You’ve made resolutions to improve and already you’ve broken some of them. I get it: it’s hard to keep resolutions at the best of times, never mind during a pandemic. It’s worse if you were hoping those resolutions were what you were going to get you through the rest of the pandemic. You may feel adrift.
Fortunately help is at hand. Here is a good article that will provide you with some gentle resolutions and how you can keep them: I teach a course on happiness at Yale: this is how to make the most of your resolutions | Health & wellbeing | The Guardian.
In a nutshell, be more compassionate with yourself. By doing that, over time you may find you build up enough inner resources to go back and tackle those failed resolutions. Did I say failed? I meant, paused resolutions. 🙂
(Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash)
It’s Christmastime: expectations can be high, and sometimes unachievable. This is especially true during this pandemic. If you are struggling to feel good during this time, here are two articles that can help:
Learn How to Appreciate What You Already Have
How to Be Happy.
Are you having fun? That’s a question often asked of us as kids. Then we get older and get more responsibilities and that question dies off. You might only hear yourself saying: I am not having fun.
That’s a great loss. Our lives are enriched by fun. If you can’t even imagine fun anymore, here are too good pieces for your serious self to read:
I really recommend you read them and challenge yourself to make time to have fun. Remember make your own fun. For some people it is being goofy, other people it’s making something, and still others find fun in doing things no one else would consider “fun”. Never mind. Find your fun wherever you can and cherish it.
(Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash)
That sounds like a ridiculous idea, but if you read this piece, you might find yourself thinking along the same lines: A Lazy Person’s Guide to Happiness.
It’s hard to be happy in a bad environment. I think most people can agree with that. It’s possible, but there is a significant mental effort to achieve it.
It’s also possible to be unhappy in a good environment. Again, it takes mental effort to achieve.
Given that, the more you can design your environment to be one you are happy in, the happier you will be. Simple when you think about it. Simple, but not often easy.
Perhaps a good task is to list all the places and people and other things in your life where you have been happy. That’s list A. Now come up with list Z, with all the things where you have been unhappy. Finally take list A and Z and come up with a plan to add more of the items on list A in your list and less of the items on list Z. But before you do, rate your happiness on a scale of 1-100. After your follow through on the plan, rate it again. Congratulations, you have engineered your own happiness. Keep it up.
(Image via David Siglin)
I know, everyone says you can’t buy happiness. I think this piece does a good job of showing how money can enable you to find happiness. Now you don’t need money for this, but money helps.
What does the article say you should do?
- Buy experiences
- Make it a treat
- Buy time
- Pay now, consume later
- Invest in others
- Make it a treat
If you read the piece, you’ll get a taste of what they are getting at: Shopping for Happiness – Put A Number On It!
Of course, you can have lots happy moments without spending any money, and lots more spending a fraction of what some people spend. Perhaps the real goal is to find as many ways as you can to be happy, and aim for those with the least amount of spending.
Regardless of what you do, aim to be happy and pursue it.
Can be found here:
- BBC – Future – Why the quickest route to happiness may be to do nothing
- Daniel Kahneman explains why most people don’t want to be happy — Quartz
Basically, happiness is an elusive and not well defined idea and we are better off seeking things other than happiness. It is great to be happy, but it may not be great to try and be happy. Feel free to read and disagree.
Here’s the curve (X is age, Y is a measure of one’s happiness)
As you can see, it is lowest for people in their 40s, then starts to improve past that point. To understand more about that and why you need to hang in there if you are in your 40s, read this: The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis in The Atlantic.
Two additional comments:
1) If you are in your 30s, you can expect this to happen, so take stock and think about ways to prepare for it.
2) Obviously this is a large generalization. Still, there is much merit in it, I believe.
The actual title of the blog post that I am commenting on is 60 Things to Be Grateful For In Life at the site tinybuddha.com. However, the word “grateful” implies you are grateful towards someone or something. I prefer the word “appreciate”, not only because it does away with that relationship, but it has connotations of “growth” and “value”. Appreciating your sense of sight implies not only do you value your ability to see the beauty in the world, but also you are growing your ability to see the beauty in the world. I like that better.
Regardless of whether you are grateful, appreciative, or both, check out the list. It’s a good one.
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Tagged advice, happy, life, lists