Wednesday, August 5, 2015

100 Things to Make You a Little Happier, Part 6

In my haste to finish my next book my blogging has taken a backseat at times. But I return. Happiness must be had, and it must be accounted for. Once again I will admit I am no doctor of felicity, but I know some things have worked for me. And I hope one or two of them can work for you in hours of unrest.

51. Read poetry every once and a while- You don't have to be deeply sentimental or own jaunty hats to read poetry. I myself prefer prose, but sometimes poetry can reveal things that novels and online articles cannot. If you think you don't like poetry ask yourself, do you enjoy music?

52. Be prolific- You only have one life to accomplish things, so with this limited parcel of time, why not be prolific? If you are a painter, paint every waking day. If you are a mother, work tirelessly to let your legacy of goodness carry on through your kids. You can be prolific in wherever your talents or passions fall. If you are a cobbler, a writer, a saxophonist, or a dancer cobble, write, sax, and dance your life away. Don't let distractions and laziness stop you from doing what makes you happy.

53. Sit in a hot tub with people you care about- There is something about sitting in hot water that makes people open up and share. It's like group therapy. So whether you love how you look in swimwear or not, get in a jacuzzi or visit some hot springs with people that make you smile.

54. Give people a chance- Just like books, people's insides can greatly surprise you. The hard part is getting past the exterior that can be a misleading indicator or character and compassion. Some people when you first meet them just suck. They are rude and unintelligent. They are harsh and inappropriate. But give them a chance. Just because certain people wear their flaws on their sleeve does not make them any worse than you are.

55. Be frighteningly blunt with people- This doesn't mean be hurtful. This means be open and honest with people. If someone offends you, don't scrunch your face and brew for days with angry feelings. Open your mouth and tell someone they are out of line. If you like someone, tell them. People love to hear that. Some people aren't ready for brutal honesty. But it is better than tip toeing around things your whole life. This will leave your toes very sore and disfigured.

56. Discover new music- We all have our timeless favorites that will never get old. But sometimes it is healthy and exciting to branch out and listen to bands we have never heard of. We should listen to music from various decades, from myriad genres, and from obscure locations. There is something romantic and charged about finding a new artist that we love. So scour Spotify, search through Pandora, and try new stuff.

57. Chill out in traffic- I never understood why people get so angry behind the wheel. Everyone thinks they are superb drivers, and that everyone else on the asphalt is unskilled and moronic. But we all read texts at red lights and forget to hit the gas right when it turns green. We all drive like idiots when we are late and think speeding will make up for leaving the house 20 minutes late. The truth is most of the time an idiot in front of you will not effect your time of arrival that dramatically. So chill out. Be calm, and let others merge.

58. Relax about politics already- If you happen to be an informed individual, one privately educated on the nuances of politics, kudos. We are all proud of you and your elevated state of mind and understanding of things. Just don't rant off things you heard on a talk radio or television show assuming you now are the master of state doctrine and that all others are blessed to hear your opinions. Remember the words of Thomas Jefferson, "We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists."

59. Find time to do things that make you happy- Of course most adults that have not been endowed with an enormous inheritance have to work to provide for ourselves. So much of our lives are spent working to keep the lights on, raising children, and sleeping. But don't let a busy life stop you from making time for the little things that bring you joy. If you love acro-yoga, if you yearn for softball nights under the lights, or if you just want to do watercolor paintings, then find time. Cross-stitch, jog, read, bungee fun things. Make time.

60. Learn everyday- Part of depression and sadness comes from a life that feels stagnant, an existence of complacency. The best way to combat these feelings is to continually learn. Read, read, read. And when you are done reading, listen to podcasts. Surf Wikipedia before bed, ask people about their occupations that you never really understood. You don't have to get a PHD or read every news article on your Twitter feed, just make sure every day that you live you are learning.

Again it seems my little suggestions into the foray of happiness may appear like advice from a tired old man at the supper table. But if it works, and happiness is found, then that is a win for us all. Please share with someone that could use a reminder on how to be happier. And comment on the ones that have worked for you.