Monday, April 13, 2009

Joy to the World

my officemate Ms. C forwarded me this e-mail about the seven ways on how to discover joy [and happiness].

1. Make a Celebratory Visit
This is a special visit that celebrates what someone else means to you and what they have given to you. It is a joyous form of gratitude, which has been proven in studies to boost mood and health. First, sit down and write a thank-you letter to someone for whom you feel deep love and gratitude. Describe their qualities, such as courage, loyalty, kindness, wit, persistence. Then visit that person, and read your heartfelt description. Celebrate with them the miracle of their life and their presence in yours.

2. Look at the Big Picture
Remember that you are an essential part of a very alive universe--no matter how tough your day or week or year might be. You are part of the greater whole, the weave of life and all of humanity. You can remind yourself of that feeling by looking up at the night sky, or going to a religious service where everybody joins hands and sings, or even volunteering at an animal shelter. Your life has ups and downs but embrace the large scale of all of life in its great diversity with a huge hug.

3. Be a Keeper of Meaning
Knowing that your life has meaning brings a deep-down satisfaction that offers lasting happiness. One wonderful way to experience more meaning is to bring meaning to the lives of others by teaching them a special skill of yours--whether it's a new language, a new recipe, how to sail, or simply how to listen and be a caring person. You have something unique to share.

4. Forgive Yourself
Okay, you've made mistakes. We all have. Going over (and over) your missteps keeps you feeling disconnected and unloved. Here's how to forgive yourself: Bring to mind an incident for which you were forgiven. Remember the good feelings and bask in them. If you believe in God or a higher power, ask for forgiveness. While doing this, try to see yourself from the perspective of someone who loves you unconditionally. Would they judge you as harshly as you judge yourself?

5. Tune in to Those Around You
For one day, decide to be courteous to everybody in your path--even buoyantly so. Your neighbor, your mailman, a stranger at the coffee shop, a cashier, colleagues, and of course, friends. Greet them, ask how they are, hold a door, give a smile and a compliment. At the end of the day you'll feel much happier, relaxed, and more connected.

6. Be a Good Friend
A good friend wants the best for you and is happy when something great happens in your life. Be that friend. Repair rifts in your friendships when possible. Rekindle old friendships--look up friends from childhood or college, or those who have moved away, and reach out to them. Reshape your friendship networks to be sure your friends provide a supportive mirror for your own values in life.

7. Nurture Your Creativity
Creativity brings joy, and the personality trait most linked to creativity is being open to experience--trying new things, being open to fantasy, discovering new connections. Foster your creativity by listening to music, reading literature, and viewing art. Try a different approach to a familiar routine, such as planting only purple flowers in your garden, or garnishing a salad with unusual delicacies, or mixing and matching your clothes in a new way. Or join a scrapbooking club or pottery class--anything that will get you in touch with your creative side and with others in the process


it's high time we should take a deep breath and linger on events/people/things/values that we find more meaning in their simplest form. no need to squander a hefty sum for a luxury treat or for that gadget you've been eyeing at the gadgetry displays [*guilty*].

here's my own ways to joy/happiness:

NATURE TRIPPING: seek out for the rain to feel the droplets on your face or for that glorious sunshine that makes the flowers bring their colors. rain here is very rare. so when it comes, it makes me smile and remember pinas days.

UNITED NATIONS: find new friends and discover new cultures. being in a country flooded with expats, i'm blessed to have known some of their cultures. and it's fun that when they trust you and share to you their own culture, food, stories, etc.

BORN TO BE WILD: be adventurous and paint every journey a color of life. i admit, i am lacking in this field. so for this year, i'll be trying out some fun tours on places i've never been, which is quite A LOT! anyhows, i'll first try nearby emirates like Abu Dhabi, Fujairah and Umm Al Qawain. then i can try Greece (!), Egypt or Hongkong. that would be for this year.

THE POWER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS: remember your friends and loved ones. give them a ring or text them. on my part, a missed call is enough for me to think that i am being remembered or thought of.

CLOSET QUEEN: take off your wardrobe the clothes you no longer think of wearing. give them out to your little sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, friends or neighbors. these clothes are better off given to other human beings than just let them smell like roaches hidden on your closets. i've done this charismatically (hehe) to my little sisters and mom before heading here in Dubai, since it's not really possible to take with me all my clothes in my already large luggage.

HEARING AID: listen to your friends, your husband, your kids, your parents, your grandparents, or even to a stranger [just make sure he/she is harmless]. you just don't know how meaningful that experience is to them. and maybe, that person just needed to unload something that bothers him/her and you were there at the right time.

REFLECTION: communicate with God and recall the experiences you had for the week or for the month or for whatever. remember that you don't have to keep the "bad" deeds from Him for He knows you inside-out. it may not be comfortable at first and crying may be inevitable. but the best experience here is to accept our own selves and being able to surrender it all to Him. that kind of joy is way better than the rest.


kg said...

wow! i love the new look of your site! :)

with all the crisis people are experiencing, it's so hard to encourage people to be happy. but it can be done, and it definitely starts on the inside. diba?

hope you'll have a happy week yummybite! :)


kg: i'm loving the new look too! you're right that at this time, we often notice the bad things na lang. i hope we'll find more reasons to be happy amidst this crisis. have a happy week too! :D

Rico said...

Thanks for sharing ways to find and give joy. In times like these, we need all the good things we can find and give.