Through a friend from our community, I was recently introduced to "The Happiness Project". It is a blog that recently became a book. The author is our friend's client. Recently, she spoke at B&N in DC about her book and stated the top 5 ways to make yourself happy. This was filmed and broadcast on Fox News here. I watched the video today and wrote down the Top 5 list for myself, to measure my own level of happiness against it.
5. Shed the clutter in your life: I recently blogged about how I am a hoarder and how I am working to give away stuff I don't need. One of my close friends e-mailed me in regards to that and said that not having clutter around was making her happier. I definitely agree. I like giving stuff to people if I feel it would be more useful to them than to myself. Today, I gave a friend some tablecloths that would fit her table better than ours. She was happy to have them and they will get to be used again, instead of crammed in our buffet cabinet.
4. Be a good and reliable friend: I also recently blogged about this. I realize that I am not perfect about always staying in touch with people and something today made me realize that I am missing out on things in that respect. I sometimes focus all my energy on one set of friends and then get to the others when I have time. I should be more attentive to my friends no matter how much I see or hear from them. In the long run, my friends know I love and care about them and they know where to find me if they want to catch up. The friendship still works both ways. I'm doing the best I can, given how many balls I have in the air.
3. Learn something new: Knitting. Enough said! :) Oddly enough, a friend e-mailed me today to ask if I could teach her how to knit. I was honest about my knitting experience, or lack of, and pointed her in the right direction.
2. Get more sleep and exercise: As Elle Woods says: "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy." I have gotten back to exercising this year. I've blogged about it a few times too. This week hasn't been as good for me on an exercising standpoint. I'm off my routine. However, I have been able to sleep in this week, thanks to my older son's inability to tell time (5 minutes stretches into 20 every time he asks). I plan to get back into my exercise routine when life gets back to normal again (in regards to the snow situation here). I did trudge through a thick tundra of snow the other day while carrying my younger son. That was a major workout! I also realize that I don't go to bed all that early. I need to get back into that routine. Knowing I can sleep in this week has caused me to stay up even later than normal. Every night feels like Saturday night!
1. Make your bed: I don't do this at all. It looks cozier when it's all unmade. I don't know why. I've NEVER been good about making my bed. My mom is probably reading this right now and laughing about it. When we have a cleaning service, they make the bed and it looks pretty, but more "model home" like. The other concept I thought of was "You made your bed, now lie in it." It could be coined as a phrase similar to "you dug your own grave" or anything that is a metaphor about making a mess for yourself and having to deal with it. However, it could be twisted in a good way...as in you created your own path or set your own life standards. I "made my bed" to be enjoyable and fun and now I want to participate in that fun and enjoyment. I'm not trying to sound cheesy. I think life is whatever you make of it. This applies to all individuals. There's a thing called "self-fulfilling prophecy," that could definitely apply to the concept of making your bed and lying in it.
Overall, I think I'm generally happy. I have my mood swings, but I can't complain overall. I am thankful for many things in my life and feel that I am finally in a good place overall. I have my own list of ways one can make themselves happy. While the list above makes complete sense, I have to wonder if these five concepts are anywhere on her list, as well:
5. Have something to look forward to, even if it's as simple as your favorite TV show coming on.
4. Laugh whenever possible. Find the humor in unlikely situations.
3. Eat lots of chocolate. (Okay, I'm biased here, but chocolate always makes me happy on the simplest of levels.)
2. Treat yourself to things, even if it doesn't cost anything (such as a bubble bath).
1. Love yourself. (Or at least like yourself enough to not be your own worst enemy and get to a point where you'll love yourself eventually.) No need to be conceited though.
This list was just the top 5 things that popped into my head and I feel they do matter on the path toward happiness.
So, as the Partridge Family says: "C'mon, get happy!"