I decided to intentionally try to make myself happy. This state of mind had not been my natural mood for some time, so I wanted to do something about it. By Googling, I came across this page:
7 Easy Happiness Boosters According to Harvard Research. I decided to try it.
I’ll need to return to this page each day to see how I’m progressing.
Be Happy – Try Meditation
First on the list was meditation. I set my timer for ten minutes and found a quiet place where the light of the TV wouldn’t bother me. This place happened to be the bathroom. I closed my eyes and began to concentrate on my breathing. Other thoughts tried to take over, but I managed to push them out of my mind. Ten minutes began to seem like forever. When I stopped, I still had one minute and nineteen seconds left on the timer. But it was a start.
Be Happy – Find Something to Look Forward To
Second was “Find Something to Look Forward To”. I had been looking forward to getting the house clean, but the process was taking too long. Some instant gratification would be nice. It needed to be something I could do myself. Depending on others to help didn’t always work out. I could walk once a day…instant and something I could do myself. So, I would look forward to walking once a day. I wouldn’t push myself but I would do it.
Be Happy – Commit Acts of Kindness
Third, “Commit Conscious Acts of Kindness”. This needed some research. I found 100 Acts of Kindness for Kids. That seemed like a good place to start. The page also included this list:
I think this web page was an act of kindness. Thank you, Megan!
Things to get me started:
- Read a book to someone.
- Donate a book to a doctor’s office waiting room.
- Tell someone how much you love them.
- Send a postcard to a friend.
Be Happy – Use Positive Surroundings
Fourth, “Infuse Positivity into Your Surroundings”. Examples: go outside, watch less negative media.
Be Happy by Exercising
Fifth, “Exercise”. Today twenty minutes of walking outside fulfilled the fifth, fourth, and second ways to intentionally trying to make myself happy.
Spend Money on Social Activities or Others
Sixth, “Spend Money (but not on stuff)”.
Be Happy – Find and Use Signature Strength
Seventh, use a signature strength “in a new way each day for a week.” My signature strength would be my computer knowledge. How could I use it new each day for a week?
Original Idea of My Signature Strength
I used the web page How to List Computer Skills on a Resume (Computer Skill Examples) to help me gather some ideas for this section. Determine your own signature strength and research it.
My goal is to use each of these in a new way:
- Word Processing and Typing
- Graphic Editing
- Internet Research
- WordPress (CMS) – Content Management System
- Social Media
- Create PDFs
- Create a Presentation
I feel better having started this process, but a bit of discipline is going to be required on my part. This looks doable!
New, Researched Signature Strength
But wait! Perhaps I misunderstood the definition of “signature strength”. Yes, I have worked with computers most of my adult life. But what is my best character virtue. I took the survey At the VIA Institute of Character and discovered that my signature strength is most likely curiosity. Side note: VIA means “Values in Action Inventory”.
There was a page on the VIA Institute of Character that explained Curiosity more in depth. That sounds a lot like me. So far my computer skills have helped me quench my curiosity. Maybe it’s time to expand. So how can I use curiosity “in a new way each day for a week”.
- Take pictures when I walk each day.
- learn more about the 24 character strengths.
- Read more about meditating and yoga.
- Research garden plants and order some when I know I can use them.
- Explore the crevices of this house and clean while I’m at it.
- Watch what my grandchildren do and say.
- Work on a garden area and start plants inside.
So, I worked on using these seven steps to make me happy. See my progress in This is What Happened When I Tried to Make Myself Happy!. I returned and to my progress page and added a video that inspired me and a book suggested by a friend, How Happiness Happens. I will continue to work on being both happy and joyful.
Barker, Eric. “7 Easy Happiness Boosters According to Harvard Research.” Barking Up The Wrong Tree, April 29, 2015. https://www.bakadesuyo.com/2012/08/what-7-activities-does-harvard-happiness-expe/.
“Curiosity.” Curiosity | Character Strength | VIA Institute. Accessed February 4, 2020. https://www.viacharacter.org/character-strengths/curiosity.
Resume.com Team. “How to List Computer Skills on a Resume (With Examples).” Resume.com Career Advice. Resume.com, May 7, 2019. https://www.resume.com/career-advice/resumes/how-to-list-computer-skills-on-a-resume-with-examples/.
Sheakoski Media, LLC., Megan. “100 Acts of Kindness for Kids.” Coffee Cups and Crayons, January 12, 2015. https://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/100-acts-kindness-kids/.
“Take The VIA Survey.” Login | VIA Institute. Accessed February 4, 2020. https://www.viacharacter.org/survey/surveys/takesurvey.
“The 24 Character Strengths.” Find Your 24 Character Strengths | Personal Strengths List | VIA Institute. Accessed February 4, 2020. https://www.viacharacter.org/character-strengths.