The past couple of years have been particularly hard on my family and I, with work difficulties wreaking havoc on our future, my family living on the other side of the country and my father almost passing away a few months ago. My father has been suffering for years, and he feels that his passing would be a relief, but what would be particularly tragic is the fact that I would be unable to be there for my family due to the pandemic, should it happen. That, and the fact that he’s never met his second grandson, Alexander.
That’s why in the midst of all the pain and difficulties, it’s important to be happy. People walk through life, often aware that they aren’t happy but do nothing about it. An important lesson of life that people tend to forget about is the fact that happiness is a practice, not a given. It won’t happen on its own, it’s something you have to take active steps in order to achieve.
Now, I could blabber on about my usual go-to’s, how exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy diet and working on personal goals will all help to promote happiness. And these things are all true, don’t get me wrong. Keeping your fitness levels up releases a whole mess of crap inside your body that will make you feel good on its own. Getting a full night’s sleep and being well-rested will also be of great help. But ultimately, you should be trying to do one little thing that makes you smile, every day.
Personally, since I’m a YouTube addict, I’ll usually try to watch a motivational or inspirational video every morning. My thinking is that if I can start my day by seeing something positive, it will tip the scale and arm me with the positivity I need in order to tackle the negativity of the day I may face. This doesn’t always work, but for the most part, I’m successful in putting a grin on my face. This morning for example, I watched a video posted by a YouTube channel called “The Dodo” of an obese dog losing half its body weight to become healthier. It’s a small thing, took only a few moments of my time and made me smile. I’ll link it below:
Sometimes I’ll do something as simple as sit there and watch my 1-year old (who doesn’t quite walk yet) stand on his own two feet for a full minute because he’s so occupied with the toy he’s holding that he doesn’t realize what he’s doing. Then he notices he’s standing and suddenly can’t maintain balance and flops down onto his rump. Heartwarming and entertaining. Other days, it’s as simple as watching two squirrels frolicking on the tree outside my kitchen window while doing dishes.
My point is that there is still plenty of reason to smile, one simply needs to look for it. And with the current state of the world and one’s personal circumstances, it becomes important to work diligently at one’s own happiness. It won’t happen on its own. And you’ll come to find that when you’re happy and in a good mood, others around you may be a little brighter as well. Happiness can be contagious. But it’s a practice, not a given. ☯