I’ve been putting off this post for two days now because I want my first one of 2017 to be special and I just didn’t know what to write about – nothing on my sticky note spoke to me. Nothing said this is how you should kick off your year. Then today I watched Happy and I knew exactly what to write about.
2017 is the year I get happy.
Happy is a documentary – one that my mom told me to watch ages ago. Have you noticed she recommends all the good stuff to me? It’s about – you guessed it – happiness; what makes us happy? What matters in life?
Throughout the documentary, there are interviews with people from all around the world; an old man in India, a debutante who was disfigured when she was run over by a truck, a tribe in Africa, some old ladies from a tiny Japanese community, and a man who lived on the Bayou. There are also interviews with psychologists, discussing the science of happiness. The moral of the story? It doesn’t matter how thin and beautiful and rich you are. None of that will bring you happiness.
What does bring happiness? Strong social circles, for one – in fact I remember being taught in a sociology class that isolation can be as bad for your health as smoking. Meditating on loving kindness and compassion was one of the best ways to cultivate happiness.
Flow brings happiness, too – when you get so caught up in what you’re doing that you’re completely lost in it. Sometimes this happens to me when I write; it can also happen to people when they cook, exercise, or even go to work.
Overall the best way to be happy is to practice. Practice gratitude; practice loving kindness and compassion. Practice having fun, and laughing… practice enjoying. Who knows – maybe one day it will just come naturally!
They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, but I’m going to try for 100. Today I started a new journal – one that is for only happy thoughts. Every day for the next 100 days I want to write about the things that I’m grateful for, and things that make me happy. I live so well – I have a wonderful family, great friends, a roof over my head and money for groceries. And even small things – eclectic coffee shops, a cozy sweater, a chance encounter with a cute boy – are reasons to be grateful. Those wow I’m lucky moments pass so quickly, and before you know it I’m back on autopilot, thinking about registration for classes, or what I’ll make for dinner, or that I really should call my dad.
So here’s to 100 days of focussing on the good stuff; 2017 is going to be one happy year.
wishing you all the happiness – L