I believe that it’s important to understand that every day, to some extent, we can make a decision to be happy. Our emotional well being is something that needs to nurtured. At the same time, we also need to acknowledge the distractions in our life that can contribute to our unease or affect our mood in a negative manner. The digital age has brought us the internet, email, social media and smart phones. This constant “noise” can also contribute to a complete overload on our hearts and minds. The human psyche is not built to handle the weight of all of the busy and sometimes emotional information we are exposed to every single day.
This observation hit home yesterday in a very important discussion with my son. He is an unusual and introspective young preteen and has set some very lofty goals for himself. Yesterday he told me that his pension for digital technology is interfering with the focus he needs to attain those goals. He suggested that I help him by limiting the usage of that technology during the week and during the weekend. In conjunction with this statement was the overall feeling that he feels “happier” when he is outside or more active.
That conversation motivated our entire family to shut down the gadgets. We all agreed to start the day by getting chores, homework, additional studying and reading done. All five of us hit the ground running. At 3:30 some of us went on a frozen yogurt run and we then all kicked back in the living room and talked and laughed. After yogurt we pulled out a board game. We laughed some more, and at one point we had tears coming out of our eyes. We rediscovered each other, and learned that youngest child has the biggest sense of humor of us all! Afterwards, my three sons pulled out another game and played amongst themselves while mom finished a book and dad started working on a presentation.
The happiness in the house was palpable. We made life happen instead of having life happen to us. Sunday was the motivation for this post. How to get your “happy” back:
- Spend quality time with your family. Laugh!
- Go outside. Being cooped up indoors is exhausting to your body and mind. Go outside!
- Do yoga. Today I started my day doing yoga. It is an immediate mood booster!
- Focus on yourself and shut down social media. No comparisons to others today!
- Play music. Play it and smile!
- Set a goal today and accomplish it. No goal is too big or too small.
- Smile. Even if you don’t feel like it. Try it!
- Heal and be alone. Shut out the outside world for an hour and just breathe. Cut down the noise in your head and heart.
- Spend time with a good friend, preferably one that doesn’t suck the life out of your soul. Even close friends need a break sometime.
- Volunteer or give to others.
My informal ideas on how to get your “happy” back. As for me? We’ve agreed to shut down the gadgets during the week and to practice more mindfulness. I’ve promised my son to also practice what I preach and hence the yoga this morning, the blog post this afternoon and a stillness during my day. The aspects of our lives that make us most happy, that brings us the most joy, are the things that are intangible and cannot easily be taken away from us. Gratitude for the blessings we have and the love present in our lives is reason to smile.