What did our grandparents do when times got tough? What did they do for fun and how did they avoid feeling negative? They found a positive side to everything.
There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy and plenty of ways to make yourself happy. Here are a few.
- Find the Funny – Lots of people seem to be walking around with downturned mouths these days, even those who are wearing masks. Practice being more observant and life will give you something to make you laugh. My grandparents went through some tough times, but they always found something to smile at. We should all take a page from their book.
- Be Content – My elders found happiness in the smallest blessings. They took joy at seeing the first rose of spring or talking to friends at the corner grocery store. They didn’t believe happiness was in owning a new car or winning the lottery. They found their riches in family and the accomplishments of others. Contentment is the greatest form of wealth.
- Sit and Talk – Shut off your phones and take a break from all technology. My older relatives used to love to sit in a circle in their Adirondacks chairs and shoot the breeze about this, that or the other. To this very day, our family sits around a fire pit in Adirondack chairs sharing stories about everything from embarrassing moments to favorite foods. The only rule while sitting around the firepit: No digital devices!
- Take a Sabbatical from the News– Want to be happier? Disconnect from the news for a week. It’s OK to let the world sort itself out, without your help, for a few days. Our parents and grandparents watched the news when it was factual without bias, but they turned it off and turned to each other for strength and peace of mind.
- Find a Forgotten Soul – There is almost nothing that matches the happy feeling of reconnecting with an old friend or acquaintance. It produces unbelievable warmth within us. Chances are pretty good, if you’re lonely for them, they’re lonely for you.
- Surround Yourself with Positive People – Who do you spend most of your time with? Is it someone happy and confident or a cynical person? My grandparents had many friends who found joy in life. They knew a few “Old Grouches,” but they were not very close to them. Be around cheery people, and in turn, they will help you to be happier too.
- Do Something Silly – There are dozens of old family photos of relatives involving horseplay, dressing in comical Halloween costumes, water balloon battles in the backyard, and goofy times at family picnics. Even during the worst of it, they were not afraid to be downright silly. Their smiles came directly from their hearts, and why not? They were with family and friends and enjoyed simple pleasures.
- Count Your Blessings – It is so old-fashioned to say so, but happy people remember to count their blessings. Happy people see the world as being filled with blessings, while sad people dismiss the positives in their lives. We all go through tough times but the happiest people really do see the glass as being half-full.
- Have Faith – Happy people, and I want you to be one, understand that life has its ups and downs. My grandparents and parents lived through The Great Depression. I once asked them how in the world they got through those hard times, and in the harder years of war? “We had faith that things would get better. We believed we would get through it together.” And they did. The future is as bright as your faith.
Be happy not because everything is good, but because you can see the good side of everything.
For more information about Hall of Fame speaker and bestselling author Steve Gilliland and the Gilliland Foundation, please contact email@example.com / 724-540-5019 / www.stevegilliland.com.