"There is only one sure fire way I know of to find happiness: make someone else happy." -Me
Life is hard.
I know that information must be rather shocking! Ha. Each day brings a new set of challenges, more things to stress over, more bills than money in your bank account, people will let you down and your dentist will tell you that you don't floss enough. Life. Is. Hard. With all the struggles we face it can seem almost impossible to find a moment of peace much less happiness.
Now I'm no psychologist or counselor, but I think I do a pretty good job of finding happiness even when it seems impossible. I don't have all the answers but I do have some ideas, and maybe a few really good ones. David Letterman has his Top Ten and Jfox has her Fantastic Five. (Less is more right?!) I couldn't think of a better topic for my first Fantastic Five list than happiness. After all, who couldn't use a little more?
5 Fantastic ways to find some happy TODAY!
5. Give Some to Get Some.
This is one of my most used methods because it comes in so many varieties. Some of my favorites are: buying the coffee drink for the car behind you at the drive thru, actually saying yes to the grocery store clerk when they ask if you want to donate to the charity of the moment, or even something as small as putting some loose change in someone's expired meter as you walk by. Putting good out into the universe just feels nice, and something inside you will smile.
4. Smile; It's the most important thing you put on.
Smiling at a stranger is really out there for some people nowadays! We are all in such a hurry talking on our Bluetooth headsets, texting on our phones, while walking into the gas station and saying "40 on pump 2" and make it back to our cars without making eye contact with one person!! It's ridiculous, and sad. No wonder we feel so lonely sometimes. Branch out, try it, make eye contact and smile at some strangers today. If you're feeling extra brave, throw in a "hello" or a "hi." See how it makes you feel when they smile back.
3. The Jokes on You.
I can read funny quotes and watch funny YouTube videos all day long and if I'm in a downer mood, I'll hardly crack a smile much less "LOL," even if my insides think it's hilarious. Laughter is contagious, so making someone laugh will do what...? That's right. You too get a nice LOL moment yourself. My advice is have a couple jokes or videos in your memory bank and when the time is right, pull your coworker aside and share the laughter. I know I like it when my friends text me funny stuff, but when we are sharing the moment in person it's priceless, and I'll always laugh harder. You will too.
2. 10 Minutes of Sincerity
We all have at least two friends in our lives that have been there for us countless times and probably deserve more credit than we give them. Take five minutes a piece and send a sincere and thoughtful text (or better yet a handwritten card, yes people still do that!) and tell them why you love and appreciate them. Remind them how wonderful they are and how much you value them in your life. We really don't do enough of this these days. It's far too easy to get wrapped up in life that we only call on them when the sky is falling and not enough when things are going along smoothly. You know how I know this to be true? I am guilty of this. I have so many people that have been there for me at the drop of a hat when my car breaks down, or my heart gets bruised, or my ex is making my life miserable, or I can't pay my rent...(believe me, this list could go on) and I KNOW I do not spend enough time thanking these people who have been there for me. Let's make a change together shall we? I feel happier already.
1. You Do You.
Take a moment for yourself. Yes my key to happiness is to make others happy, but this can be hard to attempt if you're miserable to be around, so do a little something for yourself to lay the groundwork. Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling....
*Take a walk. Get outside, breathe the air, put on some headphones and walk. You'll be surprised how refreshing it can be.
*Get a haircut. Who doesn't like having someone else wash their hair AND style it for you. (One less thing you have to so later). I have never left a salon in a bad mood.
*Go to a pet store. Who can be sad looking at puppies?! No one.
*Buy some flowers for your kitchen table on your way home from work. Brighten the room, lighten your mood.
*Treat yourself to an ice cream cone. Lets face it, we're all on a diet aren't we? Ice cream=guilt. Forget the guilt just for today, I just gave you permission to get a scoop of happy.
*Friends re-runs are on all the time, there are no excuses to be sad when you could be watching Friends.
*Remember all you have. It's easy to feel bad when we think of what we don't have, a significant other, a job we love, a car that runs perfectly, NFL Sunday Ticket, the new Chanel handbag, the Dodgers in the World Series...but if we took a little time to be grateful for all we do have, I think we could find some happiness there.
I hope you can find some use out of this first of many Fantastic Fives, and maybe just maybe tomorrow can be a little bit happier than today.
*Photo taken by J Patrick Smith*