Monday, June 16, 2014

Motivational Monday & PoP Midway Reminder: Happiness

If you are new to my blog and would like to know why I started Motivational Monday, please go HERE.
 
Hello and a very happy Monday to you all.  It is time to share this month's Motivational Monday passage.  I have also included this reflection as part of the midway post over on my Path of Positivity challenge blog where the theme this month is HAPPINESS.  So, if you are in the habit of checking in over there as well, you'll be able to skip the top half of that post.  On with today's thoughts...  
 

"Clap along if you know what happiness is to you"

What makes you happy?  Do you have it figured out or is it something that shifts with the times?  Or, is happiness still one of those elusive feelings for you?  There is a catchy tune out on the airwaves right now called "Happy" by Pharell Williams.  It keeps getting stuck in my head and rightly so.  The song just makes me happy!  This song makes me want to snap my fingers and sway to the music.  Wouldn't it be great if you could just snap your fingers and instantly be happy?  For some individuals, being happy doesn't come easy.  Whether it is the by product of mental illness or just having to live through difficult times in general, there are many people who aren't happy in their lives.  Now while the pursuit of happiness can be a difficult journey, there are things that you can do right now to feel happier. 

Raise Your Activity Level

Most of us hate it but studies have proven that exercise has a remarkable effect on our happiness and can indeed help to lift the effects of depression (to read more about one study in particular, click HERE).  However, you don't have to be depressed to benefit from exercise.  The fact alone that it can help one to de-stress and relax are definite steps to feeling happier.  So get up right now and move a little bit. Actually, there are many simple exercises you can do right at your desk, if you are unable to get up.  A little activity goes a long way and helps you to focus on your body and get out of your head allowing you to re-centre yourself and bring on the good cheer.  So, it is time to get those muscles moving.  How about doing your happy dance?  That is sure to do the trick!

Smile

Put a big old grin on your face and within moments you'll feel happier.  If you aren't in the mood for smiling right now, then it is even more important that you do so.  The physical act of smiling can cause Serotonin levels in your brain to increase.  The chemical Serotonin is responsible for helping to increase our mood and also help to improve our quality of sleep.  Of course, it is even more important to back up that smile with some positive thoughts.  For example, think about a happy memory or about an upcoming event that is sure to bring a smile to your face.  Get those facial muscles moving and help create a happy dance in your brain.

Practice the Art of Gratitude

I've talked about how important being thankful is in past posts but did you know that practising gratitude can help make you happier and healthier?  The key is to express how thankful you are as often as you are able to in as many ways that you can think of.  Simple ways can include keeping a journal listing things that you are grateful for each day, sharing these items with someone special, saying thank you every opportunity you get.  These are just a few ideas to start.  The key is to find a way that works for you.  While it is a simple strategy, it is an effective one.  There was a study that showed people who made note of the things that they were grateful for on a daily basis, were much happier after doing this simple activity.  The results of another study indicated that writing thank you letters increased the happiness and life satisfaction levels of the participants while simultaneously decreasing symptoms of depression.  So, if you want to be happier, improve your relationships with others, and feel better all around, start being more grateful.  You'll be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Think of Someone You Love

An almost instant way to feel happier is to think about someone you love.  Revel in the memories that you have created with this person or fantasize about ones yet to come and you are sure to get a boost of happy chemicals swimming through your brain.  

Spend Time with Family and Friends

An even better way to feel happy is to actually find more time to be with those you love. Social time with family and friends is very important for helping to improve our happiness, even for introverts like myself.  Many studies have shown that the time we spend with friends and family makes a huge difference to how happy we feel in general.  The biggest regrets that people have when facing the end of their life is that they did not spend as much time as they should have with their loved ones.  Don't be one of those people.  Reach out and connect to someone you love today.

Reach Out a Helping Hand

Did you know, that according to research, spending just 100 hours per year (or merely two hours a week) helping or giving to others can greatly enrich our lives?  Whether it is spending money or time on someone other than ourselves, giving benefits the happy centres of our brains.  Even reaching out and helping someone work through a problem or offering them a solution to a current predicament can make us feel better.  Making someone else happy can make yourself happy; so be sure to put helping others on the top of your list, if happiness is your goal.


Of course there are tons more ideas for you to try to boost your happiness in life.  These are just a few simple ones to get you started.  For even more ideas you can check out the references listed below or for some really quick ideas check out, "45 Things You Can Do to Get Happy No Matter Where You Are" by clicking HERE.  Then, if you are willing to spend a little bit more effort on achieving your goal of happiness, be sure to check out, "20 Hard Things You Need to Do to Be Happy" by clicking HERE.  Once you figure you out the right combination of activities that can help you to be a happier individual, I hope to see you right there next to me, clapping along to the Happy song!

References:
Author Unknown. (2013). 10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Be Happier. Available: http://www.psychicsuniverse.com/gallery/mind-body/mind/meditation/10-things-you-can-do-right-now-be. Last accessed 14th June 2014.
Barker, Eric . (2014). Happy Thoughts: Here Are the Things Proven To Make You Happier. Available: http://time.com/49947/happy-thoughts-here-are-the-things-proven-to-make-you-happier/. Last accessed 14th June 2014.
Cooper, Belle Beth . (2013). 10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science. Available: http://blog.bufferapp.com/10-scientifically-proven-ways-to-make-yourself-happier. Last accessed 14th June 2014.
Rubin, Gretchen . (2014). 9 Things You Can Do to Be Happy in the Next 30 Minutes. Available: http://www.realsimple.com/health/mind-mood/emotional-health/things-can-happy-next-minutes-10000001809876/index.html. Last accessed 14th June 2014.
__________________________________________________________________________________
Next up, that brings me to a couple of freebies.  The first was offered up at the challenge start and the second was just offered up today for the midway...
 
© 2013
 Font Information:

 © 2014
Font Information: 
Please be sure to click on the images to bring them up into the lightbox in their proper size before saving them.  Click on the font name to take you to a download location.  These fonts were listed as free for commercial use at the time this project was made, and as such, it is my understanding, that I am within my rights to use these fonts in my creations and offer them to others.  Please refer to my full terms of service for what you can and cannot do with this digital creation.

You will notice that the sentiments may appear huge depending on what software program you download it into.  You can always reduce the size without distorting the overall look.
 
Credit Notes For This Creation:
© Lisa L. Décosse. PUO. However, you are allowed to use the sentiments on handmade projects that you intend to sell on a small scale basis provided credit is given. You also need to include a credit note and a link to this blog should you use any of my images in your creations and post them on your blog. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with my full terms of use found in the 'Download Instructions & T.O.U.' tab at the top of this page. Of important note:  Please do not share my images with family, friends, etc. Additionally, do not post any images to file sharing services like Box®, 4-Shared®, etc. Instead, please direct people to my blog(s) so they can grab the image for themselves. If you would like to post a watermarked version of the image, please contact me to obtain one.

_______________________________________________________________
I invite you to go and check out, not only, the wonderful creations some members of my Design Team had the opportunity to create over on the Path of Positivity (click HERE for the midway) but also some of the great entries into this month's challenge (click HERE for the challenge).  I also invite you to come over and enter a project yourself, if you haven't already.  Everyone could use a little extra happiness in their lives.  Why not create a card that helps to deliver some to someone special in your life.
 
Well, that is it for today!  Have a great week ahead everyone!
 
Until next time,
 
 
 
 
 

4 comments:

Maryann Laursen said...

Thanks sooo much for the sentiment Lisa, I´m sure we can all use that now and then, and I wish I had more time to create more, as I really love the idea you have with the Path of positivity, it´s soooo nice and I love to watcch the beautiful work there always.

Donna Ellis said...

Hi, Lisa - I have missed visiting your blog, and am so grateful to begin today with this very insightful list of what happiness is. I think many people do not understanding that happiness does, indeed, come from within - whether it be attitude, or adjusting the chemicals in our bodies with activities and a "gratitude" adjustment. Always, there is something for which to be grateful, and which can bring us up and out of any slump.

I enjoyed reading everything - but especially the quote of the 3 grand essentials - "something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for". I would love that as a sentiment in that font - it's fabulous.

My husband is so sweet and says he is touched by the way I produce my own happiness during my hardships, especially when the pain level is thru the roof. But I am touched by his generosity to share life with me - as I am with you and other cyber friends who give willingly of themselves.

Thanks again, Lisa, for sharing this, and your artwork on the previous days.

hugs a plenty,
de

Lisa M said...

Thank you again for the best sentiments. I even downloaded the fonts..love that Sofia one :) Great post Lisa. Exercising certainly does improve one's sanity; at least mine anyway.
Thank you again!

Vicky F. AKA Crafting Vicky said...

awesome freebies for us!!! I also love your ideas for happiness! They are really great and so true!!!