Throughout my life I have done a huge amount of research in the field of happiness. It interested me that it was a subject that underlies success writings and achievement writings and personal management (what we used to call time management). I wonder if you noticed this stuff along the way as well.
- You become what you think about! (Earl Nightingale)
- You reap what you sow.
- What you focus on grows.
- Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude … (Viktor Frankl)
- You’re right about that dear. 😛 (Wayne Dyer)
You get the idea I think. I wrote earlier about simple pleasures and exhorted us to actually do things that we know will bring us happiness and pleasure. It strikes me that we need to take a few minutes and write down a bliss list (I wish I could recall who taught me that). What it is is simply a list of things that bring feelings of bliss when you just think about them. I just have to think about sitting here in my back yard and I feel at peace.
Take a few minutes and write down a list of the things that bring you feelings of bliss or happiness. For me this list includes things like outdoor patio dining, fresh toasted tomato sandwich, running, being near water, walking on a beach, raisins, nature areas of all sorts, dressing up(!), my special music playlist, being with grand kiddies, dining room meal at home with Luise… and so on, for three pages. It includes things I think I would love to do. I guarantee you that you will feel happy just thinking about these things as you write the list. It is not a gratitude list – it is a list of things that make you feel good. It’s okay to put indulgences here that you might feel a little guilty about – it is your bliss list!
Now what? Do you sit down and do this every time you want a lift in spirits? Not necessary. You have already done that. Rather, place this list in a convenient place where you can look at it regularly. I keep my list in my office which is where I sit down each week to review my past week and plan out my coming week. It is also where I review my day and plan my next day. I look over random parts of the list before I get started. You can keep your list in your sock drawer if you like. The important part is to look it over at least once a day. Just looking over the list will bring you feelings of happiness and even bliss. We should all have that in our days.
Live well, love always and laugh out loud every day! And remind yourself what brings feelings of joy into your life! 🙂
Quick – what do you do to feel happier when you are having a bad day? How many ideas can you list in just a minute or so?
We all have them. A day when things just don’t work out. Everything you do turns to mud. Someone lost your order. Every road you drive on has construction and delays that make you actually miss meetings! Your dental plan does not cover that but you still need it. You know what I am talking about here. A “bad hair day”! You just feel anything but happy. So, what do you do to get back to feeling happy?
I have notes saying “Be Happy Anyway” placed in strategic spots where I will see them during the day. I change them up on occasion so that my mind’s eye does not just ignore them and not see them. The reason that helps me so much is because I have something else that I can use and the notes remind me to use it if I really need a boost.
Actuall it is 2 things. Two lists to be precise. I have a list that I call my “Feel Good List”. I also have a list that I call my “Joy List”. I’l describe what is on each list and how I use it to return to feeling happy when I need a boost. Then, make your own lists up and use them the same way. It will help.
“Feel Good List”
I actually have a file where I keep notes about successes that I have had and events that made me feel good. It includes testimonials from others, letters of thanks or congratulations, newspaper articles that had an uplifting effect on me, notes of things that made me feel proud (of myself or of a loved one), places I enjoyed visiting (and what it was that I enjoyed), and so on. Feel good things! I can take this out and just look through it for a minute or so and in just that short amount of time I start to feel better. I shift my focus away from the ugly and over to the beautiful.
This is just a simple list of the things I love to do that make me feel happy. A list of the things that bring me joy. Things that I can actually do. Favourite music to listen to. Walk in the park. Talk to my grand-kids (the Kiddies!). Go to a play or live show. Work out. Read a book. Plan a meal with my wonderful wife. I think you get the idea. Make a list of things that bring you joy. Include things that are big AND small. Just looking at your list will start the juices flowing. But, make sure that you actually do something on the list so that you can bring back those feelings of happiness on those “bad hair days”.
Live well, love always and laugh out loud every day! 🙂
I heard a couple of interesting things this past week or so. First, the vast majority of people in North America are basically happy. In another story, people with disabilities have been studied and those that have made very good adjustments are also basically happy. So why does it feel like people feel that something is missing and they want to achieve happiness still?
My theory on that is that we are so wrapped up in every-day things that we actually forget to be happy. When we sit and think about it for a while, we realise that we are basically happy. Something seems to be missing but we are happy overall. Let’s break out once in a while and do something very child like and bring back some joy into our lives. Joy that we feel and can recall when we get busy with everyday life again.
Create a huge Joy List. Remember when you were a kid and what it felt like to run out into the rain on a warm summer day? What it felt like to see a puddle and just go over to it and jump up and down, splashing all over the place? Remember the joy of taking a walk on a clear, cold day in winter along the edge of a frozen river? These are a couple of my joyful memories. Write a huge list for yourself of things that bring you joy. Sitting on a patio with friends enjoying a libation. The music you love to listen to (not just have on as background music but that you really like to listen to).
Did you write it down? Please do write it out because you need to post this in a few places where you will see it often. Be sure to include activities that bring you joy that you can make time for when you feel like you need a small boost. Kids are spontaneous. Be spontaneous in doing some of these things on your joy list. Just do something! Laugh about it while you are doing it. Luxuriate.
Most of us are happy overall. We just forget that fact in the hectic lives we live. This is different than events happening that bring us sadness and despair. Those are dealt with in different ways. But, day to day we just get wrapped up in living and forget to be consciously happy. That is when it is great to bring out the Joy List and pick something that appeals and do it right away. Make your list. Post it. Do stuff! Enjoy!