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How To Be Happy: Creating A Joy List

July 31, 2010

Is happiness a result of success or does success come as a result of happiness? As long as I could remember I believed that my happiness was a direct result of how successful I was. Funny that I never realized that in trying to achieve the image that I held of what was success I was not only driving myself crazy, but I was putting aside what I wanted to do.

Studies have shown that people who are happy have better marriages, are more likely to get job interviews, and are healthier. A study done in 2001 suggested that happiness boosted the immune system. I guess laughter is the best medicine.

So if happiness isn’t due to success where does it come from? Is it an internal thing that we tap into or is it something that we can seek out? Is happiness as simple as reading a good book, talking to your best friend, or doing something that you enjoy? If this is so why aren’t more people happy? Is it that when we are happy we don’t recognize it? Are we so busy looking for something else that makes us happy that we don’t know it?  Most importantly when we are happy how do we hold onto it?

One suggestion is to create a list of joys. Think of what makes you happy. It could be moments in time, big things, or those small pleasures in life and write them down. Not sure of what to add to your list? Ask friends and family about what you are doing when they see you happy. Write it down. Keep the list handy. Post it on your fridge or some place you will see it. Keep a smaller list in your head for when you are down. Than recite your list to yourself. Use it to create happiness for yourself.

This is a practice that serves me well. When I’m stressed, down, or feeling depression coming on I create a moment or two for myself and tell myself things that makes me happy. I allow myself to explore those ideas until I can feel my mood change for the positive. So, what’s on my list that makes me happy?

  1. Making Bug laugh out loud.
  2. Planning trips
  3. Reading a book by my favorite author
  4. Spending time at a coffee shop
  5. Photography
  6. My WiiFit
  7. Long showers
  8. Crossing things off my to do list
  9. Finding new areas around where I live
  10. Jumping in waves at the beach
  11. Sleeping in
  12. Working on projects
  13. Blogging
  14. Family time
  15. The moment after I faced a fear or overcame something

These are a few things on my list. What would you put on your list of joys?

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