If You Wanna Be Happy….

I got a version of this in our monthly staff newsletter attached to my paystub today.  Talk about timing, and resonating.  So I thought I would share, and add as appropriate.

1 Practice PMA  Positive Mental Attitude. My daughter volunteers with an awesome Catholic Youth Ministry organization called New Spirit, Inc. helping to run group retreats for older middle schoolers and teens. Her life has been profoundly, positively impacted by this wonderful, wonderful group of caring people.  They talked the other night about the importance of a good attitude. It was suggested that people write down all the negative stuff they are experiencing on one paper, then all the positive things on another. Then literally crumple up the negative sheet and throw it away.I thought this was a great way to help maintain a positive focus as well as a reminder to be grateful for all the good things in our lives. Minimize negativity by spending time with people who make you happy, and doing things that make you happy – even if its only for 15 or 20 minutes a day. If you have things to look forward to, then I think you’re less likely to spend time focusing on the bad. This is gonna sound really hokey but BE Pollyanna and play the Glad Game if you need to. It will definitely reboot your “computer” to a more positive setting.

Image via Wikipedia

2. Practice Mindfulness:  Be in the moment, Don’t spend time worrying about your doctor appointment tomorrow, while you are having dinner with your family. By focusing on the here and now you allow yourself to enjoy the moment, the company, the conversation etc. Its a zen thing, and it works.

3. Laugh out Loud:  Just anticipating a happy, funny event can raise endorphin levels and lower production of stress hormones. Laughter is the best medicine!

4. Sing a Long:  Music can soothe more than a savage beast. Music activates parts of the brain that produce happiness (endorphins) – the same parts activated by food or sexual activity. Music is also relaxing.

5. Get some Sleep:  Americans are a nation of sleep-deprived citizens.  Taking a nap or going to bed at 8pm one night with a good book – then turning out the lights by 9pm – can do more for your mood and your outlook than any number of bubble baths or massages. I’m still debating about the glass or two of wine though … 😉

6. Breathe:  We tend to tense up and hold our breath when the stress is on.  Taking slow even breaths and counting to 10 (or higher) is a good way to consciously signal  ourselves to slow down. We also make better decisions when we are calmer. So if you feel yourself clenching your jaw and tensing up – start your breathing. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Ahh, better already, right?

7.  Get out and Walk:  Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and release those endorphins.  Even a short walk every day has tremendous benefits -both physical and psychological

8. All things in Moderation:  Don’t overindulge. Keep your alcohol intake down, don’t eat or drink too much.  Also, eat and drink slowly to allow your brain enough time to figure out your stomach is full.

9. Control, or lack thereof:  Some things are not in our control, what we can control are our responses. You can choose your reaction to any situation. No one can “make” you mad.  You choose that for yourself.  Learn to recognize and acknowledge that we cannot always solve a problem. Ask for help if you need to. Its OK – really.

10. Seek Professional Help: if your sadness or depression lasts more than a few weeks talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. And its not you  –  its your brain.  Nobody deserves to be unhappy, stressed or angry all the time. You’re worth it, so please seek help if you need it.

Sending Love and Hugs to All!


8 thoughts on “If You Wanna Be Happy….

  1. Pingback: Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That! « My Magnificent Mess

  2. Pollyanna by Disney! Our local theatre, which does a lot of family-children friendly productions is doing a stage version of Pollyanna in a couple of weeks. So, now I can see the video version (my wife said that Haely Mills was the child star, to which I said, “Huh?”).

    I’m working on my Sunshine Award blog, but will not post it for a week or so… I have other posts line up in the cue.

    • Awesome!! I rarely have time to have more than one post in draft status at a time. I usually write off the cuff and just post. Time mgt is apparently not one of my biggest strengths… Ttyl!!!

    • Yep 9 is the one I have the most trouble with too…. Sadly, naively even I do like to be in control of my life as much as possible. And I find myself saying, far too often- “Assholes do vex me!”. I gotta learn more about holding folding walking away and running…. Lol

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