I started this blog originally after hearing a motivational speaker whose main message was “Attitude is a CHOICE.” I think people get caught up in all that’s going on and become negative and jaded about the economy, an unsatisfactory job, an unhappy relationship, an imperfect body, or whatever negative you focus on most. We all do it. It is our choice how we react to things and how we view the world. I committed to enjoying the lovely little things in life. Even as a self-proclaimed “realist” there is almost always a silver lining depending on how you CHOOSE to look at it.
I swiped borrowed the March 2010 Body + Soul magazine from an office I was in the other day and I found an article that I thought was great. It was about inner growth. Get out of the rut to find happiness. They had a few tips for finding happiness in the simplest ways.
- learn something new – novelty excites the brain’s pleasure pathways by releasing dopamine. Even babies perk up when they see a new image on a video screen
- sniff citrus or lavender – both scents contain the chemical linalool which seems to alter blood chemistry to lower stress.
- appreciate what you have – visualize how your life may have been different if a positive event (meeting your significant other, etc) had not happened. It’s actually more satisfying than replaying the positive event
- take a walk – just taking a brisk 5-10 minute walk gives you an immediate energy boost.
This article also had several stories from people who shared realizations that changed their life happiness in simple ways.
- invest in a new experience – This woman discovered that stuff can forever be compared with and topped by something in the next catalog while an experience stays as good as your memory makes it. It’s like giving a child a toy. After a while the newness wears off and they forget about it. Instead invest in a trip or event that you can remember forever
- relearn what your body can do – A woman tried yoga for the first time and fell out of pose after pose and became increasingly frustrated. She continued to go back, but pushed herself so hard, never really enjoying it and never really getting it either. After a hiatus, she returned to the mat and it was less about pushing herself and more about the yoga. She stops when she needs to, knows it doesn’t matter if she falls, and has found her breaths are fuller, her twists are deeper and she feels lighter. She let go of the pressure and enjoyed the activity itself
- see the world from a new angle – “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” Proust’s words reminded the woman in this story that even if she can’t go anywhere, there is a whole world right in front of her if she only opens her eyes to see it. She learned to appreciate that small things around her rather than wishing she could do something bigger or be somewhere “better”
HAPPY Friday! 🙂
What makes you happy?