What are your favorite resources for increasing and sustaining happiness?
When I get a question for the BlogHer Life Well Lived Getting Happy panel I sometimes start to think about my response by visiting the expert’s post on BlogHer. I didn’t want to do that for this latest question. This is a question you ask yourself and then sit quietly while your inner voice responds:
- My friends – Since my divorce, my circle of friends has expanded. In nutshell, I think that’s because I’m no longer hiding behind a facade, I’m more authentic and I’ve opened myself up to more friendships. I said “circle” when “circles” would have been a better description … I have my cycling friends, I have my bunco friends, I have my walking/hiking friends, I have my Daughters of the British Empire friends, I have my piano ladies, I have blogging/media friends and most recently, I now have bridge-playing friends. It’s all these different activities and interests that sustain me but I wouldn’t enjoy them nearly so much without the camaraderie of friends. Sometimes when I’m feeling uninspired or lazy, it’s a call from one of these friends that pushes me to go out and hike and that always brings a fresh perspective.
- Being outside – I grew up close to coast in England. Often times on a Sunday evening my dad would take us down to the beach “to blow out the cobwebs.” We would walk along shore – I loved to feel the wind on face and I loved looking out to sea. It’s a stony beach so there was a ruggedness to it and other than a small island, there was sea for miles and miles. The enormity of it made me feel not that I was insignificant or didn’t matter but rather that I was part of this incredible beauty. Today, I live in the foothills of Colorado. Within two minutes of my front door I’m out on a trail walking, biking or cycling with a complete panoramic view. Being out there, taking it all in is like having a massage. I can feel the tension in my neck and my shoulders melt away. If I’m on my own, it’s like a moving-contemplation because I don’t listen to music – I just let my thoughts flow. If something is bothering me, I’ll ponder that; if I’m trying to solve a problem, I’ll ponder that and sometimes I have no control over what presents itself. Regardless, it’s always therapeutic.
- The delete key – Since my divorce, (yes, it is a milestone for many things) I’ve embraced the ‘less is more’ philosophy and while I do subscribe to several deal/coupon sites and the newsletters from my favorite stores, unless I’m actively shopping for a specific item I delete the emails and don’t even browse the site. Deleting those emails controls the temptation, limits the impulse buying and helps me stick with my budget. That definitely sustains my happiness.
- Fit4Love Program – I went through the Fit4Love dating coaching program last fall and while it is targeted to successful dating, I found the benefits were much broader boosting my confidence and self-esteem. The assignments helped me identify my values, develop my interpersonal skills and to be intentional. It made a fundamental difference to my happiness.
[contemplate1] Now I’m hopping over to read what the experts say. What resources increase and sustain your happiness?