Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happiness Project - November

Happiness Project - November - Keep a Contented Heart - Attitude

One of the first things that Gretchen talks about for this month is that we need to laugh out loud. As she states in her book: laughter is more that just a pleasurable activity. It can boost immunity and lower blood pressures and cortisol levels. It increases your tolerance for pain, is a source of social bonding and helps to reduce conflicts and cushion social stress. These all sound like great reasons to get laughing. Look for things that don't just make you smile but make you laugh out loud. I am not a person who laughs a lot so this will take me some getting used to. How about you - are you someone who loves to laugh? 

Next thing to start doing this month is to use good manners. Now we all know this is something we should have been using our whole lives and all the time but sometimes we forget and just need a little reminding. Tolstoy wrote "Nothing, can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness". We can practice kindness each and every day by just remembering to practice good manners. Gretchen says she found it easier to feel happier and use good manners when she made the effort to say physically comfortable. For example dress warmly when it is cold outside, turn off the lights when you feel sleepy, take pain medicine as soon as the headache starts because it is much easier to behave pleasantly when you are not cold, tired or in pain. 

The third thing she tells us to do is to give positive reviews. This for me I think will be a little easier than some things that we have learned this year. I read a lot of books and I very seldom give bad reviews. I just don't feel right doing so. Now there are other ways I could apply this to my life. I think by telling employees at retail stores or restaurants thank you or to have a nice day could fall into giving positive reviews. I think everyone should practice this more often. Remember the movie Pollyanna she liked to play the glad game - no matter what happened she found a reason to be glad for it. I think we can all take her advice with this one. 

The last thing for this month that Gretchen suggests is to find an area of refuge. You can use this as your happy place. When you are feeling angry or sad think of a place that makes you happy. The place can be real or in your head. Just go where you are happy and feel calm. 

That is it for this month. We have one more month of learning then you can get started on own happiness project. 

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