Thursday, June 5, 2008

7 Tips for Finding Happiness...

From kindergarten to college, it's all there on the refrigerator door.
By Jill Neimark

Adapted from Why Good Things Happen to Good People by Stephen Post and Jill Neimark, with permission of Broadway Books.

Connecting with others and feeling a sense of oneness with life itself brings lasting happiness--and that connection can take many forms, from a warm hug to the rapture we feel in nature to our work on a creative project that touches others. It is when we give of ourselves that we find ourselves. Here are seven tips for permanent happiness, all based on reaching out and offering yourself to life.

Make a Celebratory Visit
This is a special visit that celebrates what someone else means to you and what they have given to you. It is a joyous form of gratitude, which has been proven in studies to boost mood and health. First, sit down and write a thank-you letter to someone for whom you feel deep love and gratitude. Describe their qualities, such as courage, loyalty, kindness, wit, persistence. Then visit that person, and read your heartfelt description. Celebrate with them the miracle of their life and their presence in yours.

Look at the Big Picture
Remember that you are an essential part of a very alive universe--no matter how tough your day or week or year might be. You are part of the greater whole, the weave of life and all of humanity. You can remind yourself of that feeling by looking up at the night sky, or going to a religious service where everybody joins hands and sings, or even volunteering at an animal shelter. Your lives have ups and downs, but embrace the large scale of all of life in its great diversity with a huge hug.

Be a Keeper of Meaning
Knowing that your life has meaning brings a deep-down satisfaction that offers lasting happiness. One wonderful way to experience more meaning is to bring meaning to the lives of others by teaching them a special skill of yours--whether it's a new language, a new recipe, how to sail, or simply how to listen and be a caring person. You have something unique to share.

Forgive Yourself
Okay, you've made mistakes. We all have. Going over (and over) your missteps keeps you feeling disconnected and unloved. Here's how to forgive yourself: Bring to mind an incident for which you were forgiven. Remember the good feelings and bask in them. If you believe in God or a higher power, ask for forgiveness. While doing this, try to see yourself from the perspective of someone who loves you unconditionally. Would they judge you as harshly as you judge yourself?

Tune in to Those Around You
For one day, decide to be courteous to everybody in your path--even buoyantly so; your neighbor, your mailman, a stranger at the coffee shop, a cashier, colleagues, and of course, friends. Greet them, ask how they are, hold a door, and give a smile and a compliment. At the end of the day you'll feel much happier, relaxed, and more connected.

Be a Good Friend
A good friend wants the best for you and is happy when something great happens in your life. Be that friend. Repair rifts in your friendships when possible. Rekindle old friendships--look up friends from childhood or college, or those who have moved away, and reach out to them. Reshape your friendship networks to be sure your friends provide a supportive mirror for your own values in life.

Nurture Your Creativity
Creativity brings joy, and the personality trait most linked to creativity is being open to experience--trying new things, being open to fantasy, discovering new connections. Foster your creativity by listening to music, reading literature, and viewing art. Try a different approach to a familiar routine, such as planting only purple flowers in your garden, or garnishing a salad with unusual delicacies, or mixing and matching your clothes in a new way. Or join a scrap booking club or pottery class--anything that will get you in touch with your creative side, and with others in the process!

I hope this inspires you...I know it did me.
Maybe some freebies tonight...

"It's not all about me..."

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Hi Suz!

I have had horrible computer issues and just saw the comment you left on my blog! Thank you so much for your kind words. They mean a lot to the designers and CT members. I just wanted to let you know that I have a new kit available on my blog! Thanks for listing them on your blog. We all love comments and blog traffic! :-)

Have a great evening!