I had a conversation with Michael over our standing Wednesday lunch the other day about how pessimistic I've been feeling lately. This up-and-down weather seems to have grabbed hold of my moods, and they're bouncing all over the place with the thermometer. I think everyone has the same deep-seated desire for spring. Like, seriously, can I just get some blue skies, robins chirping, and lilacs blooming up in here? Green grass would boost morale so dramatically, I'm telling ya...today, for example, I'm grinning from ear to ear despite a sprained ankle and mild hangover! Gotta love that first 60-degree day, right?
Anyway, asides aside and back to lunch. Michael (being very wise), after a suitable amount of commiseration, offered a delightfully no-BS pep talk that boils down to:
"Even if you're feeling pessimistic or not happy, acknowledge that feeling, accept it, and actively choose to not put that forth into the world or let it dominate your attitude."
Wise and simple, right?! And so doable. After only a couple days of thinking about it, I'm finding that it actually does work and help. Actively noticing, owning, and focusing on the little things that make me happy, and choosing to put those forth is so much more fun than pessimism and gloominess anyway.
Given I'm trying so hard to be focused on happiness, I've given a lot of thought these days to what makes me happy. Through that, I've realized how prevalent happiness is in our culture right now. Maybe it's because we all need that reminder to be mindful and not forget that we all have great things to be happy about...or maybe it's because it's just worth sharing the feeling/knowledge/focus once you find it :) Take, for example:
Duh. I dare you to listen to this and not feel a tiny smile or at least the very faintest inkling of a toe-tap. What I love most about this song, though, is how Pharrell has taken it and used the song to create a 24 hour music video, "24 Hours Of Happy." Check it out at http://24hoursofhappy.com: I'm loving tuning in whenever I remember to!
Gretchen Rubin, "The Happiness Project."
Published in 2009, "The Happiness Project" is a great self-help book/memoir of sorts chronicling the author's attempt to spend a year mindfully seeking and creating happiness in her life and the lives of those around her. A sequel, "Happiness at Home," was published in 2012. I've read both and enjoyed them--there are great little nuggets of truth hidden in there that, I think, can apply to anyone regardless of their situation or demographic.
The "#100 Happy Days" challenge.
I discovered this one via Instagram: the "#100HappyDays" Project is so cute! Social media users can sign up at www.100happydays.com to spend 100 days chronicling in photographs what made them happy. I have had so much fun with it...so far, I'm 26 days in and it has forced me to appreciate, celebrate, and commemorate the ways that all the little mundane aspects of my life make me happy. Can't wait to do a full review in a couple months once I'm done!
And, although not a cultural movement or media piece or anything: Be Happy Red Tea is my new weapon of choice in backing off the 3-a-day coffee habit I've redeveloped this winter. It's a super cheering blend of lemon and peach and I love it and drink it all morning every day.
What makes you happy? Any "pop culture happy" I missed out on?