It's raining. Summer is over, so it's time to get into the Fall (rainy) spirit. Many things about season changes make me happy, and there are many aspects of the Summer-to-Fall transition that I love. Cool days, rainy Sundays reading inside, sweaters and boots, and one or two pumpkin spiced lattes from Starby's. Living in Vancouver, I sense the panic brewing when the rain starts. We know we're in for a grey winter. So I started trolling the internet for ways to stay happy. Oddly enough, trolling the internet was not on the list. An amazing article was written by Judy Belmont on lifehack.org. Basically she breaks happiness down to seven "secrets":
- Highly happy people stop looking on the outside for what they can find within. I need to learn that the sun isn't a necessary ingredient to my happiness. Usually rain is equated to grim, cold, and just generally gross. People complain. How can we embrace the rainy season in Vancouver?
- Highly happy people really, really like themselves. Not in a conceited way, just know what you're great at and know what you want to improve. Don't compare yourself with others and be kind to yourself.
- Highly happy people realize that there are some things they will never fully get over. Finding beauty after severe trauma or loss is a huge component of living a happy life. Give yourself time to get through the difficulties in life and know that life may be different after loss, but not necessarily bad.
- Highly happy people know the different between denial and optimism. Try not to have ‘all or nothing’ thinking where you either gloss over feelings or judge or berate yourself for feeling down. Focus more on how to get up after falling rather than how you fell down. Ask, “What did I learn?” Rather than, “What was I thinking?”
- Highly happy people realize the importance of being open to others rather than shutting down. Foster long term relationships while being open to meeting new people and creating new friendships. If you trust yourself, you can trust others more. I like the analogy of being in a rowboat in the middle of a lake: You'll trust the person rowing more if you can swim.
- Highly happy people are not bitter, but get better by forgiving. Forgive others and forgive yourself!
- Highly happy people live life moving forward, not backwards. Learn from the past, don't live in it. Don't "should all over yourself". Learn from the past, enjoy the present, and have fun planning for the future.
There is a great quiz to test your happiness on