10 HAPPINESS HACKS: BACKED BY SCIENCE

What makes you happy? Are there some skills one can learn to improve one's happiness? Perhaps so. What does one have to lose if experimenting with these 10 ideas? Here are some things that make me happy. 

For me, it is easy to be happy when things are going my way; when some intrusion occurs I can get unhappy, big time. Years ago I started writing a Gratitude Journal in which I acknowledged the things for which I am grateful. It didn't change the intrusion, but my day/week/life isn't ruined.  

Exercise, for me, is a walk around my garden looking for things that need to be done. I like to sit with a cup of coffee and prioritize what jobs I want to do now and what can be put on hold. That gets my mind off problems, big and small, and I have the joy of sweating with salt running into my eyes, resting with a cold wash rag wipe of my face, a cool glass of iced tea or homemade lemonade and enjoying whatever improvements I make. 

Naps provide great refreshment, even a very short one gets my body, mind and emotions a rest. I often don't have a second wind for taking on a big, sweaty job, but I am refreshed to imagine, explore, question. 

Family, friends both real and virtual, bring me tremendous joy. I seem to flourish best when doing things I enjoy with those who share my enthusiasm. Being totally involved in what I am doing makes time fly so fast I wonder where the hours went. I like seeing something accomplished and sharing it with others.  

Remembering past experiences gives me a boost. Thankfully, I travelled to 32 nations of the world comparing and contrasting women's lives. I no long can get very far away from a toilet, so remembering past adventures and people I met refreshes me. Adventures are kind of like getting firewood for the fire, it is the cutting down, chopping up, piling high and protecting from the elements that warms over and over again, in different tasks. That is what adventures are like to me, warming me over and over again. 

I love debate with people who know how to think critically. It sharpens my mind and envigorates my energy. I enjoy when one catches me in a fallacious thought as much as making sound arguments myself. I don't keep score, as when in formal debates, but I do come out of the exchange with clearer and sharper thinking. I took my doctoral training in a Roman Catholic, Gonzaga University, and my dissertation was the role of the church in maintaining and perpetuating family violence. The priests were profoundly critical, as you might imagine. I had to write and rewrite many papers and defend my points of view. One priest told me I had come closest to changing his thinking than anyone, even though he had it on higher authority that I was wrong. He invited me to lunch and gave me a copy of Mary Daly's "Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women's Liberation". 

Well, that is enough for now, it is almost 6 AM and I am headed to the garden to replace another soaker hose. What makes you happy? I'd love to learn more about you. 

Tags: debate, family, friends, gardening, gratitude, happiness, remembering

Views: 164

Replies to This Discussion

What I really cannot do without is time alone. After some careless hours, working hard or doing nothing at all I feel refreshes as after a holiday and I'm ready to face the world again.

A lovely list, Joan. As always, you express things so well.

For me, the main event of the day is exercise. It's my 3rd medication against depression (the other 2 are in pill form) and has replaced booze in my life.

I never feel as relaxed as when I'm with family and my habit of falling asleep when with them is a standing joke. I don't sleep because I'm tired but because I feel so much at ease.

People in general, here or those I can enjoy tea and a chat with.

Travel is something I've discovered later in life and is something I enjoy very much. Cable T.V. was the initial stimulation (Nat Geo, Discovery, Viasat history) and now, as my daughter puts it "if there's piles of old stones and baklava, Dad wants to go there".

The arts:  Punk rock and sci-fi, Beethoven and Shakespeare, Magritte and Turner, Rambo, Alien and Terminator, Stephen King, Terry Pratchett and James Joyce....the list could be endless, everything with its own charm and joy.

Perhaps it's a good thing to reflect over all this on a regular basis. It's a very "up-cheering" process :D

At the moment I'm also enjoying a live radio transmission from the Champ du Mars, Bastille Day. Lots of popular arias and other short pieces of music. Oh yes, and a cup of Turkish apple tea.

All the best to you.

Joan, this blog should have been inserted in the "big blog section". But, with your attachment and love of your garden, I can understand why it's here.

I can't even begin to enumerate the joys of my life. I must have close to a million! I've been up for an hour and a half, and have already counted 10 things that have made me happy. Just plain living is enough!

Ripe tomatoes.
Cats, books, good memories of my cherished grandparents during my childhood. Thinking about how much I love my kids, and just knowing them makes my life worth living.

Talking with people about similar interests makes me happy.

Getting off my derriere and accomplishing something good makes me happy, with gardening being the best something.  Gardening is the most enjoyable thing I do.  Even getting rid of weeds is enjoyable.  Watching things grow is very pleasing.  Watching bees do their thing is fascinating.  Watching the fruits & vegetables growing and ripening gives me some good eating to look forward to.

Several years back I heard a thought from an irascible old Irishman, and I haven't seen it proved wrong yet:

If you want to be happy for a day, have a few drinks.

If you want to be happy for a week, kill a pig and eat it.

If you want to be happy for a lifetime, plant a garden.

This is a fun string, enjoying your stories of things that make you happy. I get a nice warm feeling reading what each of you have to say. 

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