Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Find Happiness In What You Have Part II

I think yesterday's blog post Find Happiness In What You Have is important enough to discuss a little further.

Happiness brings a lot of good into your life. When you are happy, you take better care of yourself. When you take better care of yourself, you are healthier. When you are healthier, you feel better. When you feel better, it is easier to be happy. It’s a circle that helps to keep producing what you want. The same is true in the inverse. Being unhappy can send you down a spiral of not taking care of yourself, being unhealthy and feeling like shit. When you feel like shit, it is harder to pull yourself up to be happy. 

Every day is not going to be sunshine and rainbows. But, we can choose to start every day as if it is going to be a great day. At first, we have to constantly remind ourselves that the day is going to be great. The more you do this, the easier it will get. This reminder needs to come in whatever form works best for you, framed quotes, a mantra, a picture, a poem. What works for me may not work for you.

We need to build happiness into our morning routine. Find something to do every morning before leaving for work. If you love to read, give yourself an extra 15-30 minutes to read. Try to eat something you love every morning. Make sure you give yourself enough time to not have to rush around frantically. These all sound like simple things, but the more you focus on them, the more you will be surprised at just how easily the little things can change improve your mood.

If you commute to work, find some music you love or an audio book or a podcast or if you like silence, find silence. I was listening to a lot of NPR on my drive to work, but I realized I wasn’t arriving in the mood I wanted. Thinking about it, the NPR program was usually very serious. As much as I enjoyed it, it wasn’t putting me in the mood I needed to do the best work. So, I switched back to listening to music (though I do come back to NPR every now and again). 

We all have the little things that make us smile from time to time, the key is to notice them more often. They will float around in our world, but we are often so busy we don’t see them or we are in a mood that doesn’t allow us to see them. We have to train our mind to notice them more. The happiness we yearn for is closer than we think. 

Right now, think about the things that make you happy. Figure out what little things will make you smile, will make you slow down just enough to bring a little joy in to your world. Search them out, embrace them. Do whatever it is you need to do to bring them in to your life. Then, let these little things show themselves more and more. When we ignore them, it becomes easier to ignore them each day. When we notice them, it becomes easier to notice them. If this was my last day on earth, would I want to spend the day constantly worrying about what the future is going to bring or would I rather live a little more in the moment, smile a little more, laugh a little more and still work on what the future brings?

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