Beyond the Happiness Quickie

By Kristen K. Brown

“Enjoyment is not a goal, it is a feeling that accompanies important ongoing activity.”  Paul Goodman 

While mentally contemplating some big life decisions last week, I asked my 2.5 year old daughter, hypothetically, “What should mommy do that would make me the happiest?”  I didn’t expect an answer.  But in all seriousness, she looked at me and said, “Let’s make silly faces!” And she proceeded to stick out her tongue, blow out her cheeks and roll her eyes at me.  Her innocent mind didn’t jump to money, security or career path.  It simply went to something that would make her happy right at that moment – silly faces. 

As adults, we are so focused on our station in life – how much money we have, what possessions we own, what our job is – that we forget that usually it is the simplest things in life that can make us the most happy.  A silly face, reading a good book, playing with a pet – these are all easy things that bring us joy – even if it’s just for five minutes. 

But how can we sustain this happiness beyond those five minutes? 

The first step is to start doing these simple things several times throughout the day so we get used to the feelings of contentment and joy that they bring.  We often spend the majority of our time so entrenched in stressful work and life situations that we have forgotten how it feels to really be happy in our minds and bodies.  We have little memory of the elation and buzz that inner peace can bring.

The second step is to let go of some of the little stresses that eat up our energy.  Set up auto-pay for our monthly bills.  Hire a cleaning person to do a deep cleaning once or twice a year.  Don’t let a boss’s criticism affect our personal livelihood – that is work, not our life. 

And finally, spread cheer to others by offering help or a kind word.  We can be a role model for our children and for society by finding ways to connect to everyone around us by making the world a better place.  We can do this through volunteerism, recycling, planting trees and shrubs in our gardens or any other activity that brings positivity to the world. 

So every day when we wake up, we should make a pact with ourselves to not take for granted the simple joys that can bring us effortless and sustainable happiness.

Kristen Brown

 

Kristen Brown is a widow mom and the founder of WidowMommy.com, an author, entrepreneur, radio host and speaker. Learn more about her and her companies at www.KristenKBrown.com.

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