Ten bloggers focused on finding the joys in life, along with Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, hosted a Talk on themotherhood.com to share what makes them happy and how to find happiness in daily life.
A conversation like that can’t help but leave a smile on your face!
The Talk included discussions about the simple or silly things that bring joy, recommendations for maintaining gratitude and a healthy perspective, and how getting organized and living on a budget can help make you happier.
There were a lot of great happiness suggestions from the participants and hosts that anyone could apply to her own life. Check out the thoughts below and meditate on all the things that bring you joy.
A BIG thank you to Gretchen and all of the wonderful hosts and participants in this joyful Talk!
Focusing on the Simple Things in Life
Find 5 minutes every day and do something that makes you happy. Reading a book, crossword, reading US magazine. Make yourself a cuppa and take 5 minutes. (thienkim)
Does anyone else have any silly or strange things that make them happy? Things you might not confess at book club? Case in point: I’m deliriously happy when I have to take a bucket bath in a foreign country or when the electricity goes out and we need candlelight. (jenlemen)
I am so much happier when I keep my physical environment in order. I’m not a perfectionist–but I need things to look calm to FEEL calm. (Meagan Francis)
A big spirit lifter for me is taking 5 min in the morning to get dressed (no sweats!) and to put on a little makeup (powder, mascara). Also, wearing a necklace, it dresses up any outfit and makes me feel better about myself. When you spend every day at home and running the kids around it’s so easy to forget yourself. (Melissa)
Being Happy in Marriage
My number one trick is to remind myself that it’s a lot more fun to be in love than to be right. That truly makes it easier to make sure that arguments are quickly resolved. (Frugal Babe)
Don’t forget about communication, which takes a lot of effort sometimes when you’re both busy taking care of work and family. It’s WORK to keep a marriage going! (If only it were all romance and flowers, no?) (Melisa)
Finding the Positive
I think just a shift in attitude can make a big difference in happiness. Like getting lost on your way to a destination. Instead of thinking of it as getting lost, think of it as an adventure with exciting new detours. (thienkim)
This may be an off-the-beat way to think about happiness, but when you think of all of the really, truly, devastating things people go through, it starts feeling like such a self-indulgent thing to wallow in unhappy thoughts and attitudes. You start to realize that the smallest things we have, our rights, our water, our experiences, our opportunities, are not things to take for granted. So really we live in such abundance, even if it is not materially tangible or obvious most of the time. (ProductiveMom)
When I keep a gratitude journal I feel better! (Stockpiling Moms)
Important happiness strategy: never let yourself get too hungry! My family is all very prone to hunger crabbiness, so I’m always trying to stay on top of this. (Gretchen Rubin)
This may sound harsh, but – as a mom – time to myself often makes me happy. It’s been a long time since I was the center of my own universe, you know?! Sometimes I have to give myself permission to do something just for me. (Oh, The Joys)
I think that happiness sometimes comes in acceptance – particularly acceptance of self. Acceptance of my own faults and limitations coupled with a willingness to own them, apologize for them and laugh at them leaves more room for happiness. Maybe one path to happiness is to road to making peace with oneself… (Oh, The Joys)
It is very tough to stay happy and upbeat when you are struggling with money or any other big instability in your life. For me, it helps to compartmentalize, put my problems out of my head and go walk on the beach or take a hot bath. It helps me tackle the tough issues with a different mindset. (Karen Quinn)
We work really hard to make sure that we keep our expenses below our income every month. Having a financial safety net in the bag is a huge stress reliever, and helps me feel content, happy and calm. Definitely worth the effort required. (Frugal Babe)
I’ve been thinking about making a vision board lately – anyone do one? Does it help you to concentrate on what’s important and what keeps you happy? Tell me all about it! (Brandie)
This probably sounds hokie, but giving to others makes me happy. I’ve been spending time cooking at the local homeless shelter; it’s not glamorous, but makes me happy to be of service to others. (Diane Mac)
I think that an important aspect of being happy is having a connection with your higher power. (ReneeJRoss)
Insights from Gretchen
1) Although happiness can seem very abstract and complex, I’d start by GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP. I know, I know, it’s so hard, but sleep really matters for health, energy, and mood. It’s tempting to stay up late but sleep really makes life better.
Also, ancient philosophers and modern scientists agree that CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS are a key to happiness. So whenever you’re trying to figure out how to spend your precious time, energy, and money, putting it towards activities that will strengthen or build relationships will really give you a happiness boost. (Gretchen Rubin)
2) Some people think that you shouldn’t ask yourself what makes you happy — that somehow, this makes you less likely to be happy. I disagree. For me, the minute I said, “Am I happy? How could I be happier?” I started to see things that I could change in my life. Everything from getting more sleep to keeping a one-sentence journal to imitating a spiritual master. So I think just self-reflection is a good place to start. (Gretchen Rubin)
3) The one thing that struck me, from all the stories, is how often people do find it possible to make themselves happier by making small changes in their ordinary lives. It doesn’t take a lot of time, money, or energy — always in short supply — or a radical transformation. Even a very simple resolution, like “Make your bed,” can boost happiness. (Gretchen Rubin)
The amazing mom bloggers who co-hosted the Talk were:
Watch Gretchen Rubin’s TV ad for The Happiness Project
See the original Talk here: http://tmotherhood.wpengine.com/talk/show/id/62046