If you are new to the blog, you may not know that I have been doing a monthly series where I report my findings on the application of The Happiness Project. Each month I write about how the principles altered my happiness outlook.
The month of November was all about having a contented heart. It was about learning to be fulfilled in the things that are already in my life as opposed to feeling like I always need to add to it. I have to say this chapter could not have come at a better time. During the holiday season it’s easy to get caught up in the desire to want more. I fall into that mindset more than I’d like to admit. I found the principles presented in this chapter to be quite helpful.
Laugh Out Loud
As my December 25th due date quickly approaches, I am experiencing more stress than usual. I feel like there is still so much to do before our sweet little rainbow baby arrives. When I feel myself getting carried away in the overwhelming amount of stress I do my best to stop and laugh. Now, having a two-year old in the house really helps with the spontaneous laughing. My daughter is at the age where she tries to get me to laugh. She finds it hilarious! She sings random songs in an operatic voice. Or tickles my ever-growing belly while saying, “Tickle, tickle, tickle!” She is a born entertainer! Laughing has done wonders for my stress level.
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Use Good Manners
I have always been an advocate for manners. I used to work for an etiquette company during college and it was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. Even now I teach the dance portion for an etiquette company. Good manners have a way of not only making someone else feel amazing but it has the power to transform the person employing the manners. Especially when it is bestowed on someone who might not deserve it, go ahead give it a try!
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Give Positive Reviews
I find this principle to be so important. Something that I learned very early on about my husband is his ability to see how something can be better. He has a keen eye for improvement. This viewpoint found its way to movies. He is pretty much right on every point he makes about how a movie can be better. Now, being a HUGE movie fan I will watch just about anything, even if the acting is bad or the story is cheesy I will probably love it.
(Side note: I am a big fan of Hallmark movies)
My husband and I would watch a movie and just as soon as the credits appeared a review would be spoken. While his critique is always spot on I challenged him to hold off on his critique till the second or third time. It was like a revelation. Never having done that before it was very eye-opening for him. After an adjustment period, he was hooked. I could tell he was happier experiencing new things. Even if they were total fails. We always had a good story or memory as a result.
If this is not something you are used to doing I encourage you to try it out. It can be life changing!
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Find An Area Of Refuge
Having a place of refuge is all about a space/activity to go/do when the negativity becomes too much. A place where you can be distracted for a short time to calm down so that you can later address the issue at hand with a clear mind. I did not realize that I had an area of refuge until after reading this chapter. I am a stress cleaner. When I am stressed I HAVE to clean something. The effect that cleaning has on me is unreal. Indescribable. I feel like I am able to breathe and focus. My stress level reduces and my negative thoughts practically disappear. My area of refuge really helps me properly align myself.
If you are prone to negative thinking or high levels of stress, get yourself an area of refuge. A place that can distract you from the stress and negativity long enough to calm your mind so that you can properly deal with it at a later time.
What is one way you achieve a contented heart? Let me know in the comments below!
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