You’re busy. You’ve got WAY too much going on in your life. You barely have time to look up. When that’s your situation you definitely don’t feel like you’ve got time to spare. And happiness….that’s something that’ll have to wait till things slow down.
But when you’re buried and overwhelmed is when you are most in need of a break. It’s also the time that you could desperately use a little more joy and happiness. Fortunately, it’s not that hard to find if you just look up.
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I used to wait for happiness to find me. Like it was magically going to seek me out and wrap me in its tendrils and I’d float on in a cloud of bliss from that moment on.
Now I know that is the stupidest thing I ever did. Happiness doesn’t find us – we have to actively and purposely go looking for it. And even then, you won’t find it – it’s not like it’s sitting on a shelf somewhere just waiting to be discovered. The truth is that we have to create our own happiness.
Last night I was sitting on the patio while my husband was grilling some steaks. It was warm, the sun was beginning to set, a breeze was blowing. And in that moment it dawned on me that this is what happiness feels like. Now I believe that happiness exists in a variety of feelings: contentment, exhilaration, euphoria, and peacefulness, just to name a few.
So in that moment I grabbed a pen and paper and started a list of some of the things that make me happy. I’m going to keep this list handy for when I’m having ‘one of those days’.
- Steaks cooking on the grill
- A tall glass of iced tea
- Good conversation
- An exciting movie
- Good sex
- Curling up in the sunshine with a book
- Sleeping till you wake up naturally
- Visiting with good friends
- Laughing till your sides hurt
- A warm puppy (to quote Charlie Brown)
- Seeing your kids happy
- Paying off a bill
- That new car smell
- A clean house
- Sitting on the patio
- A glass of wine
- A Shonda Rhimes television show
- A new nail polish
- Fresh flowers
- Hearing your favorite song on the radio
- Good neighbors
- Banana nut ice cream
- My hubby’s homemade pizza
- Listening to the birds chirp
- Sitting by a roaring fireplace
What makes YOU happy?
Your list will, of course, be different. The point is simply that each of us has to figure out what makes us happy and purposely work to bring more of those things into our lives. A happy life doesn’t happen accidentally. You build it one happy activity – and experience – at a time.
I’ve written before about happiness and joy. It’s a topic that’s important to me because I believe we all need to be intentional about bringing it into our lives. I’d love for you to check out Get Intentional About Bringing Joy Into Your Life, and Do You Need a Jolt of Joy in Your Life?
So what makes you happy? I’d love to hear your suggestions!
I’ve started keeping a gratitude journal. It reminds me to focus on the little joyous things that happen each day. And when I’m having a bad day, rereading entries lifts my spirits and reminds me of the many things I have to be thankful for. Those moments of solitude and reflection are also a source of joy. Below are some pretty notebooks to encourage you to start your own gratitude journal.