The Attitude of Happiness works hand-in-hand with the Attitude of Gratitude. When you are grateful for your life, you just can’t help but feel happy as well. Isn’t that what you want to experience more of in your life – more happiness? I have never met anyone that would turn down more of that and I’ll bet you wouldn’t either.
The way to get into this Attitude of Happiness is simply choosing to focus on what makes you happy and then doing the things that make you happy. Life all too often gets full of work and family obligations. We get so busy with “To do” lists and “honey-do” lists and with feelings of “Have to” and “Got to”. What about your “want to” list and better yet, your “I’d love to” list?
To help you remember what you love to do and what really makes you happy, I going to recommend a journaling exercise to you. It is like the Gratitude List but this is going to be your Happy List. You can call it your “Things that Make Me Happy” List.
Spend some time over the next few days or weeks coming up with a list of 25 things that make you happy. Find 25 things that bring a big, bright smile to your face when you see them, that make you feel really good when you do them and that you would do all day long if you were left alone to do whatever you wanted.
Things on my list that make me happy are:
- Playing guitar and listening to new music
- Watching movies
- Doing yoga
- Playing volleyball
- Walking on the beach
- Watching the waves
- Eating out in restaurants
- Creating new programs and materials
- Connecting with people
- Laughing and making people laugh
- Holding hands
- And eating mangos make me happy.
What’s on your list? What makes you happy? What makes you truly happy and simply happy?
And after you have written these things down, schedule time in your calendar to do some of these things on a regular basis. Do something that makes you happy every day of your life. Some of the bigger things you might not be able to get to every day or every week. But some of the little things you do everyday. I am blessed to live very close to the beach and I am so grateful that I can walk on sand, watching the waves every morning. I love that and it makes me so happy to start my days that way. Do your best to make the things that make you happy a priority in your life.
Putting the important things that matter to you most in your life as your top priority should be what everything else in your schedule gets worked around. But most people do it backwards. They start with the little things. They think the errands and the non-urgent “to do’s” need to get done first. Only when those get done, will they get to the things like relaxing themselves and enjoying quality time with loved ones.
But Someday never comes, right? Your schedule fills up and there is no time left at the end of the day for the things that really matter to you. No time left at the end of the week, no time left at the end of the month, no time left at the end of the year and no time left at the end of your life…for the things that really matter to you.
Only you are responsible for your own happiness. No one else can make you happy and no one else can make time for you to do the things that make you happy. You need to do this for yourself. And everyone around you will benefit. They will feel the effect because happy people are just plain and simple happier to be around. It is just like how health creates more health around you – happiness creates more happiness around you as well. So do whatever you can to make yourself and your happiness a priority in a new way today.
Stephen Levine has written an amazingly powerful book called A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last and it is about an experiment he and his wife did. On one New Year’s Eve years ago, he and his wife decided to live the next year of their lives as if it was their last. As if they had been given a terminal diagnosis that gave them only, and exactly, one year to live.
What would you do if you were given a diagnosis like this and you only had a short time left before you died? Would you quit your job? Would you take the trips you had always put off? Would you write that book you always wanted to write? Would you watch more sunsets?
What are your roses that you would stop to smell more often than you do right now?
Stephen Levine’s book explores the paradox that it is by learning how to die that we really finally learn how to live. It is about discovering what it is that makes you come alive and figuring out how to live happy. By going through “A Year to Live” many people realize that the way they want to spend the time that they have left is very simple: they want to love more and they want to serve more.
So spend some time today making your “Things that Make Me Happy” List and then start doing them today!
*Exerpted from the Being Well Lifestyles Home Study Course by Dr. Jay Warren.
Drawing on over two decades of experience as a hands-on holistic practitioner, Dr. Jay Warren is a primary healthcare provider and licensed chiropractor in the San Diego area. He has spent tens of thousands of clinical hours helping his patients achieve their optimal health potential through holistic approaches bolstered by years of personal experimentation, education and research. Dr. Jay creates customized plans integrating exercise, nutrition and stress management strategies to overcome a myriad of health challenges. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.DrJayWarren.com.