Play point 81: How easy is it to be happy?

21 February: Venue booked – Joint Venture event
February 24, 2017
Play point 82: Why is rehab like money management?
September 14, 2017

With all that is going on in the world today sometimes it’s hard to be completely overflowing with joy. I know that sometimes I feel quite overwhelmed, hearing about human abuse, animal abuse and environmental abuse. And I don’t even watch the news! It comes through on my Facebook feed or via the many emails I’m subscribed to, (ironically) with the intention of making the world a better place. I guess the only way to fix something is to first raise awareness of it and then, not dwell on it but rather find a solution.
Luckily my close friends share my values of making the world a better place and instead of just talking about something, actually do something. They research, hold events and yes, post on Facebook 🙂 We know how to pick each other up because we care for each other. We know that smiling, hugging and laughing is important for a healthy mind and body. In my Doctor’s office (yes I go occasionally, if only for my annual check-up), there is a great poster. It says that we should meditate for 20 minutes a day and if we don’t have time for that, then we need to meditate for an hour. I love it!
And years ago I saw Tim O’Toole, the founder of the Beechworth bakery franchises, speaking about how he was at a very low point in his life as a single Dad and called Lifeline Counselling. He was asked what was the worst time of the day, responding with about 6 PM when he was helping children with homework, trying to cook dinner and watching the news. The Lifeline counsellor advised him to turn off the news. He joked that occasionally he now turns on the news and nothing has changed. I think you get the point that there is always going to be negativity but there is always going to be positivity as well. It’s nature’s way for balance. So my answer to the question of how easy is it to be happy involves one or all of the following:
1. Start the day with some quiet time, calm breathing and / or exercise (gentle all rigorous as you prefer). Perhaps even say a mantra or two and examples of mine can be seen at post??
2. Think about the tasks for the day and imagine a positive result, including seeing yourself at the end of the day about to get into bed feeling content with the day’s activities.
3. Limit the amount of news that you see each day. I look at the ABC app once-a-day and occasionally the radio news, which is all I need to interact with others on current issues.
4. Make sure you complement someone (including yourself), smile and laugh by the time the day’s out. Basically “Connect!”
5. Do an activity that you enjoy just for the fun of it! This can be dancing around the kitchen while preparing dinner to your favourite three-minute song.
6. Keep a journal. I endeavour to write something that I’m grateful for and a lesson that I have learned for every day of the year. I started on January 1, 2016 and am still going. Admittedly I might be a few days behind but I always make sure I go back and complete the entries for that day. It reinforces those moments.
7. Learn to live with less stuff. I’ve said before that less stuff means less stress because you don’t have to do find it, fix it, insure it or feel obliged to replace it. And in the long run you will have more money, more freedom and more happiness!!

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