Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Blog by Roz Denny Fox


 

Happiness Is Attainable At Any Age

 

An insurance newsletter I get often has information I like to share. The latest has an article on finding happiness. Their sources came from articles posted in a May 2013 Scientific American, and a September 2013 Huffington Post Health Living.

Happiness was once considered an elusive quality. Now it is believed that anyone can increase their happiness regardless of age, health, wealth, gender, ethnicity, or education.

The article lists 9 areas anyone can choose to develop.

 

1.    Express Gratitude: Happy people appreciate and value what they have. They recommend starting each day with a gratitude list. Watch how day by day the list grows. Remember that sad thoughts make you sadder. Angry thoughts angrier. Being thankful leads to more reasons to feel grateful.

2.    Develop Optimism: You can cultivate optimism. Seeing a glass half full or half empty is a matter of perspective. Train your thoughts toward seeing your world as a source of endless wonder and opportunity.

3.    Stop Comparing Yourself To Others: Compare and despair. This is prevalent among writers. But comparing yourself to another person causes unhappiness. Either you feel better than other people, which creates separation from them. Or if you envy others it makes you feel bad about yourself. Think about the fact you compare yourself to others using conditions you know about your life, but only think you know about theirs.

4.    Practice Acts of Kindness: It’s scientifically proven that being kind increases serotonin level in the brain. It’s the feel-good hormone. Believe that you reap what you sow. In order to collect vibrations of joy, practice kindness. Smile at strangers. You will feel happier and so will they.

5.    Be Social: Studies show that people with relationships are happier than loners. Regardless of your marital status, you can develop close relationships with family members and friends that will bring you joy.

6.    Develop Coping Strategies: Know that everyone experiences challenges, loss, and life setbacks. Be aware, maybe even list what you will do and where you will turn when you hit a rough patch.

7.    Learn to Forgive: This is so important, but also know that forgiving doesn’t mean you let the person who harms you off the hook. It means you let you off the hook. Because harboring hurt and anger infringes on your happiness.

8.    Take Care of Your Body: This may be the biggest hurdle to overcome. It’s hard to be happy when you are in physical pain or discomfort. Since you have one body to last a lifetime, don’t ignore it, but nurture it. Treat your physical being with the reverence it deserves.

9.    Practice Spirituality: This is last but far from least. It’s great if organized religion works for you. If it doesn’t you still need to find your own path to tap into the divine, creative energy of the universe. Meditation calms the restless spirit. Being spiritual lets you transmit good thoughts out into the world.

 

Making the above nine suggestions an important addition to your daily life, will help your days, weeks, months and years blossom, and you’ll find yourself feeling happier.

 

 

 

25 comments:

  1. Hi, Roz! Sorry you couldn't just relax and enjoy your company, but I really did enjoy your blog. I think learning to forgive is among the most difficult things to do, but has the most thorough and lasting rewards. My mother always used to say that holding grudges was like slow poison. (Waving to your company!)

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    1. Muriel, Thanks so much for jogging my memory. I would have fallen through the cracks on getting a blog out.
      And your mother had some good advice.

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  2. Roz, thanks for the blog, it is an excellent reminder of what is important in life, and what isn't. Now if only we followed your advice, wouldn't the world be a better place. Although, I must say, I am blessed to know some wonderful people...like you. Now go and enjoy your company!

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    1. Rose, thanks for dropping by at this late hour. I keep hoping there are more optimists in the world than pessimists.

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  3. This is exactly what I needed to read right now, Roz. Thank you. I had to put down my beloved dog, Little Bit, a couple of weeks ago, am writing a book about- of all things- a woman's fight to save an animal with a deadline in two weeks, my computer crashed and tomorrow I leave to bring my daughter to her freshman year in college. I've been feeling so low and even my wonderful critique partner has pointed out how the writing is suffering for it... but I'm going to apply those steps and try to turn this down period in my life around!

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    1. Karen, I am so sorry on the loss of your beloved pet. And when on deadline it's really tough. But yikes on having your computer crash. I hope you can relax and work through one thing at a time.

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    2. Karen - your dog is playing with mine who've gone ahead, your daughter is leaving to become better, stronger, more like her mom, and every book has to be rewritten, so don't beat yourself up. Enjoy the drive with your daughter tomorrow, and your computer can be fixed when you get back. Little Bit will live with you forever and I'm sure loved being your pal. Win - win all around. (Don't you hate people who try to cheer you up when you're blue? But, you're always sunny, so it's hard to watch. We're all with you!

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    3. Roz this was fantastic and we all need to be reminded ( often sometimes) that kindness to others is more important than we may realize. There are times when the smile we give or the kindness we offer is the only nice thing that happens all day or even all week to the recipient!
      And Karen, I'm so very sorry about your dog . Pets are such a real part of our families!!! What a horrible week! I hope your trip with your daughter was very bonding and fun. I would be swallowing huge lumps of emotion!!!!

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  4. Roz, love this! I truly believe in that "act happy--be happy" trend in psychology right now. Luckily, I come from a family of optimists. We are the type of people who when faced with a flat tire in the rain in the dark of night say..."well, at least we had a spare." LOL. I think I may start one of those gratitude lists though, just to remind myself...

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    1. Carol, I love your flat tire story. And it's so true in many setbacks in life.

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  5. Roz, I agree with the comments others have left above. I love this post! I really did laugh out loud at Carol's comment about the flat tire. I have often wondered about the glass half full thing. My glass has quite often overflowed, and I am very grateful for it.

    I would like to share two additional thoughts. Just last week I heard a report on the news that researchers have found that people are happy if their expectations are exceeded. Whether it's going to a restaurant, seeing a movie, reading a book or getting an unexpected gift from your partner, if the experience is more than what you expected, according to the research, it will make you happy. It's almost self evident but--hey--researchers need things to do, too.

    Then there's my personal favorite (and in saying this, my heart goes out to Karen). It's been proven (thanks to those tireless researchers again!) that pets make people happier. Personally, I find it nearly impossible to look at our two dogs (waggly butts and all) and be in a bad mood. There's a reason for therapy dogs!

    Finally, if all else fails: read a Heartwarming book . . . or two!

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    1. Kate, thanks for stopping by. I hope our collective cyber hugs to Karen will help her through a tough patch.
      And I love the thoughts about exceeding our expectations when it comes to simple things.

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  6. This was a great post. I think all the things are important. My thoughts are with you, Karen--it sounds like a tough couple of weeks.

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    1. Liz, It's good we have the outlet of blogging to sometimes remind us on the little courtesies in life that lift us and others up.

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  7. Roz,
    I've always believed that happy people not only get more done but get more out of things.
    I'm a glass half full kind of gal married to a glass half empty kind of guy. I keep trying to pour some of my glass into his LOL Sometimes it works and sometimes I splash on my shoes.

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    1. Pam, you are so funny. Just keep trying.

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  8. Wise words, Roz. Thank you for sharing this. It's always good to remember that positivity will take you far. I'm like Pam, living with a house full of the glass is half empty thinkers. Sometimes it's easy to get caught in their negative spiral. This reminds me to soldier on and stay positive!!

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    1. Amy, it's true it can wear on you when there is negativity swirling around you. But I think you have to keep tossing out positive vibes and eventually they will win out.

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  9. Great list. When I get into "glass half empty" mode I often think about the movie Pollyanna and the Glad game. I loved that part of the movie. We can almost always find something positive when something negative happens, just like the flat tire incident mentioned above. When there was a mix-up and Pollyanna received crutches instead of a doll for Christmas from the missionary barrels (I believe that's what it was, because they were poor), her father said they could be glad they didn't have to use them! Loved that.

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    1. Laurie, I loved the Pollyanna books even though parts of them were sad. It's hard to stay upbeat all of the time. But generally it levels out. I hope it does anyway.

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  10. Roz, Thank you for this wonderful list. I've been working especially on the gratitude part, since it has come to my attention from other sources, too.

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    1. Linda, that is the key---to work on the attitude of gratitude. It's a good mantra.

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  11. Roz, your blogs are always such a treat! Every time you talk about something that makes me think "wow, YEAH" but it's never something I would've thought of on my own. Another great one today; thanks!

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  12. Love your list! I have to work on the gratitude part too, sometimes. Will be thinking about your post in the days to come!

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  13. Roz, this article is so right and timely for me! Thank you for sharing.

    I always said that anytime I thought my life couldn't get worse, God brought me into the path of someone who was struggling more than me. It was a hard learned lesson to let go of the comparisons and embrace my current circumstances. I am blessed. We all are.

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