Friday, June 25, 2010

Week 25

*For explanation of The Happiness Experiment" go HERE .*

Last week's secrets:
Be socially supportive.
Don't blame yourself.

Secret #49
Be a peacemaker.

"If your friends or family members are upset with one another, you will feel their unhappiness. Try to be the voice of reason and reconciliation."

Often when family members or friends are disagreeing with each other, it is helpful to listen to each of them and let them know that you feel their frustration, but maybe they need to try and see things from the other person's point of view. That doesn't always work and sometimes they can become angry with you, but you have to at least try and help them solve whatever it is that is bothering them. Sometimes seeing an outsiders view can make them realize how silly the argument really is.

"The passive avoidance of problems between loved ones reduces contentment by 15 percent. To keep in contact and maintain happiness, difficulties must be faced rather than avoided."

Secret #50
Cherish animals.

"Animals have so much to teach us about love. The closer we get to animals, the more joy they give us."

I have always loved animals. I know that they bring joy to lives. We have a lot of animals. Dogs, cat, ducks, chickens, roosters, and goats. They are amazing. They make me happy, they make the kids happy, and I think we make them happy by caring for them. Having to take care of animals makes you step out of your world for a minute or two and focus on caring for someone else. Animals love unconditionally. And it is so easy to feel that love. 

"Interaction with animals supplies us with both immediate joy and long-term positive feelings, and contributes strongly to our happiness. Those with a loved pet are 22 percent more likely to feel satisfied than those without."

So I am now halfway through the book and experiment. I have been letting myself slip and am not posting at the beginning of the week like I originally wanted to. I need to get myself back on track. Since this is the midpoint, I figured I would do a review of all the secrets so far. Just to refresh our memories of all the things we need to be working on.

Your life has purpose and meaning.
Use a strategy for happiness.
You don't have to win every time.
Your goals should be aligned with one another.
Choose your comparisons wisely.
Cultivate friendships.
Turn off the TV.
Accept yourself-unconditionally.
Remember where you came from.
Limit yourself to thinking about one subject as you lie down to sleep.
Friendship beats money.
Have realistic expectations. 
Be open to new ideas.
Share with others how important they are to you.
If you're not sure, guess positively.
Believe in yourself.
Don't believe in yourself too much.
Don't face your problems alone.
Age is not to be feared.
Develop a household routine.
Don't be overprotective.
Pay attention. You may have what you want.
Don't let your religious beliefs fade.
Do what you say you are going to do.
Don't be aggressive with your friends and family.
Root for the home team.
Don't confuse stuff with success.
Every relationship is different.
Don't think "what if".
If you can't reach your goals, your goals will hurt you.
Little things have big meanings.
It's not what happened, it's how you think about what happened.
Develop some common interests with loved ones.
Don't let your entire life hinge on one element.
Share of yourself.
Busy is better than bored.
Satisfaction is relative.
Learn to use a computer.
Try to think less about the people and things that bother you.
Keep your family close.
Eat some fruit every day.
Enjoy what you have.
Think in concrete terms.
Be socially supportive.
Don't blame yourself.
Be a peacemaker. 
Cherish animals.

That was a good review for me just typing them out. I noticed a few things that I have not been working like I should. I'm going to have to keep looking at this list to remind myself of the simple things I should be doing to be more happy.