I received a book in the mail last week that intrigued me. The book: Well-being for Dummies. The title made me laugh and when I had a few moments of quiet time this week I decided to give it a browse. I would say read but I’m a mother of two, I rarely have time to actually read instead I skim and look for details and highlights. I’m my very own version of cliffnotes
Chapter 2 of the book is titled: Mental Well-Being: Keeping your Wits about You, this obviously appealed to me. If you know me in real life you know I have a touch of the crazy. I’m always going in 100 different directions. Keeping my wits about me is a daily struggle. I like to be busy but don’t know when to stop.
The chapter was about growing happier and made it clear happiness doesn’t just happen you have to work at it. It listed the four basic ingredients for happiness. Before I dove into the list I tried to think of what might be included in a happiness recipe. I started thinking about my families happiness, health, money, houses, education, and shoes. (I love shoes they make me happy!) I was a little shocked when I read through the list which only contained four ingredients. I’m sharing it with you because I think you will be surprised as well.
- Safety. How safe are you in your community? I’ve never really thought about safety as a level of happiness but that is probably because I rarely have to think about my safety. I live in a great neighborhood. I know all of my neighbors and I love the area. I can see how it would affect happiness. When my husband and I rented an apartment in a large complex and our vehicles were constantly getting broken into I can see now, how we were all a little on edge. Again though safety never made my original happiness list.
- Satiation. That is simple the feeling of being full. Again another “thing” that didn’t make my list of happiness. It’s important to ask yourself when is enough enough.
- Perspective. This one I think is amazingly important and again it didn’t make my list. The ability to take a step back and examine and reflect on the BIG PICTURE. I think this is one most people struggle with. Being able to STOP take a moment and look around at what’s happening around them the real role they play in it. The book quote says simply “We’re far to busy climbing or cutting down the trees in front of us to have any sense of the forest as a whole.” Amazing. The next time your feeling down STOP think about all you have and where you are in the grand scheme of things and you are bound to have a smile on your face.
- Quietude. Finding a quiet place to be one with your thoughts. You need a place to this about the first three ingredients away from the rigors and noise of the world. Again quiet didn’t make my list but I think this has a lot to do with self reflection and what we really think about ourselves. Often we are our own worst critic and we have to remember to give ourselves a break. Quiet time to think and breathe.
These are four simple steps toward the happiness we all chase. Maybe rather than chasing down the happiness we have to slow down and find it for ourselves.
If you made a recipe for Happiness what would it include?
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