Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling the strain of all that is going on about us in the world today -- new government administration, lost jobs, stock market causing havoc with everyone’s retirement -- and just life in general.

I am normally a very upbeat person – confident, happy, looking to make someone smile, if only for a minute; and I am getting darn tired of letting myself be negatively impacted by all the “bad” things happening around me.

I found this article and ripped it out of a magazine at the doctor’s office (YES, I did that—it was THAT important to me to share it with more than just a few people). I hope it can help you as it helped me.


LAUGH. This simple act releases endorphins and makes you feel good. Laughing also invites laughter from other people – a social connection that will boost your mood, too.

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS. People who concentrate on what they genuinely have to feel happy about are – surprise! – happier than those who dwell on the negatives. If you’re in a bad funk, you might have to start with “I’m grateful I have legs.” Before too long, you’ll see how much you really have going for you.

SAY THANK YOU. Expressing gratitude ratchets up the happiness quotient even more. In one study, research subjects wrote a thank you letter to someone who had helped them in a significant way. Their happiness levels shot up immediately afterward and, amazingly, remained higher than normal for a month.

PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS. One measure of happiness is the ability to become absorbed by a task, and we’re most absorbed by new activities that we’re naturally good at. If your strength is social connection, find a hobby that allows you to interact meaningfully with other people. If your strength is self-expression, consider starting a blog or taking an art class.

DO GOOD. In study after study, any form of generosity – simple acts of kindness, donations or volunteer work – raised happiness levels.

Feel happier today, despite what’s going on around you. It’s what is INSIDE you that makes the difference!

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