A Happy Thing a Day

When I decided on my 50th birthday, almost three months ago, that I was going to learn to be happy, I felt I was in for a long haul before I would begin to feel any different.  I thought there was months of just learning how to do it, and then the continuous practicing of it.  I was wrong.

It had taken an afternoon of searching “how to be happy” to see that the consensus of those practicing happiness was that… you just do happy things.  That’s it.  That’s all there is to it.  For me, part of ‘doing happy things’ was positive affirmations and energy tapping, all found off of Youtube, as well as actionable things.

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After doing this for awhile, I found that all through the very first week I was feeling shots of mild happiness.  Those happiness shots became stronger as time went along.  Also, I more freely went for practicing happiness more than just once a day.

And that was an interesting insight – that I realized I was giving myself permission to go ahead and feel happy.  Maybe that’s also something others feel, too, when they’re learning to be happy.

So, the happy things chosen to do may be different from person to person, and for some of us many of the activities need to be free or of very low cost, like singing, music, playing with a pet, etc.

I also learned that the aim doesn’t have to be a strong happy but just a lifting of the spirits.

An interesting note is that that I’m also feeling sadness more strongly as a consequence, but I knew ahead of time that this would be so.  In fact, I knew that learning to allow myself to feel grief and sadness was part of my learning to feel pleasant feelings as well.

I write this as an encouragement to any who feel that childhood trauma, or trauma of any sort, has taken away your ability to feel good again.  If you were like me, some of you may feel that your brain has lost it’s ability to do so.  It hasn’t.

So, go ahead.  Little by little.  There can be sunshine in your life again, or even for the very first time.

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11 thoughts on “A Happy Thing a Day

  1. Oh PG, yes! I have been working on doing happy things lately too. And we have been feeling deeper sadness and grief. I have noticed though when the sad feelings are up we don’t feel the need to push them away like before. We talk about them and let them be. It can be hard to do. It makes a difference for me. For our happy things to do we signed up at the Y for exercise (they have discounted rates for low income people) and have been going to different thrift shops, like Salvation Army, to browse for books and fun things. Doing happy is good. I like this post. Thank you for sharing it. 🙂

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  2. Yes, I found that the sad feelings are much, much more easy to sit through and then sorted through. So glad you found this to be so, too!

    I set up a “happy things” Mason jar where I put in a dollar or two at a time whenever I have one available. I buy little happy things, guilt free, out of it. It’s money I probably would have spent on something anyway, but this way I’m more mindful that it’s for an item that will bring me enjoyment and that it’s already been saved for.

    Thank you for sharing what you do, they’re great ideas!

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  3. Very beneficial advice! im sat here reading this line “learning to allow myself to feel grief and sadness was part of my learning to feel pleasant feelings as well.” I don’t know whether one should be sad of going through that sadness or whether one should rejoice at the fact that you’re overcoming this and growing. I hope that makes sense. I wouldn’t say I’m there yet, I have been doing a gratitude journal and have been doing things I enjoy. But the deep sadness is what scares me and the anxiety that follows. It’s awful to sit with, how can someone sit through these difficult emotions when on this journey?

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    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment, A!

      When I set out to learn how to be happy (and I’m still learning), I decided to not sit through overwhelming negative feelings anymore. I had my fill of them, and they never did me a stitch of good my whole life.

      So I simply decided that strong negative feelings weren’t my responsibility to figure out anymore. I couldn’t anyway, or I wouldn’t still be having them. That was what worked for me, I just concentrated on beginning to experience good things and feelings. Sure enough, the negative feelings began to work on themselves and come to me in more appropriate manageable ways.

      I hope this could be helpful to you, too. I’d say try to just do the happy things. Everything else will sort out itself. It seems unbelievable but it really does seem to work. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for that! Makes sense, sometimes you just cannot figure out the negative feelings; either they stem from somewhere or its just too much. This is very helpful and I will apply it 🙂 Ax

        Liked by 1 person

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