A little slice of heaven, a little bit of you by notsogoodphotography
Everybody knows that when you feel good it shows. We will smile, laugh and generally reflect a positive demeanor. When things are going well, that’s easy to do. But when times are tough, or problems abound, that smile is a bit harder to come by.
Happiness is more than just the absence of pain. It’s your overall satisfaction of life. Many of us have sacrificed something to have a more meaningful life. Sometimes we might drive an older car so we have money for charity. Or we might work at a job we dislike in order to have a good health plan. We may skimp on every day luxuries like a bigger TV or a new game system in order to save for our yearly vacation.
Though in the short term doing these things may make us unhappy, sad or even resentful, we do them because of the long-term reward. Though we may be stressed, overworked and tired while taking care of ailing mother or father, we do so because it brings them peace and brings us pleasure in giving. The act of caring for a loved one outweighs the pain and hardship that comes with the job.
Happiness is about learning, growing, improving and celebrating our joys day after day. It is about finding meaning in the things we do. And that doesn’t necessarily our work. It could be our coaching job for little league, our volunteer work with shelter animals, or even our weekly donations to the church.
Many of us define ourselves not by our jobs or even our careers, but by our actions. Are we kind? Do we donate our time, attention, skills and money to those who need our help? Do we forgive easily or laugh often? Do we encourage, lead, or inspire others to stay motivated to accomplish their dreams?
Peace comes from knowing ourselves and being proud of the person we are. Joy comes from delighting in all the moments of fun, laughter, pleasure and accomplishment, no matter how small. Serenity comes from knowing that we are doing our best, each day, and that even if we stumble or falter along the way, we are dedicated to staying the path to happiness and love.
Here are just a few of examples of everyday happiness:
- Hugging your spouse, child or pet.
- Completing a project such as cleaning your closets, a report for work, or our yearly check-up.
- Going through the day without a single complaint. (Well, we can dream, can’t we?)
- Making someone smile.
- Listening to soothing, relaxing music.
- Giving someone a shoulder to cry on or a friendly ear.
- Sharing a compliment.
- Making amends for a wrong.
- Speaking with love.
- Surprising someone with brownies.
- Letting go of anger.
- Being the first to forgive.
- Listening to the wind.
- Watching the stars.
- Secret kindness. (Isn’t this the best kind?)
- A steaming hot shower on a cold morning.
- The acrobatic tumbling of autumn leaves.