This morning when I was driving to Starbucks I was thinking about happiness. (I guess those two things go together for me since I love Starbucks so much!) Lately, I have been in kind of a funk so to speak. I have plenty of things to be happy about, really, but there has been a place in my mind that just hasn’t been happy. It’s not that I am completely unhappy and depressed all the time, it’s just that I don’t feel as happy as I want to in general.
I need a shift in mindset. I believe in the power of positive thinking, and lately I have been letting negative thinking take over. It has affected me more than I realized, and more than I let on (especially on my blog!). So, when I got home from Starbucks, I was reading about happiness online and I came across the Happiness Project. I’m sure several of you have heard of this book/blog before! She has some really interesting tips about creating a happy home, marriage and mindset. I have only begun to explore it!
I thought it might be a good exercise for me to take a look at some of her topics and challenges and even try a few! First up are the “get started” questions, which are supposed to help me identify my aims:
What makes you feel good? What gives you joy, energy, fun?
(I am answering this questions not including my family and friends, which is an obvious answer)
When I have a sense of accomplishment, I feel good, even if it something small like getting some work done or cleaning up the dishes. Dancing and singing make me feel good. A night out filled with fun and laughter. I feel good when people agree with my viewpoints or validate me. When I cook a new recipe and it turns out perfectly I feel joy.
What makes you feel bad? What brings you anger, guilt, boredom, dread?
Other (aka “bad”) drivers bring me anger. When someone accuses me of something I did not do I have anger. Bringing my baby to daycare gives me guilt. So does keeping secrets, which I am pretty much not good at (unless it’s about gifts or surprise parties!). I dread having to go to the gym, paying bills and returning things to the store. I feel uneasy when people near me are unhappy.
What makes you feel right?
I feel right when things are done that need to be done, but on my own timeline. I feel right when the people around me are happy and pleasant. I feel right when my friends and family want to spend time with me.
I think I am off to a good start here. Another time I will explore deeper into some of her other topics in happiness and see how I can apply them to my own life!
My new mantra: Today I will be HAPPY!
What about you? What brings you happiness or joy? What advice would you give someone for improving their happiness?