Are You Happy?

Happy quote

Though I can’t remember the author, my mother had a paperback book titled “Are You Happy?” that she read at least twice and readily shared with others… was a self help book that addressed ways to be happy, how to analyze your behavior patterns and improve upon them. Truth be known, Ginger was not always a happy person – of course nobody is happy all the time, but if you had to define her, she would be glass half empty. (Unlike my dad, who is completely the opposite, glass half full for sure.) I certainly believe that your outlook on life is in part genetic – and I thankfully got more of my dad’s outlook – but I also believe that with a desire to change and the willingness to put forth effort, it is in our control.

Sometimes it is the simplest everyday wisdom and common sense that can make a huge difference to your state of mind. Here I share some of my own:

– Do things that give you joy on a regular basis and don’t stop in tough times. When I went through my divorce, swing dancing was one thing that got me through…..
– Know that whatever bothers you, something about how you look, or an unconventional opinion, you are not alone – take it easy on yourself.
– Make choices daily and with confidence – a sense of control, however small can make you feel better; in my experience as a nurse with paralyzed patients, many were happy to choose where to be positioned in a room, what kind of juice to take with medications.
– Accept the things you cannot change – the serenity prayer is hanging in my office and something I refer to whenever the going gets tough.
– Be grateful for all you have today – it can change in a flash. Working in healthcare I see many sad situations knowing it could be me tomorrow.
– You don’t need to own everything to enjoy it – take pleasure in looking at someone else’s lush garden. Sit on the beach and watch the majesty of yachts/sailboats….maybe rent one for a day!
– Push yourself (and your significant other) to be active and try new things. It opens possibilities and connects you with people.
– Don’t waste energy worrying what others will think – do what you think is best and trust your gut; career choice, spouse choice, etc.
– Wear your good clothes everyday; don’t save things for special occasions! Everyday is special.
– Embrace change. Leave your comfort zone, try new foods, new vacation spots, new authors…do what seems scary! (might be scuba diving next for me…)
– Don’t let little annoyances get you down – stuck in traffic? Open the window and enjoy the air, call a friend, listen to the radio….

Are you a glass half empty or full person? Do think you can choose to be happy? Would love to hear your thoughts – simply click on “leave a comment” under the post title…..HAPPY St Patrick’s Day!

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  • Agree with everything you cited, especially that a person’s outlook may be inherited but you can un-learn that through good habits. Especially as we get older and life deals more setbacks or losses, it’s important to find ways to be positive and happy. I’ve heard the book “10% Happier” preaches meditation to get there (haven’t had a chance to read it yet). Thanks for a good post!

  • Definitely we have control over our thoughts, and paying attention to small pleasures throughout the day makes a big difference in our quality of life.

  • I adore your blog and as I get to know you, I adore you with your utter passion for living! Beautiful blog work. I look forward to following and sharing with others.

    Cheers dear Candy in health, Alithia

  • Such great advice, Candy. We clearly are daughters of two kindred spirits. I, too, believe happiness is a choice. You choose it every day to make the most of your life, just as you choose an outfit every day to make the most of yourself. There are no excuses for neglecting either one.

    Cheers, M-T


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