Few years ago I was going through some rough times and felt very low and hopeless. While talking to my mom about some of the issues I was having, she suggested I talk to a psychic she felt was legit. Since I was already grasping at all available straws for support and felt generally lost, I figured talking to this lady won’t hurt too much. So there I was, open mind and all, hoping to learn of a cure-it-all magical solution to my problems. Granted, my rational mind told me not to take the psychic too seriously and the things she told me, needless to say, didn’t come true for the most part or haven’t come true yet. However, there was something this mind reader said that stuck with me to this day.
During that time my life was in such turmoil that I just couldn’t see it getting any better. Usually, I can self-talk myself out of any gloomy feelings and bad attitude, yet, that time, no matter what I did I just couldn’t find a way out of the dark place under a rock I was stuck in. Hence, when the psychic lady asked me “What makes you happy” – I simply couldn’t answer. Nevertheless, I had to answer somehow, so after a brief thought and light self-searching, I blurted out that helping other people makes me happy… Well, that is true – I do enjoy helping people, so I wasn’t lying to her or to myself. However, the all-knowing lady wasn’t having it: “I asked what makes YOU happy, not what you do to make other people happy”, she objected. Clearly, I didn’t understand the demand and she, being a psychic, figured it out right away (aside from my silence as a clue). “For example”, she continued, “singing makes ME happy, picking flowers from my garden makes ME happy, watching the sun set, playing with my children and taking a stroll through the woods – are all the things that make ME happy. What about you?” Again, I was at a loss – “singing” is something I only do in my car with windows up, knowing that I should not inflict such horror upon others; “picking flowers” or “strolling the woods” are things that I strongly avoid due my chronic fear of the insect population; then with a full time job and as a full time student “sunsets” were only seen by me on the way from work to class and are usually overlooked due to my lateness and traffic, and since I don’t have any children to play with, I guess I was doomed for a not happy, laughter free life after all. As I was lost in thought, Ms. Happy gave up on waiting for me to answer and continued: “There should be something that you do solely for yourself that make you happy and make you laugh. You have to laugh. So forget everyone and everything else and spend some time during the day, every day, doing things that make you laugh.”
The next few days, I spent mauling over our conversation and caught myself searching for moments of happiness and laughter in my day. At that time, there weren’t that many. Today, there are significantly more, even though, I still cringe at my own singing, still have no time for sunsets, still will not go into nature even if my life depended on it and I still haven’t acquired any children to play with, so where does my laughter come from?
Over time I have been making note of things that I enjoy doing and things that make ME happy. For example, I love warm weather, so during the warm months here in New Jersey, I find myself in a significantly lighter mood, regardless of all the other circumstances. Additionally, I noticed that I enjoy learning new things – in college, for instance, getting A’s makes me very happy, so I made it a point to get all A’s. In my spare time, one of my guilty pleasures is TV – at this point I have pretty much watched every season of every decent show on Netflix, because the feeling of “I love this show and there are 5 more uninterrupted seasons to go” makes me extremely happy, especially in those cold winter months when all you want to do is stay under a warm blanket on a mountain of pillows. Of course, there are other things that I enjoy doing, but these little stolen moments of my own personal happiness, when I don’t have to worry about anyone else but me, make all the difference in my daily routine. One way or another, talking to the profit lady opened my eyes to the most important “thing” I was overlooking – myself. Whether you believe in the spiritual mambo-jumbo or not, you can’t deny that taking the time to ensure your own happiness and allowing yourself moments of laughter during the day is great advice one way or the other.
Lately, I have been watching a show called “Total Blackout” on Syfy, where 4 contestants are forced into a completely dark room to overcome their fears and let me tell you, this is one of the funniest things on TV right now – 30 minutes of laughter guaranteed. So if you need a good laugh and are not sure, like I wasn’t, of what makes you happy, I would suggest checking out this show to get you started, at least until you can discover your own list of joy prompting endeavors.
Meanwhile, what do you do to steal some happy time for yourself during the day? I would love to hear some new ideas to look into or to recommend them to others who desperately need a few laughs.
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