Happiness.

I just finished reading The Happiness Project.

A little background: I like books that offer insight into either my own life or into others.  Books that make me think.  Wonder.  Imagine.  Or, as in this case, smile.  There was a lot of smiling* going on.

*plus all of the above!

Honestly, I wish I had come up with the idea of a happiness project, myself.  It’s a little reminiscent of a bucket list, except that this is a very direct way of examining what makes us happy as individuals and what we can do about it.  The author took on a new project each month, until December, when she applied all of them at once.

Honestly, I thought the book was a little wordy by the end.  I was a little exhausted from all of her happiness tasks, to the point where I wondered if this was truly making her happy or not.  Maybe it was.  But it really would bug my Type A personality to have so many rules and tasks at that level.  However, I still loved the idea of it all.

And then it got me thinking….what makes me happy?

As the author so eloquently pointed out, we know what’s supposed to make us happy.  You know.  The things that make most people happy.  Like, for example, going to the movies.  Or spending a day doing absolutely nothing.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that these kinds of things don’t make me happy.

Sarah’s Unofficial Happy List

The author earns the right to change any of these items at any given time. 😉

(1) Bubble baths in the morning.  They feel so luxurious and out of the ordinary.  I like feeling like I’m pampering myself in this way. :mrgreen:

(2) Morning.  Bowls of hot and steamy oat bran with bananas, granola and almond butter.

(3) Being active every day.  I was going to say running, which obviously does make me happy, but as long as I’m outdoors and moving, that’s all that really matters to me.

(4) Being in contact with at least one person during the day.  I don’t like being a hermit and feeling out of touch.  It puts me in a grumpy mood to not be able to talk to anyone.  Even if it’s just a phone call!

(5) Helping people.  Making at least 3 people smile during the day.  Feeling needed.

(6) Eating.  I love cooking, but the part where everyone sits down, talks, and discusses the food is deifnitely my favorite part. :mrgreen:

(7) Productivity.  Procastination is a nasty habit of mine.  But it always leaves me feeling like Mr. Grumps!  If I just do what I need to do, even simple tasks, I’ll feel awesome by the end of the day.

(8) A clean bedroom.  I don’t like waking up to chaos. 😉

(9) Mindfulness.  Of what I’m eating.  Of who I’m talking to.  Of the current moment.  It’s too easy to let everything slip away, but the days I remember the most are the ones in which I practice being mindful.

(10) Gardening.  I wasn’t sure if this was going to make the list.  I’m honestly not a great gardener, and I don’t always have the greenest of thumbs.  But I love seeing hard work pay off, and gardening is great for that.  Time to get started! 😀

(11) Eating healthy and clean, 80-90% of the time.  I hate deprivation, but I also hate feeling blah after a heavy meal.  Eating well most of the time makes me feel my best, while still allowing a little bit of wiggle room for other things like chocolate, ice cream, french fries and—YES!—wendys frosties. :mrgreen:

QUESTION: What are some things that truly make you happy?  What are some things that most people seem to enjoy, but that you’re not really fond of?  I don’t like going to the movies, staying up late, or drinking red wine.  I like the idea of these things, but I don’t really enjoy them.

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16 comments on “Happiness.

  1. Nicole says:

    What??? You don’t like going to the movies??? Ha, ha. 🙂 Hmmm, things that make me happy? Bubble baths, lazy days, weekends without schedules, spending entire days with my hubby, going shopping with you, helping people, reading, and spending time outdoors!

    • Sarah says:

      I completely left off “going shopping with you” from my list. I guess maybe because I felt that was a given. Any time with you is happy time…especially when it involves cupcakes (yes, I am just a little excited and yes, I plan on bringing my paris plates this weekend…haha.)

  2. kristisn says:

    I’ve heard of that book, and have it on my list of things to read. 🙂
    I’m a little opposite of you. I’m surrounded by people all the time so when I get a day home alone I love it. That’s happiness to me.

    • Sarah says:

      I definitely know what you mean. If I spend all day surrounded by people, it makes me so happy to go home, throw on my pj’s, unwind, and just spend some time alone. 😀

  3. I love your happiness list 🙂 I, too, hate movies!
    I love spending time with my horse. having “alone time” in the kitchen to just experiment. early morning runs with the sun shining. early mornings in general (when there’s no place to be, anyway) oh, and when the Bruins win 😛

  4. Caryn says:

    I have been meaning to read that book, thanks for the reminder! I would say that spending a day in a coffee shop reading is definitely on my happy list. I also like when I have the luxury to sleep in. I also feel happy in airports — just hate the process of getting there!

  5. Britannie says:

    The things that make me happiest are lifting weights and yoga, dancing/rehearsing, starbucks lattes/coffee shops in general, baking/cooking/making/eating healthy food creations, my family and how they make me laugh, making others laugh and smile, and lastly/most importantly studying the Word of God and getting to know God. He makes me feel amazing because I know with Him I can do ANYTHING! 🙂

    Something that otherrs do that don’t necessarily make me happy is probably like drinking. I do like the free feeling of being drunk and stupid–but then I realize I’m just being drunk and stupid and it’s all meaningless.

  6. Loved this post. I think so often we fall into the trap of what/things that “should” make us happy and don’t step back to discover what truly does make us happy. I’ll have to do some good thinking on my own list!

  7. Katie says:

    I’m such an extrovert – I have to have contact with people everyday, too. Also, bakeries and coffee shops make me extraordinarily happy.

  8. Lisa Fine says:

    I love Wendy’s Frosties too, even though I eat loads of healthy foods.

    I also love how Gretchen talks a lot about finding what WE love, not what everyone else thinks we should love. It took me a long time to realize that I love doing things with one, two, or three other people, but I am so not into hanging out with a large group. I’ll do it, when I need to, but know what I prefer.

  9. I’m with you on mornings and contact with people every day. I looove getting up early and jumpstarting my day!

  10. love this list! and I don’t like movies or staying up late either! 🙂 red wine, i do love though!

  11. great post. some things that make me truly happy are being active, eating delicious and (mostly) healthy food, being outside, being at the beach, ice cream, weekends, time with my husband, and reading a good book.

  12. I’m with you, I really dislike going to the movies, I rather wait until flicks come out of video, although even then, I’m not much of a movie fanatic.

    Red wine, that’s a different story, me and red wine and best friends!

    Great review, I added the book to my list of “books I want to read when I finish my Masters” hehe 🙂

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