Welcome to #31daysofselfcare2018

What is it to be happy? A few years back I wrote “happy is something that you are.” I was thinking of happy as a state of being. Not something you achieve or can lose, but something that’s always there waiting for you to discover it anew. Happy is essential to health and overall feeling of well-being.

Look up “happy” on Pinterest, and you’ll find nearly as many examples and interpretations of happy as there are people creating boards! Google the term, and you’ll see synonyms for to express the same word and feeling. Contented, blissful, upbeat, laughing, and joyous are a few.

What makes us feel happy and how is it that we can lose that feeling? This morning I awakened happy, but a couple of hours later I revisited something that had happened the day before, and I felt that feeling go away. I changed up what I was doing and put my focus on something else. Soon I was back with my old friend “happy”. So happy is a choice?

That experience brought to mind the idea that “happy” is about not letting go of things we need to like old emotions, hurts, material things, memories and other things which no longer serve our higher purpose. All of these things leave shadows that lurk, waiting for just the right opportunity to sneak up and make their presence known.

What about attitudes and perceptions of ourselves. Is feeling happy a choice?

Louise Hay said, “I act as if I already have what I want – it’s an excellent way of attracting happiness.” Being happy is having what we want?

 

I like what the World Happiness Report has to say about “happy.” It was first published in 2012 and measures the happiness index in all countries. Norway was in first place this year. The United States didn’t place in the top 10. We can’t measure such things as joy, contentment, and honesty. However, the report bases its results on specific main factors: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income, and good governance. I think because we can choose to be happy and it’s an influenced choice, it should remain only a guideline, albeit, a valuable guideline.

There’s also the Happy Planet Index with some cool data, cool interactive maps, and a cool perspective on attaining a happy state. I’ll give you a clue. It has to do with attitude.

So many choices to pick from when defining what happy means. I would surmise then, that it is up to the individual to decide for themselves what it means. I still say happy is something you wear. It takes on different appearances depending on the circumstances, just like we change our clothes depending on our needs.

One thing I’ve learned for sure. No one can steal our ability to feel happy. No one can change how we feel unless we allow and initiate change.

  • Listen to your dreams. Pay attention to how they make you feel.
  • Let go of those things that don’t make you feel happy.
  • There are a time and place not to feel happy. Experience that time and place. Don’t stay there.
  • Not being happy serves no one. Not even ourselves.
  • Take care of yourself. Express your needs and don’t be embarrassed or ashamed you have them.
  • Other people can’t make us happy. We have to make that choice for ourselves.
  • Affirm those things in our life that make us happy. Chose those things.
  • Find a word or thought to be pulled to change the mood from negative to positive. Like “bubbles”!

World Happiness Day is Tuesday, March 20th.