A friend recently posted these "Happiness Rules" on Facebook, and I have to admit - it annoyed me. I suppose it's because they aren't "simple" rules at all. Do I believe these statements can bring happiness? Sure. But are they simple? Nope. At least not for me. And I don't think I'm alone.
Life slams all of us with pain and suffering at some point. While we all want to lead happy - or joyful - lives, it's not always easy to do. And when we're blasted with images like this, we start to question if something is wrong with us if we're not happy, because "it's simple!"
But in fact, true happiness needs to be cultivated. And that takes a lot of patience and mindfulness and practice.
A woman I once worked with had the below "Happiness Habits" tacked up on her office wall. And I think they're perfect. Some of these habits are the same as what the above image touts, but these seem to be more thoughtful...and respect the journey.
1. Do more activities that truly engage you.
2. Savor life's joys.
3. Learn to forgive.
4. Practice acts of kindness.
5. Nurture relationships.
6. Cultivate optimism.
7. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison.
8. Develop strategies for coping.
9. Count your blessings.
10. Strengthen your spiritual connections.
11. Commit to your goals.
12. Take care of your body.
I am often waist deep in sorrow and disappointment right now. But I do my best to daily practice some of these "habits." I believe it's work like this that will help lead me to the joyful life I desire.
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