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Posts Tagged ‘Happiness’

Sometimes, we need to be reminded of the little things in life that make us happy. We get so caught up in the chaos of daily life, that we often forget to delight in its daily pleasures. Every day, we owe it to ourselves to take time to breathe deeply and to soak in the small pleasures that make life worth living. No matter how stressful or bad your day has been, take a minute to think of something that makes you really happy, and if you’re able to at the time – act on it, if you can’t – reminisce about a time you enjoyed the small pleasure.Β  You’ll feel relaxed and will be smiling before you know it. And don’t push this 5 minute activity aside for “tomorrow” – remember, your own happiness is worth more than gold, and there are zillions of things in this world that make each of us happy.

The nice people over at Shine from Yahoo have gone ahead and done the dirty work for us. They have created a list of 101 small pleasures we can enjoy every day – we don’t even have to do the thinking on this one – now that’s a small pleasure in itself! πŸ™‚ I guarantee, however, that just skimming this list will induce some self-thinking about what you individually delight in – so grab a pen and paper and jot down all the little pleasures that make you happy. When you’re feeling blue, grab this list and remind yourself how lucky you are to have so many things that elate you. I truly believe that it’s the small stuff in life that really matters.

After reading Shine’s article, I created my own list of 20 small pleasures that make me feel gratified. I plan on starting a journal to list out my favorite pleasures (starting with the 20 below) and adding to it whenever I feel a twinge of inspiration. I can’t wait to relish in all the small pleasures and tokens of happiness that await me!

20 Small Pleasures I Delight In:

1. When my niece and nephew call me “Norsey” – the nickname my niece thought up for me

2. Savoring a large piece of birthday cake (whether it’s my birthday or not!)

3. Watching the sun rise or set

4. Sleeping in freshly washed sheets

5. Taking long walks with my girlfriends

6. Working on a crossword puzzle and completing it (or getting close to completing it!)

7. Feeling warm sunshine on my (sun-screened!) skin

8. Looking at family photo albums

9. Drinking margaritas and eating cheese dip outside on a hot day

10. Swinging on swings at a park or on a porch swing

11. Causing another person’s laughter

12. Sitting by the fire curled up in a blanket on a cold night

13. When my cat fall asleep on my lap

14. Reading a children’s book and looking at all the pictures

15. Chewing 2 pieces of Extra watermelon-flavored gum at once

16. Making a PB&J on white, fluffy bread and smashing it thin before I eat it

17. Taking a hot shower after a long, hard workout

18. Finding the perfect pair of jeans

19. Enjoying a nice summer night outside without getting any mosquito bites (or at least only getting a few!)

20. Soaking in the sight of beautiful gardens in the spring full of fresh, vibrant flowers

What does your own Happy Road consist of???

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Because I am moving in a few short weeks, I’ve been spending some of my free time (actually, most of my time – what do you expect – I don’t have a job?!) going through all of my belongings deciding what stays, what goes, and what becomes one with the landfill (or recycling plant for all my “green” friends out there). I often tear out magazine and newspaper articles that I come across and want to read but just don’t have the time to focus on at the moment. I tear them out, throw out (recycle!) the remainder magazines and/or newspapers, and store the clippings in safe keeping for a future read-a-thon. During my read-a-thons, I fish out the folder(s) full of all my “save for later” articles and begin reading – my mind clear and ready to absorb the information – so I can eventually recycle those articles as well and replenish my “save for later” folder with new and up-do-date information. This past Saturday night, I turned off the T.V, grabbed some jelly beans (okay, so they aren’t really necessary for the read-a-thon, but they make it that much better in the end), cleaned off my glasses, and prepared myself for an all night article fest.

I scoured numerous articles I had saved on politics, health issues, fitness, etc., and I learned how to adequately care for sweaters, remove red wine stains, and perform a proper standing lunge. Yes, all very useful information, but the one article I came across that really resonated with me and made me feel inspired and uplifted was entitled “Habits of Happy Women” that I tore out of a past issue of SELF magazine. This article encourages readers to “find a serene spot, pull out a pen, and list your never-fail pleasures, no matter how goofy or self-indulgent they sound,” because, sometimes, happiness is hard to get a hold of and we all need a few guaranteed tactics to make us feel better and feel happier when times are rough. So, I suggest we all listen to SELF and start jotting down and acting upon the fool-proof ways that individually lift our spirits. Or, take the advice of the women interviewed in the article (I listed out 10 of the top suggestions) and try out their happy habits (or similar ones!) to see if they work for you. I also added one of my own and hope you will add your favorite as well to share with all of the blog readers. Now,read on, start writing, and get ready to start smiling! πŸ™‚

Photograph something every day:

“Four years ago, I started carting my camera everywhere and taking one photo a day. Sure, I have a lot of pictures of flowers or strangers in the laundry room of my apartment building, but I also have snapshots of my sister’s baby, friends’ weddings, sailing in St. Vincent and people who have come in and out of my life that I would have forgotten if I hadn’t captured them on film. When I sit down and look through my albums – another ritual in and of itself – I realize that even though I complain about my life at times, there are many reasons to be happy.”

Connect with your crew:

“The spring after my father died, I felt the need to strengthen my bonds with friends. So I organized a ‘Women I Love’ lunch as a way to boost my spirits. I invited all my friends over, we ate takeout, and one by one, I stood behind each woman and explained why I loved her. At the end of the afternoon, my friends all said, ‘You have to do this next year!’ and an annual tradition was born.”

Rock out:

“Whenever I need a lift, I get in the car, turn up my radio and sing at the top of my lungs. I may look foolish to the people in the next lane, but I’ll never see them again, so who cares?”

Be Hallmark happy:

“I love browsing in stationery stores. Typically, I’ll buy 10 or 15 funny cards all at once, stamp them, then toss them in my purse. That way, when I have a minute here or there – standing in line, waiting at the doctor – I’ll write a ‘thinking of you’ note to a friend and send it off. It gives me a good feeling knowing that they’ll have a pleasant surprise waiting for them in their mailbox.”

Enjoy a creative moment:

“When I was in Venice, I bought a leather journal that I now carry with me everywhere.l When I need an escape or just want to record a beautiful scene, I fill the pages with words or drawings. I love looking back and reflecting on what I’ve seen and heard. It keeps me linked to places I care about.”

Write a chain letter:

“After college, six of my best friends and I started a circle letter. The first person on the list writes a letter and sends it to the next person in the chain; she then adds her own letter and a treasure or two, and sends everything to the third, and so on. When it’s my turn, I put all my responsibilities on hold, curl up on the couch and sift through the photos, letters and clippings. It’s one of my favorite ways to reconnect.”

Get out the Kleenex:

“A couple of times a year I watch really sad movies, like When a Man Loves a Woman, by myself. I start crying, then I remember that this isn’t my real life and I feel better! It’s sort of reverse psychology.”

Eat like a queen:

“When I was growing up, my family had a tradition of marking our accomplishments by having the person of the hour eat off a red plate. So when I got engaged, my parents gave my fiance and me our own red plate. It reminds me how easy it is to make someone feel special. We use it to acknowledge things like finishing our taxes or getting a raise. When our puppy graduated from obedience school, he even got to eat off the red plate!”

Do something girly:

“Getting my nails done always turns my bad moods around. I usually manage to visit the salon once a week, which makes me feel in control of my otherwise hectic life. The flip side is that if my nails look scraggly, I know I need to slow down.”

Take the plunge:

“I live close to the ocean, so when I return home from work in the evenings, I like to walk by the beach, regardless of the season. If the temperature allows, I take a swim and ride some waves. When no one’s around, I may even skinny-dip. Being in the surf always makes the world melt away.”

My own fool-proof way to lift my spirits:

“I climb into some comfy clothes, turn off my phone, pop some popcorn or scoop out some ice-cream, sprawl out on the couch and watch an hour of hilarious Will and Grace, Friends, or The Office reruns. I push my ‘To-Do’ list out of sight and push anxiety and worry out of mind and, instead, zone in on the hilarious hi-jinks of Jack and Karen, Chandler and Joey, or Jim and Dwight. No matter how blue I am, I can’t help but laugh at a good joke :)”

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Boy do I know what it’s like to have a “case of the Mondays.” After enjoying a fabulous, but always-too-short weekend, the last place you want to be on a Monday morning is behind a computer staring at 27 new “urgent” emails in your inbox. You would rather be basking in the sunlight by the pool on a summer day with a margarita in hand, basking in the heat by the fireplace on a cold winter’s night with a margarita in hand, basking in the warmth of your bed on a rainy morning with a margarita in hand (are you sensing a pattern here?).

Anyway, work is a reality for most, and although many of us actually do like our jobs, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed and to end up losing sight of what makes you love your job in the first place. So, check out these sixteen quick-and-easy tips for feeling happier at work and be on your way to always having a “case of the Fridays.” πŸ™‚

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I found this article a few weeks ago, and the first sentence really caught my attention: “Recent studies have shown that as women get older, they get sadder (whereas men get happier as they age).” How unfortunate these studies are! It makes you stop and wonder why fabulous women (like ourselves!) grow sadder with age; we have so much past to be grateful for and such promising futures knocking at our doors. It’s so easy to get caught up in the negative aspects of our lives and to dwell on what has gone wrong instead of relishing in and appreciating all of the wonderful things happening in our lives. We need to start focusing on everything that has gone right!

The author mentioned in this article, Marcus Buckingham, discusses the studies that show women get sadder, and he proposes solutions to overcome this sadness in his book entitled “Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently.” Buckingham also designed a quiz, the “Strong Life Test” to help women discover that “fulfills you and brings you happiness.” The quiz takes no more than 15 minutes and can provide you a lot of insight into who you are and what brings you happiness. The quiz determines your lead role and supporting role in life. My roles are outlined below to give you an idea of what to expect upon completion:

—Your lead role: CREATOR—

You begin by asking: “What do I understand?” You aren’t immune to the feelings and perspectives of others, but your starting point is your own insight, your own understanding.

Your best quality: Your ability to find patterns invisible to others.

Always: Find time to be by yourself.

Be careful you: Don’t think so long, you never do anything.

Your smartest career move: Any job where you’re paid to produce new content.

—Your supporting role: ADVISOR—

You begin by asking: “What is the best thing to do?” Your thrill comes from knowing that you are the person others turn to for the answer. You don’t necessarily want to be the person who actually makes the changes happen. Rather, what excites you is being valued by others for your insight and your judgment.

Your best quality: Your ability to find a solution.

Always: Search for data to support your advice.

Be careful you: Don’t get frustrated by other people’s failings.

Your smartest career move: Any job where you’re paid to be opinionated.

Enjoy finding your strongest life!

Dancing in the street

β€œSome pursue happiness, others create it.” ~Author Unknown

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