I subscribe to The New York Times. As an online subscriber I often miss stories and articles that are of interest to me. However, I was fortunate enough to receive the Happiness Challenge of this last week. It wasn’t an outsized commitment but small acts of recognition and gratitude.
For too many years I lived with a deprivation mindset. It meant that I felt lacking in so many ways. Even when good things took place, it felt like it wasn’t enough to fill the void. I could intellectually recognize a good thing, but emotionally I wasn’t able to internalize it. When I learned to be grateful for acts of kindness, and when I learned to appreciate moments of joy, I was able to slowly move away from resentment and feelings of deprivation.
Happiness, at least as I understand it, is more of a mindset. It doesn’t mean denying the unpleasant. It only means that there is an open-mindedness to take in pleasure, care, and joy. Happiness and joy can be cultivated. So often life’s difficulties wear us down challenging our ability to appreciate the good in our lives. Nonetheless, with intention we can rebuild the natural joy hidden within.
By building relationships, and creating a bridge to old positive influencers, we will experience a shared happiness. By serving others with no intention of having them give you something in return, joy is a welcomed by-product. Little acts can have big returns. You may have to exert courage to shift from scarcity of joy to ample happiness, but that courage will pay off.
It’s so nice to live in the abundance of goodness all around us. We only need to look to find it.
- Hum. Research has revealed that it can release stress and create a sense of calm.
- Check out the New York Times Well section for the Happiness challenge. At the very least it will reconnect you mentally with those who have made a difference in your life. At most it can put you on the path to expand your joy. https://www.nytimes.com/explain/2023/01/01/well/happiness-challenge?campaign_id=18&emc=edit_hh_20230108&instance_id=82167&nl=well®i_id=5604449&segment_id=121946&te=1&user_id=04e839add87bb5b9a297d94547a6618c
- Expanding tips to bring happiness is a new guide to happiness from the Dalai Lama on the Ten Percent Happier app. Check it out: https://10percenthappier.app.link/JoinHHDLcrm
The happiness project should be taken up by all of us in our own ways. A very good post Janet!
Thank you so much, both for your comments and for your uplifting and inspiring posts.
So true. We’d live in a much happier world if we all could share our appreciation for the good we’ve experienced.