Taking notes by Jacob Bøtter
We all want to know how to be happier, more joyful and content in our lives. One way that works for me is by keeping track of my happiness. For me that means paying attention to those experiences and situations that make me feel happy, as well as those that don’t.
It’s true what they say; happiness is fleeting. It is also uplifting, energizing, thought-provoking and sometimes life-changing. Happiness is felt and experienced differently by different people. What works for others may not work for you.
That’s why using tools such as gratitude journals, humor files, joy lists, and inner reflection is so important to help you discover and understand what people, places, activities and events bring you delight, laughter, satisfaction and enjoyment.
By focusing on what makes you feel happy, you become more in tune with the people, places and things that bring joy and fun into your life. Instead of simply going out to dinner, you notice the atmosphere of the place, the taste of the food, and appreciate the fact that you don’t have to do any dishes when you get home.
Using a gratitude journal to note the best parts of your day will alert to happiness opportunities. This enables you to identify additional hobbies and interests that match your personality style. Maybe you love attending baseball games because of the skill of the players and the camaraderie of the fans. Another pleasurable idea for you might be to volunteer to coach your local little league and pass that enjoyment on to a new generation.
By uncovering what situations and lifestyles bring you the most energy and enthusiasm in your day you can begin to recognize and get rid of commitments and chores that consistently lower your level of pleasure. While you can’t get rid of all your unenjoyable activities like work, doing dishes or waiting in long lines, you can look for ways to make those annoying tasks more fun.
Instead of thinking about the book you could be reading while doing the dishes and laundry, maybe you could listen to an audio book on some headphones while you work. If you job is hectic, maybe you can take a walk around the building and get out in the sun during your breaks to help you clear your mind and refresh your body.
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