A few months ago, I saw this little infographic on a friend's facebook page:
It's cute, a little trite maybe, but funny enough to get a little laugh out of people... at which point they carry on with their day mumbling "I wish" or something to that effect.
And yeah - "I wish" it were as simple as that. Just 'change something' and you'll be happy. Well.... happi-ER, I guess.
So here's a little exercise for you to try - this is what I did the other night:
Get out 2 sheets of paper (yes - PAPER, recycle it afterwards, write on the back of junk mail, something, but trust me, there's catharsis in actually writing and crossing out) and title one of them "Things that Make Me Happy" and the other "Things that Make Me Unhappy" (don't write Sad, this isn't about sad, it's about not-happy. They are not the same).
START with the unhappy list. It will be easier. Sounds a little strange, but we are sometimes a negative people.
Just start writing - doensn't have to be pretty, write quickly, don't think about it too much. It doesn't have to have flow or cohesiveness or anything like that - just write it.
So your list will probably have a few things on it (okay, mine had about 45 before I stopped). Now take out your "Things that make me Happy" paper and start writing. It's okay if this one is more difficult. Remember, they don't have to be tangible things (although - let's be honest, Shoes is on my list. Because Shoes definitely make me happy) but try and write down at LEAST 10 things.
Go back to your unhappy list, and cross off everything that you can't control. For example: one of the things on my unhappy list is "Poor/Ignorant/Entitled Drivers" - I crossed that off because I just can't change how poorly other people drive. But I kept on things like "being in debt" because that makes me unhappy - but I CAN do something about it.
Repeat this for the happy list. Although, there should be significantly less things out of your control on your happy list. Once you've got your lists complete - take a look at that little flow chart again. Part of my goals for this year of seeking happiness is to
1)Try and do at least ONE of the things on my Happy list EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. This isn't hard - some of the things on my happy list are: Singing, Dancing, Crafting, Hanging out with my kiddos, Watching Doctor Who (sometimes both of those things at the same time), etc. Those are EASY to fit into each day. And
2)Try to REMOVE one of the unhappy things from your list EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. For me - one of the things that makes me unhappy is when I lose my temper with my kids/the hubs - so from now on, daily, I make sure I find my "happy place", take deep breaths, and maybe lock myself in the bathroom/put on some nice smelling lotion or whatever it takes for me to calm down and go back to the situation without losing it. Trust me - my kids/the hubs and whatever issue they're creating will still be there when I come back smelling like peaches and vanilla ;)
And now I'm just gonna keep taking it one day at a time - seeking out happiness in the little things, and removing the unhappy things from my life one at a time.
Next time I'm going to talk about something I've learned recently that I really want to share with you: How & Some examples of how Saying "Yes" to some things is really the same as saying "No" to others - and carefully considering how that affects my happiness.
And now for something else that makes me happy every day: A nice cup of tea.