How to Be Happier

Photo credit: Camdiluv ♥.

Photo credit: Camdiluv ♥.

This post is a response to So, Are You Happy? from zenandpi

  1. Take inventory. What parts of your life are you dissatisfied with? What parts of it make you happy? What parts do you feel neutral about? Sometimes my list is short when I do this. Other times it’s long.
  2. Pick the smallest thing that annoys you. Maybe you hate how messy your car is getting or you’re really not looking forward to volunteering at that annual charity event again this year. The possibilities are endless.
  3. Clean it. Resign from it. Sell it. Donate it. Unsubscribe from it. Send your regrets with the RSVP.
  4. Do not take no for an answer. This is not a time to feel guilty. Everyone needs to purge certain things from their lives occasionally.
  5. You have a little wiggle room in your life now. What do you want to replace this old pattern with? Do you want to do nothing while you relish your extra time, money, and/or emotional energy for a while? Is there something new you’d like to try? You might have the answer for this right away, or you might not. I often don’t have a clue what I’d rather do until I’ve had some time to breathe.
  6. Repeat these steps with a few other minor things that are easy to change. The reason why I recommend doing it this way is because I need a lot of instant gratification when I’m unhappy in order to stay motivated. Big payoffs can come later, but there’s something to be said for seeing small, positive changes right away.

Many big problems can also be broken down into little steps like these. You could send out X resumes a week or start taking a class to train for a different profession if you hate your current job.

If it’s an interpersonal problem, you could start making small changes in how you interact with the other person. Maybe you’ll decide to see them less often or for shorter amounts of time. Maybe you’ll frame your interactions in a way that gives you a more peaceful approach to those conversations.

With longterm issues like these, there are no quick fixes. There are many ways to make things just a little better than they were last week or last month, though, and that’s all you really need to do.

Suggestion Saturday: August 29, 2015

Here is this week’s list of blog posts, comic strips, and other tidbits from my favourite corners of the web. The Path Through the Trees via PenguinNina. One of the things I like the most about taking long walks out in nature is that you don’t have to make very many decisions. This post nicely…

Self Care and Chocolate Chip Cookies

A lot of the people I know online have been talking about some form of  self care lately. Some seem to desperately need it. Others are struggling to find better ways to fit it into their lives. Me? I’m craving the chocolate chip cookies my mother and grandmother made when I was growing up. We almost never…

If Harry Potter Was the Villain

Who else would love to see this? I have to admit to preferring Ron and Hermione to Harry for most of the books. Harry could be downright morose at times. While he definitely had reasons to act that way, his friends were more interesting to me. It would have also been fascinating to see certain…

Not Every Day Has Words

I’ve been trying to write this post all morning, but not every day has an overabundance of words. There’s simply nothing to say. I’m neutral right now in a good way. I’m not anxious, sad, or irritated. Neither am I excited, mischievous, or happy. I just am. When I was a kid, my parents learned quickly to…

Suggestion Saturday: August 22, 2015

Here is this week’s list of blog posts and other tidbits from my favourite corners of the web. Spurious Correlations. This was too funny. My favourite chart was the one that connected the divorce rate in Maine to the per capita consumption of margarine. From My Granddad, the Mass Murderer via Johnny_Spacey: My Granddad smoked a pipe, a habit…

The Countdown to Fear the Walking Dead

We only have three days left until it airs. I’ve purposefully avoided spoilers for this show, so this post is safe to read if you’re also looking forward to being surprised by it. Everything I’m about to say is pure speculation. Part of me is really excited for this spinoff. One of the things that…

5 Ridiculous Victorian Etiquette Rules

The best quote from this video: “You can’t fight crime in a crinoline.”

Why I Won’t Gossip About Bruce Gerencser (or Anyone Else)

Lately I’ve been getting quite a few hits from people using search engines to find Bruce Gerencser criticism. Bruce is a friend of mine. I’ve known him for about six or seven years now, and apparently have mentioned him here just often enough for search engines to send people to my blog when they’re looking for dirt on…

Suggestion Saturday: August 15, 2015

Here is this week’s list of blog posts, short stories, poems, and other tidbits from my favourite corners of the web. Where Dreams Await via AustinDetails. There’s definitely something to be said for seeking out the small pleasures in life. From It Is Healing, It Is Never Whole: When the souls of the suicides come tumbling…