Although it’s very sad to see the descriptions of the Boston victims such as “Heart of Gold” and “She made everyone feel special” this also makes me think, the reason so many good people get hurt in these tragedies is that there are so many more good people than bad.
I feel constantly in search of an answer for “How to Be Happy”? Some of the ideas I thought were answers:
- Fake it till you make it
- Find a deeper understanding for everything, the more we know about how behavior works the more we can control our emotions
- Happiness is relative, so keep reminding myself of how much worse my situation could be
- Happy people had a good childhood and they are able to carry that happiness throughout life
- It’s all in the brain, everyone’s brain is wired differently and some people are naturally more happy or more satisfied while others struggle to achieve happiness on a regular basis. Some of these people have such dramatic brain issues that they need drugs to avoid harmful depression.
- Focus on the little things that bring me bits of joy, avoiding the bigger issues that limit deep and true happiness
- Keep making changes to keep life new and exciting, without finding a way to achieve happiness without those regular changes.
As it turns out, by trying to ignore the things that cause pain and misery, I also dulled the joys of life. At least, that’s what I’m thinking now after watching this TED Talk by Brené Brown.
I have always been sensitive. I cry very easily, and as a kid I hated being called a crybaby. Now as an adult, I cry when sad, happy, angry, just about every emotion comes out in tears. Which is hard for my boyfriend because it makes it harder for him to read my emotions. I wish I didn’t cry so easily, and I really wish I could control it in public.
That is one of the reasons I have tried to limit my vulnerabilities. If I am vulnerable, there is more potential for me to cry. So I tried to cut out vulnerabilities, but that has probably had a severe effect on my relationships with friends, family, and my boyfriend. By trying to be independent, and not rely on others, it’s been hard to form stronger bonds with people.
I would love to hear from others who think they may have similar experiences.
Raise your hand if you have been bullied at some point in your life. If you can read this, I expect you are raising your hand. It doesn’t matter what age, gender, skin color, native language, etc. It’s a natural reaction when we are not taught to behave otherwise. Typically bullying is a reaction to stress (www.bullying.org). And who is not stressed at some point in their life?
The number of groups and news reports about bullying gives me hope that we will soon have the tools to stop the bullying behavior. Dateline even did an episode secretly watching kids to see if they will participate in bullying. Ways people are stopping Bullying behavior:
- Strategies for Success includes statistics on improvements for kids using these strategies.
- Review the Challenge at thebullyproject.startempathy.org
- Maisie Miller, a high school student in Massachusetts, teamed up with students to stop the bullying behavior. And asks that people do not retaliate as that would just continue the cycle.
- Southern Poverty Law Center organizes their discussions around the topic of the bullying.
- WebMD discusses ideas to stop bullying for boys and girls.
- Kids have created ideas such as this website for Comic Strips to stop bullying.
- Or review these 8 Kid Power skills
- More ideas from kids at Pacer’s site National Bullying Prevention Center
What if your child is the bully?
- Warning Signs to look for that your child might be a bully.
- Why kids bully on Education.com
- Signs that your child is being bullies, or is a bully on GreatSchools.org
Thanks to RaisingAwareness for your post and reminding me to complete this post.
I couldn’t have said it better than this kid. He’s out there with his own view, opposing the Baptist parishioners.
Surprisingly, I haven’t written much about music. Much of my life’s enjoyment stems from the music I enjoy. It gets me through boring drives, boring work days, and everything else in life.
If you enjoy easy listening, soft rock kind of music, then you might like Lizanne Knott who is a singer-song writer in Pennsylvania. She has a compliation CD that includes many of her more popular songs and the profits support HEAL Africa.
I think a lot about love… About how we think of it, how we feel it. What gives us the feeling of love and what we are missing when we don’t feel love.
Watching a movie yesterday, The Beginners, there is a scene where the Oliver talks to his gay father’s younger lover and comments that he was jealous of the lover because his dad Loved Him, as if he felt more love for the boyfriend than for his own son. But the movie subtly portrays the acts of love that Oliver is not wise enough to interpret from his father. Just as the book the 5 Languages of Love points that that people give and receive love in one or more of 5 ways, we don’t always realize the ways someone expresses their love for us. My response to that particular scene was a reminder of how we confuse the emotions of Love and Happiness.
The movie itself is a realistic view of the process of love. How we meet someone and that elated feeling of happiness makes us think we are in love. And over time love can develop in a relationship, a deep authentic love, where we do what we think is best for the relationship even if we cannot get or give what we want. Well maybe I also confuse commitment in there too, in the conscience choice of dealing with the circumstances and making the most of the situation.
Love is a combination of so many things. But I feel very little about love relates to being happy. They are different emotions, sometimes experienced together. In our material society we like to give up and throw out the things that no longer make us happy, quickly moving on to the next best thing. But how can we do that with friends, loved ones, significant others, relationships?
People like to say that Ignorance is Bliss, and Love is Blind. But I don’t want to be so blind that I don’t understand love and therefor might accidentally throw love away, just because I don’t fully conceptualize all the components of love.
A couple of things I have been surrounded with lately have combined into one idea. What everyone is looking for in life, and what seems to bring infinite happiness to people is compassion and understanding. A human connection that comes from understanding each other and the experience one or both persons are going through.
Today’s local public news station has a story recently of how a little understanding and act of compassion goes a long way in the local jail (the people held here are awaiting trial and have not been convicted of a crime). We can debate back and forth the worthiness of criminals to receive these types of acts, but given the positive impact for life of the inmates and the guards, and the potential for this to be the first step in getting their lives back on track, isn’t it worth while to make the extra effort? I would imagine this to be more effective reform of many types of criminals.
Another related story is a discussion on K-12 education in the US where the participants identify the most significant need for education today are people (teachers/counselors) who have the time and ability to connect with the students and be emotionally for those in need of that support. Some kids just need someone to believe in them. This can come from family or from someone in the community. Each participate related a story of success to having that supportive person in their life, and the student who dropped out of school agreed that a lack of support was a major factor to their decision. Check out the discussion on Education Nation on NBC. The challenge is to develop our education system with proper incentives for providing this support while maintaining the educational goals, and not overtax our educators. I suspect the evidence will show that we need more educators and staff in the school system.
“Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it. “
- Harold S. Hulbert
I think this applies to all people, but especially to children. We spend so much time each day interacting without significance, especially when living in the city.
You know how special things happen with we are feeling good? Some days we wake up on the right side of the bed, or hear our favorite song on the way to work, something to put us in that Happy Mood. While in that mood we are kind to other drivers, patient with our friends and loved ones, helpful to those in need, and receptive to the occurrence of additional uplifting events. It’s almost like our positive mindset makes good things happen to us (but really it’s our positive mindset that allows us to recognize and appreciate the good things). And then while in that happy mood we are more likely to pay it forward spreading cheer all around. Have you seen the Liberty Mutual commercials where someone watches a stranger perform a good dead, then they perform a good dead for someone else?
So why not do the world a favor by doing something nice for ourselves each day? Similar to the 29 Gifts idea, but doing a little something for ourselves to start the chain reaction (as long as it does not cause harm to others).
Unfortunately, negativity is more infectious than positivity. Even more reason to keep ourselves in a happy mood. If we are unhappy then we are even more likely to pass it on, or rather others are more likely to have their mood soured as a reaction to our negativity, so take care of yourself and contribute a positive impact to the world around you. You know what is even more infectious than negativity? Laughter, I love to tell little jokes or anecdotes to strangers, like the grocery cashier, to break up their day of hundreds of empty conversations with all the customers they serve.
Related Reading Material
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book about spending 1 month to focus on giving and the good we can add to the lives of people around us. Here is a review on Good Reads. The book is both about giving, and about the authors journey adjusting to a life with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The short chapters for each day of giving, and each day of defeating one of the MS symptoms, were great for reading just before bed.
If you are interested in details of the program before you get a chance to read the book check out the website for personal stories on giving, tips on giving, and the origin of the 29 Gifts program.