Okay, so here’s a weird thing. It seems like I’ve been inundated recently with articles, books, emails, podcasts, quotes on my boxes of tea, etc., all on the subject of happiness.
As in, how we’re not as happy as we could be, and what things we should do so that we can be.
If I were into New-Agey stuff, I’d say, “Oh wow! The universe is sending me a message!”
But I’m not, so I just say, “Huh. That’s weird.”
Anyway, since I’m all about sharing (actually I’m not, but I’m told people who share are happy), here are some of the things I’ve learned:
According to the podcast I listened to (from TED talks), it all boils down to four practices we should be doing:
- Be Present — Keep your mind focused on what you’re doing and don’t let your attention wander, because too often our minds wander toward unpleasant thoughts and scary what-ifs.
- Slow Down, You Move Too Fast — We tend to carry our love for speed and efficiency into activities that should be pleasurable, such as dinner with the family, reading to our kids, time with friends.
- Simplify, Simplify, Simplify — You’ve heard this one before, right? No surprise here. It’s all about quality over quantity.
- Be Grateful — For everything. For every breath of air; for every moment.
And each of these points were repeated on just about everything else I saw. Weird, right?
Then a website I frequent had a post on “positive psychology,” which apparently is a thing. Did you know it was a thing? I didn’t know it was a thing.
It led me to a site called Authentic Happiness, where you can take questionnaires to find out your level of happiness. It tracks your scores, so if you’re trying to improve areas of your life, you can return to take it again and compare. Interesting… if you’re into that sort of thing.
But wait! Before you do that, you might want to consider what Mark Manson has to say on the subject. Which is basically, stop trying to be happy.
He thinks trying to be happy will ultimately make you unhappy. Kind of like how if you’re trying to be cool, you are oh-so-not.
If you want to read his article — and yes, I think it’s worth it — click here. But if you’re very sensitive to language, you might not want to read everything on his site. (He even wrote an article about his potty mouth.) However, if you subscribe to his site, you get a free 20-page report on how to change your life. Which might make you happy. Just sayin.
Finally, from my tea box:
Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
Oh — and here’s a song I heard while exercising!
So what do you think? Is the universe sending me/us a message?