So, today's thousand dollar question is...what makes you happy? Take a moment to think about that...your happiness. How do you become happy? When are you happy? Why are you happy?
Will money make you happy?
What about the other half of your heart?
A professor at Duke University discovered in 2001 that among adults with coronary artery diseases the risk of cardiac death was 2.4 times higher for those who were socially isolated than for their socially connected peers.
40 million adults in the US (18.1 percent of the population) suffer from anxiety disorders. This is according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. FORTY MILLION, people. That is way too many.
What if I told you that you could start being more joyful right now? What if I told you that you could calm part of your anxiety? Would you believe me? Well, you can...we can.
According to an article in the July edition of O Magazine, a 2012 New Zealand study found that the following behaviors enhanced enjoyment:
1. TALKING TO ANOTHER PERSON ABOUT HOW GOOD YOU FEEL
2. THINKING ABOUT HOW LUCKY YOU ARE
3. THINKING ABOUT RECAPPING THE EXPERIENCE FOR OTHERS
5. TELLING YOURSELF HOW PROUD YOU ARE
6. FOCUSING ON THE PRESENT
I'm sure at some point in time all of us have read this above quote. There is truth to it. Our lives cannot get better or move forward until change happens, and WE MUST BE the change.
Happiness isn't something that is bred into us. It's a choice.
"It is not happiness that makes us grateful. It's gratefulness that makes us happy." --David Steindl-Rast
Here is a little exercise to bring joy into your life...I hope you will considering doing these steps. (again, ideas taken from an article by Molly Simms entitled What Would Make You Happy? in the July edition of O Magazine...oprah.com/gethappy)
WEEK 1: Take stock in yourself and write things down that come to mind. They may be sentences like "I feel like a failure" or "As I look back on my life all I see are victories" or somewhere in between. Then make a list each day for 7 days of what you are grateful for.
WEEK 2: Concentrate on social connections and acts of kindness. Are you a face to face social person? Or, do you sit behind a computer or cell phone for your conversations? This week, you will need to move out of the shadows and into the real world and communicate face to face. How can you be kind to someone? A smile, a note, a phone call, a lunch meeting? DO SOMETHING WITH SOMEONE.
WEEK 3: Self care. How well do you take care of you? Concentrate on exercising more and getting more sleep.
WEEK 4: Take 10 minutes...TEN MINUTES...out of your day to meditate. Clear your mind, go outside, or find a space to just be quiet. Train your mind to be quiet...whether that is through yoga, true meditation or prayer. Learn to breathe. Learn to be aware of the sights and sounds around you.
And, if you are feeling particularly in the mood of gratitude...take time to write a note to someone in your life who needs to hear how much you appreciate them. Write down why, memories, and thank yous. Next, call that person or skype with them or do the phone message thingy where you can talk with each other and see each other--or (novel idea) make plans to be together. Share aloud what you've written. It is a soul cleansing that I guarantee will affect you for the better.
See....that's not so hard. Our world needs more people who are connected...face to face connected. We need to be those people, the people who are kinder and more giving than those always taking
By instilling an attitude of gratitude within ourselves, it assures that we can and will be on the right track to happiness.