Extracts from “Links to your Happiness”
Starting the Happy book
“What is it that makes you really happy?”
My friend thought for a few moments. “I really can’t think what it is that makes me happy. I have never given it much thought. Life was good and I never had time to stop and question my happiness. I was kept really busy with a husband, raising a family and working in the family business.”
At that moment, my friend was so overwhelmed by the pressure of events – and grief – she could not recall anything that made her happy. She’d had very little time for herself; rushing round, like a whirlwind, doing tasks for her husband and five children.
Not knowing what made her happy bothered my friend, so one morning after breakfast, she sat down at the kitchen table and began to list in an old school exercise book; all the things she did each day that made her happy. It didn’t have to be things that made her riotously ‘over-the-top’ happy – just simple things that made her feel good inside.
She made a habit of doing this whenever they came to mind – or at least every night, before going to bed. As she wrote, she noticed that her happiness seemed to increase at an exponential rate. The more she wrote; the happier she seemed to become! She called her little notebook, the ‘Happy book’. Being a naturally cheerful person, it wasn’t long before that exercise book was full, replaced in turn, by swag of other exercise books.
Reading back through the book, she’d completed; was an eye opener for her! It told her so much about herself and the things she liked doing. Whenever she had a “blue” or sad day – as we all do occasionally – this lady simply looked back through her Happy books and found some things she could do, to elevate her mood.
She says, “Keeping a Happy book is an interesting exercise and I recommend you try it. It becomes a valuable resource because – as well as gaining insights into your inner self – just reading about your happier times, when you’re feeling blue, can uplift your spirits.”
Imagine! Just reading about the happiness she’d recorded, in her Happy books – every day – elevated her mood and made her feel much happier!
After reading for a short while, she’d choose one activity from the book and enjoy doing that, to uplift her to a happier frame of mind. My friend had learned how to find happiness for herself. It worked for her!
We were convinced that our simple technique of recording their happiness could really help needy people find the keys to their inner happiness. We were also anxious to prove the Happy book could work for others in the community; besides our families and close friends.
The little books became very popular; so we produced a few more. It’s been interesting to stand back and watch how people handled them. At first, they enjoyed the vibrant colours and feel of the textured cover, before opening them and reading the front and back messages.
Many bought books for “someone they knew, who needed to cheer up” – never admitting they were for themselves! Hearing this comment, we’d suggest they buy two – one to give away and one for their own use. Often they were surprised at our suggestion!
Everyone wants to be happy
When we are happy, anything is possible. In our minds we feel capable of accomplishing anything that we set out to do. The world is ours to conquer. Profound happiness is within our grasp.
When we experience loss, failure, trauma and sadness, problems occur if we allow those unhappy feelings to continue and dictate how we live. Each person is in control of their own quota of happiness, as we alone control the thoughts we think. No one else puts thoughts into our minds.
Meditation can help cleanse our minds of inappropriate thoughts and focus us in more positive directions but happiness is a choice we must make for ourselves.
To be happy, we need to concentrate on positive thoughts; of joys and pleasurable experiences we have, as we tackle our daily tasks. These things are often so insignificant that we may not consciously acknowledge them; but they are extremely important to our happiness.
The big over-the-top dramatic events may bring a form of happiness; but it’s a fleeting thing, quickly dissipated, leaving only a deep void in its wake.
The speed, at which modern life is geared; may validate short bursts of happiness to some people but once that fleeting happiness has passed, it leaves a deep void that may easily lead to depression.
Acquiring material possessions: cars, boats, clothes, wealth, status – also brings us momentary happiness; but it disappears the minute they’re unpacked. The novelty factor evaporates quickly, just like steam escaping from a kettle’s spout.
It’s the little things we do and enjoy – especially with others – that brings lasting happiness, an innocent, childlike state of being.
Make a habit of simply recording your happy times – each day. This habit will help you develop strategies to escape those depressing ‘Blue days’.
Start a Happy Book today.
Acceptance of difficult situations is an important factor in finding solutions to them. There are lessons hidden in every unpleasant experience – buried treasure – waiting to be mined, to help stimulate our growth and move us forward.
Each one of us is responsible for our happiness. No one else can make us happy. We have to decide not to allow stress to dictate how we live, if we want to become happier. It helps if we develop personal strategies to achieve this goal.
Adopting a positive focus and deciding to be happy, is an easy way to achieve a happier existence. It’s very simple: if you want to be happy and less stressed; you can accomplish this, by changing old attitudes and letting go of the things that stress you.
As well as forgiveness, acceptance of challenging situations is critically important to overcoming the challenges that face you. Acceptance of past mistakes and misfortunes, will free you up; so you can move on towards a better future.
For some people, challenged by serious and incurable medical conditions, acceptance of their situation, allows them the ability to move forward and discover solutions for the problems that arise. Denial of their condition only holds back that forward momentum and denies them happiness.
Having acknowledged the challenging situation facing you, write something about it, to relieve your feelings of frustration. Get it all out of your system and then go and find your Happy book. To lighten your mood, read about what makes you happy. Choose a joyful activity from the list and do it.
Acknowledging your happy moments, by writing them down, can get you started along the path to a low stress, happier existence.
Can Happiness be bought?
In an article I read recently on the Internet; the writer implied that happiness was an add-on to a person’s life. He suggested that by focusing on yourself; doing a variety of cosmetic improvements, you could ‘get’ happiness.
I believe this writer has got it all wrong. Lasting happiness just doesn’t work that way.
The happiness you ‘get’ from doing cosmetic changes is usually a very shallow, self-centred, fleeting type of happiness and is quickly dissipated. While it is good that you care for yourself, you cannot just go and add a measure of happiness to your life with a cosmetic procedure.
Genuine happiness cannot be bought or acquired but must be generated from within you. This deeper feeling of happiness comes from sharing, and loving, and doing things for – or with – others: not from doing things for yourself. It comes from acknowledging the beauty in the natural world around us and being involved in some form of meaningful activity, or voluntary service to others.
Joy is priceless
Joy is a wonderful experience that for too long has been undervalued by today’s society. Yet it is important that we embrace the joys in our lives and celebrate them, by recording each one in our Happy Book.
When things go wrong; you are then able to look back and read about the good things and great joys you have experienced.
It has always made me feel better to do this exercise, whenever I’m having a bad day. I select something from the list and do that activity, to bring some more positive energy to my day.
Start the Happy book habit today and enjoy the benefits it will bring you.
Like Jung, we believe that synchronicity occurs when two unexpected occurrences collide, to bring people and opportunities together, just at a time when you need them most.
Some folk call this experience serendipity; but we believe there is a more powerful element than just chance at work. Once we take a step, in a particular direction – to which we are committed – things we need seem to target us from the universe.
It seems that the commitment to a single purpose, plays a large part in synchronicity. The right people seem to pop up out of nowhere just when you need them, or a job or other opportunity appears, at the most appropriate time. Happiness indeed!
These things come flying towards you; right out of the blue, when you least expect them. You cannot direct or organise these phenomena; they are part of the boundless inter-connections of the universe we share; and they arrive unexpectedly, at the most surprisingly appropriate time.