Be Happier

Photo by Adrienne Andersen on

One of the many books I read during this time in my life was “The 10 Keys to Happier Living” by Vanessa King.

I love this book. It’s extremely straight forward and gave me lots of little tips and tools that I put into practice right away. King explains that the following list is “based on an extensive review of the latest research about what really helps people flourish. These are not “ten commandments”, because each of us is unique and what works for one of us may not for someone else. They are simply ten areas that tend to make a big difference to our happiness – and are within our control.”

GIVING Do for others
RELATING Connect with people
EXERCISING Take care of your body
AWARENESS Live life mindfully
TRYING OUT Keep learning new things
DIRECTION Have goals to look forward to
RESILIENCE Find ways to bounce back
EMOTIONS Look for what’s good (gratitude)
ACCEPTANCE Be comfortable with who you are
MEANING Be part of something bigger

Do you see a lot of familiar themes here? I certainly did. I decided that from now on when I make my New Year’s resolutions and goals that I will make sure I hit each of these areas. I wrote in my notebook “Use this for 2019 goals” And I did. It’s very easy for me to let one or two slip, the maybe the one’s that are the hardest. For me that would be acceptance, resilience and giving.

Acceptance of what is and acceptance of others for who they are and not trying to “fix” them is a constant struggle for me. I think it partially my Upholder personality at play. But I did learn from Deepak Chopra that everyone is where they are supposed to be on their journey. I cannot change that. I can be an example and that’s about it. Unless someone asks specifically for help, I need to be accepting of who they are at this moment. I’m also very self critical. I’ve learned from my study of the Eneagram (I will dive into this more later) that I’m a Type 1 Reformer. Which means not only do I want to change others and change the world to do what is “right” I also have a running self critic in my head that tells me all the things I’ve done wrong. More on this later!

Resilience is a learning process for me. If you’ve read my blog from the beginning you know I had almost zero coping skills and focused on having them right from the start of my recovery. I’m still working on this. I have found the most helpful ways for me to bounce back are meditation, music, reading, support from friends and problem solving.

Saying I need to work on being giving doesn’t give the best impression of me, but I don’t have the best track record in this department. I do give. I’m just not the person who is first to take action when someone is in need. I really need to step outside myself and my world more and help those around me. I’m good at helping on a BIG PICTURE level. That’s the activist in me. I get so worked up and feel the need to DO and GIVE, but sometimes loose sight of those right in front of me that need help. Work in progress.

Have you thought about ways you could be happier? Take a look at the list above and come up with some goals to fill in the gaps of where you could improve. I’d love to hear about it in the comments! Thanks for being here!

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