Sunday, March 25, 2012

Happiness is a state of mind

happiness-is-in-your-handsIf you are a regular reader of my blog, you know the “Goodlife Zen” is one of my favorite blogs. Yesterday’s Goodlife Zen article was titled, “How to feel happier in 7 days or less.” It is a quick read and yet the concept Mary Jaksch discusses might just work.

Happiness is defined as:
  • A state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy
  • A state of mind typically described as akin to pleasure, joy or enjoyment.
  • An active state of being, a choice, a state of mind, a goal, the end product of a fulfilling day.
  • On one level happiness is freedom from want and having the basic necessities of life. On another level, happiness consists of feelings of contentment, self-worth and well-being.
I especially like the last two definitions because I believe happiness is a choice. It also stems from a feeling of contentment and self-worth.

As those of us living with Kennedy’s Disease know, at times our self-esteem and self-worth can be challenged. When that happens, it is difficult to be ‘happy’ or ‘content’. So, I am always looking for ways to move beyond those feelings. In the blog article mentioned above, Mary asks you to do the following exercise for seven days.
  • Try completing this sentence each morning for seven days.

“To bring 5% more happiness to my life …”
  • What you write down is up to you.
  • Write what comes into your mind; don’t edit your thoughts. Don’t worry if you contradict yourself.
  • Write down at least six completions (answers) each time you use the technique.
I tried the exercise this morning and the results were interesting. I can see some benefits of using this exercise whenever you are feeling a little down or uncertain about what’s ahead. I like the ‘5%’ because you are not trying to change your world only trying to make it a little better. It causes you to focus on what would help change your current state of mind (attitude).

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