“Getting to happy” is the theme of 2017. Every time I check social media or retro-media—the newspaper, another article about how to choose happiness or avoid negativity crops up in my scan for quick news bits.
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in saying good riddance to 2016. We had a lot of icky and odd home and car repairs. Stuff that NEVER happens but it all did last year. Then throw in the biggest mud-slinging election of all time and its no wonder my swims in the pool or spins on the bike are not cutting through the gloom.
The articles I found are all about choosing happiness. It is a choice. The more we look at the upside, the easier it gets and the happier we are, at least it works for me. I have a habit of keeping a daily grateful list, even the tiniest thing. “I slept through the night,” a big deal these days. Or “I got a parking spot during primo hours at Trader Joes.” Somehow documenting makes the day seem better.
Perhaps the good cancels out the bad parts like the time I stepped in dog dooh-dooh and didn’t realize it until three minutes in to my car ride, “My car smells TERRIBLE!”
I told my family I was so proud of myself because I didn’t cry or get mad. They thought that was funny. Three people were happy all at once, a stinky event that could have easily turned stinkier.
If you are like me, I can only do so much on my own and then I pick up an idea or article to enhance my ability to choose happiness. Below are a few standouts for me.
My favorite idea so far is a Danish practice called “Hygge,” as described in the January 1st, NYTs. The word literally means “cozy” and its taken Britain by storm. The Brits needed a shot of happiness after a rough summer. So it’s only a matter of time before the craze hits an equally glum United States. A book is expected in February! What timing!
I look forward to lying around in hand-knit socks by the fire, holding a wooden bowl of stew, surrounded by candles while watching a movie. It’s supposed to be a scary film but I cannot do it. My family teases me, “Mom! It’s not real!”
Buying happiness, this one always gets me. Basically it’s proof that spending money on someone else will bring you more happiness than spending it on yourself. Heck, you don’t even have to spend a dime: Donate an old coat to the underserved or volunteer at a park clean-up. I know a handful of people who bought warm blankets and dropped them off at homeless encampments.
Meaningfulness is better than happiness. This one is tough but it’s another way to help you appreciate the tough times and turn them into a positive. Raising kids is rough, rough, rough. But, my kids bring meaning and purpose to my life. My heart feels pretty full when everyone is home, except when they don’t do the dishes.
May you choose happiness this New Year.Share on Facebook