expensive, but I’m totally worth it. It’s amazing how good that little gesture feels.
9. I exercise. Now I’m not talking about anything hard core. I walk almost a mile on each of my two breaks at work and then walk my dog in the morning and evening. Sometimes I do more, but just the simple fact of moving my body makes me feel good inside, which shows on the outside.
10. I wear perfume. Again, it’s a silly luxury like the raspberries, but it works for me.
Happiness is uniquely personal. Your happiness might not look like my happiness; however, there are two things in life over which we have control: attitude and effort. So with a great attitude and some effort, you can choose to be happy.
From my heart to yours, Dawn.
What I’ve heard when one is feeling down is to practice an Attitude of Gratitude. Appreciate something – anything – no matter how small. Your ten fingers and toes, that green plant in the middle of winter, the roof over your head, a vehicle to transport you, how blessed you are that you can see, hear, smell, taste, feel, walk, laugh, breathe easily – there are soooo many who can’t. Look around and start anywhere – your mousepad, the TV remote, your favorite picture on the wall, memories of great times with friends, etc, etc. The bigger your list, the faster you’ll feel better. ( Yana Mocak)