Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy :)

Hey Everyone,

We all know that a smile is contagious for a reason! Happy people just make you feel better about everything, don't they?! Well, except for those overly happy people that make you wanna poke your eyes out. Or the happy "fake" people that you KNOW are putting on a front. Other than that - happy is always good :)

A friend posted this article and I found myself agreeing with every single thing in it.  It's called "12 Things Happy People Do Differently". I'm going to copy and paste and make a few statements after each. Please chime in! Also - what do you think is missing from this list of 12?

If you want to see the entire article and where it came from here is the actual link. 

  1. Express gratitude. – When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value.  Kinda cool right?  So basically, being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness.  And that’s without having to go out and buy anything.  It makes sense.  We’re gonna have a hard time ever being happy if we aren’t thankful for what we already have.

    * This is SO true! Every Thursday I do "Thankful Thursday". It's amazing how calm it makes me to just post what I'm thankful for THAT particular week. Someone will always have more - someone will always be better - but someone also has it much worse *
  2.   Cultivate optimism. – Winners have the ability to manufacture their own optimism.  No matter what the situation, the successful diva is the chick who will always find a way to put an optimistic spin on it.  She knows failure only as an opportunity to grow and learn a new lesson from life.  People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.

    * I understand this one but overly optimistic people also sometimes end up really hurt. I think there is a fine line between being optimistic and naive. Thinking with optimism but understanding reality I think is a healthier route here - you? *
  3. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. – Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous.  If we’re somehow ‘better’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, it gives us an unhealthy sense of superiority.  Our ego inflates – KABOOM – our inner Kanye West comes out!  If we’re ‘worse’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, we usually discredit the hard work that we’ve done and dismiss all the progress that we’ve made.  What I’ve found is that the majority of the time this type of social comparison doesn’t stem from a healthy place.  If you feel called to compare yourself to something, compare yourself to an earlier version of yourself.

    * Yes! This is in my life Bible, ha! There is NOTHING worse for your mind that comparison. We all do it, have done it, will do it - but it is so toxic! Why do we feel the need to do this? If anyone has any suggestions of how to avoid doing so - pass them on! I know that no matter how much you "love yourself" - this is something people are guilty of. The good news is that most people don't WANT to do it, they just don't know how to stop.  I think the advice you give kinda depends on WHO you are comparing yourself to? Are they a celebrity? A friend? An enemy? I guess the bottom line. Not everything is as it seems *
  4. Practice acts of kindness. – Performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain.  (Serotonin is a substance that has TREMENDOUS health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.)  Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside.  What’s even cooler about this kindness kick is that not only will you feel better, but so will people watching the act of kindness.  How extraordinary is that?  Bystanders will be blessed with a release of serotonin just by watching what’s going on.  A side note is that the job of most anti-depressants is to release more serotonin.  Move over Pfizer, kindness is kicking ass and taking names.

    * No one can argue with this! And it's relatively easy too! Kindness doesn't have to involve money or even a lot of time. I try to find one kind thing to do every day for someone - but sometimes we get so self involved it's hard to remember. I'm guilty. This is key to a better world I think because of one simple reason -  the butterfly effect *
  5. Nurture social relationships. – The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships.  Did you know studies show that people’s mortality rates are DOUBLED when they’re lonely?  WHOA!  There’s a warm fuzzy feeling that comes from having an active circle of good friends who you can share your experiences with.  We feel connected and a part of something more meaningful than our lonesome existence.

    * AMEN!! I remember when I moved to the city I now call "home" I was so depressed! I had the most amazing man, but it took a while for me to find the GOOD people in this town! I had been infected by some of the worst this area has to offer - so I felt like I was doomed! Finally when I found a good handful of people - my eyes opened to other people I may have not given a chance. It's true - that warm fuzzy feeling of friendship can't be replaced *
  6. Develop strategies for coping. – How you respond to the ‘craptastic’ moments is what shapes your character.  Sometimes crap happens – it’s inevitable.  Forrest Gump knows the deal.  It can be hard to come up with creative solutions in the moment when manure is making its way up toward the fan.  It helps to have healthy strategies for coping pre-rehearsed, on-call, and in your arsenal at your disposal.

    * I don't know that I have the healthiest coping strategies. I usually sulk and want to be alone. So I'd love to hear what you all think about this *
  7. Learn to forgive. – Harboring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being.  You see, your mind doesn’t know the difference between past and present emotion.  When you ‘hate’ someone, and you’re continuously thinking about it, those negative emotions are eating away at your immune system.  You put yourself in a state of suckerism (technical term) and it stays with you throughout your day.

    * My granny was the most wonderful woman I have ever known. But  there was one thing she didn't seem to be good - Forgiving - and I think that I take after her. haha. I have different feelings about this though. I thinking having "hard feelings" or "dislike" towards a person isn't really unhealthy as long as you can let it go and not continuously think about it/them or let it affect your day to day life. I think that as long as you aren't letting your "dislike" for someone ruin your life there is nothing wrong with just forgetting someone even exists! I think pretending to like people that you don't is FAKE. I don't do it. I don't think that is really not "forgiving" someone - I think it's really just not caring one way or the other, ya know. There are situations where forgiveness is key to moving on in life.  Holding grudges in those cases can be really toxic. But if you just don't like someone for whatever reason they have given you - you don't like them. As long as you don't consume your thoughts or actions based on them - then I say - whatever! Forget them, move on - or better yet - move on up! *
  8. Increase flow experiences. – Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still.  It’s when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task.  Action and awareness are merged.  You’re not hungry, sleepy, or emotional.  You’re just completely engaged in the activity that you’re doing.  Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus.

    * This sounds kinda boring to me. Ha. Maybe because I'm partially ADD? It sounds nice though. Any of you have tips for finding my flow, ha! *
  9. Savor life’s joys. – Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy.  It’s easy in a world of wild stimuli and omnipresent movement to forget to embrace life’s enjoyable experiences.  When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic.  It’s the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them.

    * Some of the things I cherish most are so small. Home cooked meals by my fiance, nights in on the couch, cuddling with my fur kids, hearing my niece laugh, after hours hangs with my fiance's staff, random text messages from friends, a good eye-lash day, haha. I blogged about this a while back. About not wasting time. Making every moment count. *
  10. Commit to your goals. – Being wholeheartedly dedicated to doing something comes fully-equipped with an ineffable force.  Magical things start happening when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to get somewhere.  When you’re fully committed to doing something, you have no choice but to do that thing.  Counter-intuitively, having no option – where you can’t change your mind – subconsciously makes humans happier because they know part of their purpose.

    * There is nothing like the feeling of success! However this paragraph makes it sound easier than what it really is *
  11. Practice spirituality. – When we practice spirituality or religion, we recognize that life is bigger than us.  We surrender the silly idea that we are the mightiest thing ever.  It enables us to connect to the source of all creation and embrace a connectedness with everything that exists.  Some of the most accomplished people I know feel that they’re here doing work they’re “called to do.”

    * I wish I could figure out what I'm called to do. I think I still ask God that everyday.  I agree though - practicing spirituality makes you a happier person *
  12. Take care of your body. – Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be.  If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected.  Did you know that studies conducted on people who were clinically depressed showed that consistent exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft?  Not only that, but here’s the double whammy… Six months later, the people who participated in exercise were less likely to relapse because they had a higher sense of self-accomplishment and self-worth.

* It's sad that the first thing that many of us mark off our "to do list" is that hour at the gym. I am guilty. However I usually do it to get more sleep, so at least that is somewhat of a better excuse :)  The neat thing about getting into a habit of going to the gym - is how you feel when you can't make it! It's almost obsessive! I tell my best friend this all the time - don't be healthy for anyone but YOU. Don't go to the gym to get guys to like you better, wear a smaller size, etc. I mean all that is great - but at the end of the day take care of you because you are worth it * 

Okay - that's it - 2 simple things. Now go and BE HAPPY!  Yeah, don't you wish it was as easy as reading an article!!  I think that the one thing they left out - or maybe just "labeled wrong" would be something related to work. They addressed it in #11 I guess - but not directly. We spend the majority of our day where?? At our workplace!!  If you can't stand your job, your co-workers, the environment - then the majority of your day is gonna be messed up!! I guess you can use these 12 concepts to make the most of what you have in front of you and that will help, but finding something that makes you happy and making a living out of it really seems to be the key to a lot of happiness I think! Too bad that can't be easier to find!!

Grace and peace to you,

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