I am happy. Even when I'm feeling crappy, I am a happy person. People are forever asking me how I reached this place. It wasn't because I prayed enough, or took a magic pill, or held my mouth just right while dancing on one foot, or was just born happy (um ... NO ... you can ask my mom about that first year). Yet, I have discovered that self disciplines, even the ones which result in fun, have radically changed my life. These are things I learned through my own therapy and medicinal treatment for depression and anxiety. If you realize the concepts in this series are simply not enough, seek help. Insist on it. Find your own personal level of healing, which is different for everyone. Sometimes I speak "happy" with an accent, because I still dance with depression and anxiety - and that is okay.
I thought I'd focus my Mondays on each of the 12 common factors. It makes sense, because Mondays can totally slurp on the happiness meter.
What are you missing right now in this moment? Where is the happiness all around you?
Stop, and find the things for which you are grateful. The things you already have.
“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” — Henry Miller
I have a friend who tweets out her daily gratitudes, and has been doing it for a long time, now. I think she has built in an accountability she did not expect. If she skips a day, everyone wonders where she is! It's also a reminder for ME, daily, to be grateful.
Another friend recommends journaling gratitudes in some way, every single day.
When I deliberately stop, become aware of being present in the moment, and reflect for just a minute, I am typically overwhelmed by all the amazing things around me, in my life and in my heart. It's "turn that frown upside down" on steroids. Even the negatives become positives.
"GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings."
- from the prayer "Be Thankful," which you can read in its entirety in "Why Living a Life of Gratitude Can Make You Happy"
If this post irritates you or makes you angry, sit in that feeling for a minute. Try to discover what lies underneath the anger. Dare to nudge yourself through it and force yourself to find gratefulness, even in your current dark places.
Then do it again tomorrow.