Abraham Lincoln said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
When the economy takes a downward turn many people find their lives turned upside down. Financial worries lead to stress and even health problems.
It takes some extra doing to smile when things all around you are going wrong. However, one of the answers to getting through tough times is smiling. Smiling brings to mind the Bobby McFerrin song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. A smile turns a lot of trouble into a less formidable foe and actually lowers stress.
Happiness is the medicine for bad times and economic turndowns. Don’t think of this as a “Pollyanna, pie in the sky” way of thinking. This is about finding things to smile about, things to laugh about when the rest of the world is falling apart.
Smile enough, you have the power to bring changes and more happiness into your life.
Happiness is all around you and finding some is a job worth pursuing. An excellent start is spending more time with other people. Your social networks can take you away for your troubles and give you some much needed personal time with others. Try an hour talking with friends instead of an hour in front of the TV. Make it a point to interact with more people each day.
Even in the worst of times there are small things to be happy about. The secret is to look for them. Think about what has made you smile in the past. What has made you laugh?
Let’s make a list of things that brings a moment of happiness into your life. Do the daily and Sunday comics in the newspaper make you laugh? Create a scrapbook of your favorite comics. Read it when you need a laugh or just a smile.
Think about everything that has made you happy, made you smile or made you laugh in the last week or month. Start scrapbooking those things and create a happiness book.
Here are some more scrapbook ideas. Do you love kittens or puppies? Do cute human baby picture make you glow inside? Do your juices start flowing when you see beautiful classic cars? Start cutting out pictures and printing them from the Internet. Add them to your scrapbook.
Happiness is often just making a decision to be happy. You can make a decision to pull out your scrapbook and smile for a minute or two.
Will this make the world go away and bring instant happiness? Not likely. It will take some of the gloom and doom and push it aside for a few minutes. Who knows, that smile and positive feeling might even last for hours or all day if you let it. You might even infect someone else with it.
There is a saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time”. This applies to many things in life including happiness. You might not be able to becoming a bouncing ball of joy all day everyday, but you can create a smile or a laugh and take on your challenges “one bite at a time”, “one smile at a time”.
Looking for things to smile about is important. Just as important is NOT looking for things to stress about. Your personal situation may be stressful, but why take on the world’s stress. How about getting a little less news from TV, the newspaper and online.
Most news is bad news; death, destruction, murder and mayhem. If you start your day reading about bad news, is this a great way to start your day? Try giving up the news for a week, or at least postpone it until later in the day.
Does the news “tie your stomach in knots” at times? If so, why would you want to watch the news just before, during or just after dinner? There are much better times to get news than first thing in the morning and at dinner time.
The two things this short report is meant to do is get you thinking about where you can find some happiness and where you can avoid gloom and doom.
Make an extra effort today to smile a little more. Then be sure to avoid some of the negative people situations and news that do not bring a smile to your face.
Happiness in tough economic times takes more thought than in better times, but it is right there for you if you will only look.