Can Being Grateful & Happy Be A Way Of Life?
I recently heard a Ted Talk about “Happiness” thanks to my husband who told me I had to listen to it. He said I would love it. So Friday morning on my day off while I should have been cleaning the house I ended up parked at my island in my kitchen taking notes because it was THAT GOOD! At the end of this post I will give some more info to the Ted talk and some links they mentioned.
If you have not heard the knew song by Pharrell Williams, go to YouTube and watch the video. It is awesome and has been our new theme song to start the day. The song is much more than just a theme song to wake up my kids, but a theme song for our life.
Happiness, we all want it right? But how do we live our life with true happiness?
We live in a culture that is on high speed, moving from one thing to the next. I was guilty of this for many years. As I reflect on my own life and speaking more of my “Truth” I know that living on fast forward has caused some damage that I am now trying to fix. I also know that as I have simplified and slowed down over the past eight months my life has never felt happier and content.
What if we in our own lives begin to slow down? Not follow the high pace life that our culture has set forth? What if we forget the fast life and rather focus on the good life?
I used to dream of taking my business nationwide, having hundreds of employees and really being super mom all while doing this task. (Hear me laughing now?) I realized as my health started to spin out of control, my heart begin to speed at every phone call coming from work, that this dream of having it all was really taking a tole on my overall well being. So last year I made the decision to downsize, not only work but commitments as well. Let me tell you… I have not looked back and regretted that decision at all! I began to really live… really experience my life and with that came truly living in the moment, which has given me such a happiness I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Why is it so hard to slow down?
Speed is fun, speed is sexy and thrilling, and who would want to step away from that? Slowing down could be perceived as laziness or being a slacker and no one wants that right? However speed could be allowing you to lock your real self away from others, your hurts or pains are ignored because you move at the speed of light to forget what is wrong with your life. So what if you then choose to “Live your life, rather than race through it?”
What if in fact when you slow down, you actually accomplish more than you ever thought was possible. When you slowed down you actually change the negative situations you may find yourself in and really begin to choose a different path?
Simplicity maybe that is happiness?
What if too much stuff is making us unhappy? When you have kids it is a hard lesson to teach. They want the newest video game and then their life will be perfect, right? No not really… we know this right? Or do we? Stuff will never make us happy, stuff will give us a quick sense of happiness at first but then many times we continue on to get bigger and better things. If you have traveled to a third world country what do you find? For those of you who have traveled you may have seen people with no shoes, people living in homes the size of a large closet. Something else you will see is happiness. Why, when they are living in such poverty they still find happiness? It is because just being alive is happiness and people are grateful for just that, life itself. When you have to clean your house again, why not make things easier… less stuff=less cleaning which = more time with the family. (This one is making do a good purge in our house… four kids stuff adds up a lot!) Maybe we should be asking ourselves will this thing I want or this thing I want to do… will it give me more freedom or more time to enjoy life?
How can we find a method to live gratefully?
Let’s think about it, our species is so resilient more than we possibly realize. Did you know that you can find happiness again even after a life changing trauma three months later. Yes bad things happen, things out of our control. But we can manufacture our own happiness, it’s synthetic happiness and we can all create happiness even in the crappy times. We have lots of emotions that come and go, sadness, loss and even the emotion of joyfulness. But those emotions come and go and do not last long. The brain just can’t sustain those feelings for long. So you must practice being grateful, practice being in the moment and in time you will find true happiness. Remind yourself daily of all the good things you have or that you are alive experiencing life itself.
Try these simple things and see what happens:
-STOP, LOOK THEN GO
When we rush, we miss opportunities. Stop and get quiet and work on building stop signs into your life. (Sometimes it is OK to not volunteer for that next big project)
If you’re grateful you are not fearful and you can enjoy other’s differences. You can accept people for who they are rather than who they are not. Gratefulness brings a peace, love and happiness into your life.
I loved this Ted talk and have been working on these things in my own life. I first began to simplify my life and train myself to slow down and be present in the moment. My mind does not wander like it used to and I am finding myself feeling a sense of peace and contentment. Practicing mindfulness brings a natural sense of gratefulness in which brings happiness. What if these simple few things is the answer to finding happiness?
“A grateful world is a world full of happy people”
Links For More Info:
App To Track Happiness: http://www.trackyourhappiness.org/
Ted Talk: Pursuit Of Happiness: http://www.podcasts.com/npr_ted_radio_hour_podcast