WritersButt Wednesday – Restock your Happiness Well

If your happiness well is dried-up and dreary, you have the power to fill it back up. It’s your job, no one else’s!

“The basic thing is that everyone wants happiness, no one wants suffering. And happiness mainly comes from our own attitude, rather than from external factors. If your own mental attitude is correct, even if you remain in a hostile atmosphere, you feel happy.” — H.H. the Dalai Lama

Lately a common theme keeps popping up in various aspects of my life … that of the notion of HAPPINESS. Namely, suffering a lack of it and/or lamenting the fact that it’s missing and elusive to capture let alone infuse into our daily lives. I’m writing about this today, a WritersButt day, because this weekly segment is about health and how it relates to our creativity. I can’t think of anything that will drain us dry creatively that to be held back by the firm grasp of unhappiness and woe.  Especially when we have the power to control our own state of happiness!

“We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.” — Carlos Castañeda

One of my children is currently going through a rough patch where he is extremely unhappy with an aspect of his life. It’s a situation he can’t currently avoid and where he is unable to ‘be happy’ about it. I told him that because he can’t change his situation, he’ll have to change his thoughts.  He’ll have to alter how he thinks and find some purpose that will give him happiness in this unhappy situation. He doesn’t have control over ‘liking it’ but he does have control over how he reacts to it.

“Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times.” — Anon

I don’t say this as if to suggest that it’s easy. It’s not. It’s a struggle and a discipline but it’s a vital ingredient to contentment and having joy in your life. I also believe creating your own happiness is a lifeline, a veritable source of life for your Muse!

How do we go about creating this happiness? Well, we could do as Rumer Godden suggests:

“How to be happy when you are miserable. Plant Japanese poppies with cornflowers and mignonette, and bed out the petunias among the sweet-peas so that they shall scent each other. See the sweet-peas coming up. Drink very good tea out of a thin Worcester cup of a colour between apricot and pink . . .” — Rumer Godden

Doesn’t that sounds lovely? But maybe not feasible for us all, especially me since all plants are determined to prove I’m a plant-murderer. I would however love that cup of tea while I give you some tips on how to create, find, and nurture happiness in your life.

Help Someone – Yes, that straight forward. Reach out and make someone else feel good. Could be as small a gesture as a compliment, or a Facebook note telling them they’re a great friend. Maybe a favor to make their day a little easier. Invite someone for a cup of coffee who may need friend. Be a bright moment in someone else’s life. Find a quote online and share it with others to make them smile or laugh. Be otherwise uplifting and positive in your dealings. Let your actions and words spread warmth and love.

5 Minutes for 5 Blessings – Feeling truly miserable? Grab a piece of paper and a pen, set a timer and write down 5 things that are blessings in your life right now and/or for which you are grateful. If you finish in less than 5 minutes, spend the rest of the time until your timer buzzes rereading what you wrote and focusing on the things that are wonderful in your life. If the buzzer sounds and you’re not done, stay there until you finish. Everyone has at least 5 things.

“I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” – Martha Washington

Banish your Negative Mojo – Go outside into open space. Stand with feet firmly planted on the earth. Open our arms wide, look up to the sky and will the negativity inside of you to GET OUT. Stand there and force your mind to banish that crap out of there. Feel it leave you so that you have all sorts of space opened up for joy.

“To get up each morning with the resolve to be happy . . . is to set our own conditions to the events of each day. To do this is to condition circumstances instead of being conditioned by them.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

3 Pros for Every Con – For every unhappy situation in your life, you have to come up with 3 things about it that are actually positive. This is really hard. I’ll use my son as an example with the situation he’s going through. His 3 pros for his con might read: 1- physical training that is strengthening my body 2- establishing strong self-discipline 3 – learning perseverance.

Note: these would be the 3 things I, as his mother, would like for him to believe. He’d be hard-pressed to come up with one at this time, much as I beg him to do so.  ~ahem~ As I said, this is not easy, for adults, much less for teenagers!

“The really happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery when on a detour.” — Unknown

Smile – This seems simple and you know what, it is. But it packs a punch. Just smile. A smile on the outside will quickly penetrate to create a smile on the inside. If nothing else, a smile will conjure up thoughts and memories of things that have made you grin or laugh.  To focus on those will take your mind off of what was causing you to feel unhappy. Will that something still be there when you stop smiling? Probably. So freaking smile again! You got this!

“There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.” — Anthony de Mello

Resolve – Decide, make the decision to be happy. No one else controls that emotion in you unless you let them. Period!

If you’ll indulge me one last quote. I hope this one lights a fire inside of you to seek out happiness, to create it and infuse your life with it.

“If I regarded my life from the point of view of the pessimist, I should be undone. I should seek in vain for the light that does not visit my eyes and the music that does not ring in my ears. I should beg night and day and never be satisfied. I should sit apart in awful solitude, a prey to fear and despair. But since I consider it a duty to myself and to others to be happy, I escape a misery worse than any physical deprivation.” — Helen Keller


About Ginger Calem

I never met a notebook I didn't want to buy. Pens speak to me. Sticky notes are dear to my heart. Some of my best friends are those clambering in my head trying to get onto the page. And when they have their stories told, and I release them to the world, I hope they'll be your friends too.

Posted on February 13, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. This was a great post, and one I needed right now. Thank you.

  2. “The really happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery when on a detour.” — Unknown

    I love that. I wish my husband would adopt this attitude. I love to go for a drive for the simple joy of seeing the scenery.

    But alas, I am suffering from some of this negative mojo right now. I believe I have the menopause blues and those are some tough feelings to get over.

    Thanks for the kind advice here. I shall take it to heart.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • I loved that quote too. You know, with the added influx (or lack thereof) of hormones (menopause) you have a tougher job ahead of you. They really are tough to get over because they are fighting against what is your previous normal. Hang in there!!

  3. Brilliant, Ginger. I could say more, but I think brilliant says it all. Thanks.

  4. I love love love this post so much and will keep coming back to remind myself of all these wonderful suggestions! Thank you, Ginger!

  5. Loved this. Put the link on my blog. Thanks!

  6. Ginger, this is such good advice! I especially like the last one. We do have to make the decision to be happy. I have found that looking for the lesson in the crappy situation and then letting it go work the best for me. I realized that if I hold onto being upset, then more crappy things happen. But if I say “there must be a lesson in here somewhere” then I usually find it and can move on. And I try to do small things to make me happy, like painting my toenails a new color or having a yummy cup of coffee. 🙂

    • So smart, Emma! I always try to remember the ‘blessing in disguise’ rule when something doesn’t go as I expect/want it to. It really is the simple things, like pretty toes, that can sometimes give us the smile we need!

  7. This is your Valentine to your readers, isn’t it Ginger? I feel the love and will pass it on. Thanks.

    • Thanks, Pat. YES, Happy Valentines Day!! Not sure why I had to ‘approve your comment’ since you’ve been here on my blog regularly — which I greatly appreciate. Are you cognito today?

  8. Happiness is a choice–one of my faves. Lots of inspiration here Ginger–thanks! 🙂

  1. Pingback: Link Feast For Writers, vol. 41 | Reetta Raitanen's Blog

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