Monday, November 19, 2012

Make Yourself Smile

Bringing Joy Into Your Life

Do Something That Makes You Happy

In our quest for happiness we often look for things outside ourselves that will bring joy into our lives and make us smile. We depend on kind words from friends. We hope to see a cute baby or animal that will cheer us up. We wait for someone tell a joke that will make us laugh. We buy material items that will give us that brief moment of satisfaction. We are always looking for happiness that they world around us has to offer. It is true that pleasures surround us and are capable of bringing joy into our lives and can make us happy. However, we often forget our own power to make ourselves smile by doing something that makes us happy. We can't always count on others to bring joy into our lives because sometimes it just simply does not suffice. It is in these moments that we need to realize that we are capable of bringing joy into our own lives by doing something that makes us happy. We have the power to make ourselves smile. 
My "festive" apartment (Photo 1)
For instance, I spent the better half of last night decorating my apartment for my favorite holiday- Christmas. (People have told me that my directions are a little premature but I don't care.) The Christmas season fills me with joy so I am ready to decorate and celebrate as soon as Starbucks introduces their holiday cups (which was about a week ago)! Decorating my apartment festively was something I could do that made me happy and subsequently brought a smile to my face!
Starbucks says it's time for Christmas !

"You can make yourself happy or miserable. It's the same amount of effort."

- Ray Bradbury

What can you rely on to make you happy?
As Bradbury says bringing joy into your life requires effort but so does sustaining a feeling of misery. You need only take a bit of time and energy to do something that makes you happy. It doesn't not need to be something big or monumental as long as it serves its purpose. Try having a small list of things that you know will make you smile and enable you to feel good. It can include anything- baking cookies, rewatching your favorite television show, reading a trashy magazine, knitting, watching a comedic movie, drawing, surfing aimlessly online- that you can rely on to bring joy into your life. Turn to this list whenever you're feeling low or when you can't find something in the world outside that will make you happy. The truth is we don't need others to have fun, feel good, be happy. The power to achieve these things lies within us and can be found when we are all on our own. 

"Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking."

- Marcus Aurelius Antonius

This quote could not better support the point I am hoping to make this morning: we have the ability to makes ourselves happy. We can use any spare time and energy that we possess and take advantage of it. Whether it's 15 minutes in the middle of the day, during your lunch or cigarette break, or later this evening find the time to do something that makes you happy. From experience I can say that doing so lifted my spirits. I can't enter my apartment without smiling when I see all the Christmas decorations and lights that greet me. And last night when the project was complete I went to bed feeling happier than I have felt in a long time. There is something different about making yourself smile, making yourself happy. When you are the creator of your own happiness feelings of pride, fulfillment, and success are sure to come along as well. I did something that brought joy into my own life. I was not dependent upon anyone else to help me out of a rut, make me smile, or lift my spirits. I created my own happiness by doing something I enjoy. I am powerful enough to create the feelings of joy, happiness, fulfillment, and pleasure. I am strong enough to shift my mood and so are you! What makes you happy?

"What Makes You Happy?"
It can be small, silly, simple, odd, or seemingly insignificant. As long as it has the ability to put a smile on your face is all that matters. If cleaning your kitchen makes you happy go do it! If writing a poem brings you joy go ahead and write! If taking a bubble bath fills with you with a sense of pleasure than go start running that tub! If purchasing stickers lets you tap into your carefree, inner child than go to your local CVS and buy out the section! If reading a tabloid amuses go out and buy the trashiest one you can find! If painting your nails makes you smile than go pull out the nail polish! If simply resting brings you joy than go ahead and take a breather! What you do to make you happy isn't important. The important is remembering that you have the power to bring joy into your life and make yourself smile!

Smile and do something that makes you happy today and everyday,

Christmas lights adorning my window seat-  (Photo 2)

(Shirley Temple's movies and songs used to be my go to in order to make myself smile and bring a little happiness into my life!)

My decorating skills at their finest ! (Photo 3)