It’s happened before and it’s happening again. Instead of reaching January and writing a list of unattainable resolutions, I’ve reached January and began again to ponder the nature of happiness. I even bought a book, Happy This Year by Will Bowen, which falls firmly under the category of ‘self-help’ (after last year buying The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin). According to Bowen, the more you think about happiness and the more time you spend assessing your own happiness level, the happier you’ll become, because happiness is inherently a choice we make regardless of all life’s ups and downs.
A lot of the details of The Happiness Project escape me now a year on, but there are parts of it that I do remember – for example having a mantra (especially as a mum, I’m always taking a deep breath on the hard days and repeating “the days are long but the years are short”), accept your limitations and work to your strengths, cultivate a passion and be more mindful – being present in the moment and also observing yourself in the moment (I guess this one helps with yelling at the kids?).
Any hoo, I’ve decided that Bowen is probably just about right with the idea of deciding to be happy – it’s all about picking out the positives and reminding yourself on a regular basis, seeing difficult situations as challenges and not problems, etc.
I know for a fact that I feel happier and definitely come across as a happy person after I write a #Littleloves post for Morgana’s Friday linky. To focus on the good bits of life on a regular basis is to remind yourself that there is a lot to be thankful for.
Gretchen Rubin has published a five year diary that you only write down one sentence a day in, and I’m going to buy myself one because I love the idea of picking out the best bit of any given day and choosing that to be the memory to look back on. I believe there was some sort of Facebook tag thingy not long ago that asked people to post three or five positives a day and this is very much a similar idea.
Today I am happy because:
- I cooked a delicious roasted parsnip soup and some courgette & corn fritters which were recipes I’d never tried before.
- I decided to re-discover my camera and photography which was something that brought me a lot of happiness last year.
- I had my hair cut and it is manageable again!
- My children were pretty good around bedtime and I didn’t have to raise my voice at all.
- I cooked a really tasty dinner of soy marinaded salmon and broccoli rice using ingredients I already had in the house, thereby saving a bit of money buying food unneccessarily.
- I get paid tomorrow!
I am working on my work/family/blog/life balance right now and although I feel that I would blog more if I had the opportunity, I am working within my limitations and trying to be more mindful of my family. When those around you – your loved ones – are happy, it resonates. But equally, pursuing a passion is a very strong contender for a happier you. It can be a delicate balancing act and I’m definitely still working on it.
Do you think you need to practice being happy more often?
Linking up with the lovely Jenny over at Let’s Talk Mommy for this week’s #sharewithme