Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Happiness Project

I'm participating in Happiness: The Group Writing Project You can too! Visit Alex Shalman's blog by clicking the link, answer the questions on your blog and your blog will be listed on Alex's which is a lot more famous. This could be good - great even! So here goes!

The Questions
How do you define happiness?
Happiness is being pleased with your present circumstances; enjoying family, friends, and activities; managing stress well; having a sense of well-being. I also believe that having something to look forward to and setting personal goals contributes to happiness.

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your happiness now, versus when you were a child?
My childhood happiness = 5 because of my mother's mental illness. She is bipolar, so growing up she had periods of mania, depression, and normalcy. Because of her instability and behavior, my parents divorced which contributed to my unhappiness.
My happiness now = 8 because of remarriage to a wonderful guy, a great standard of living, travel, and a better ability to cope with stress.

What do you do on a daily basis that brings you happiness? (and how consistent is the feeling of happiness throughout your day)
I love my (part-time) job at the library. Routine gives me a sense of well-being. I enjoy being an early riser and having a bit of time to myself first thing in the morning. I use an afternoon nap to 'reset' my mood since I seem to drop off in the afternoon.

What things take away from your happiness? What can be done to lessen their impact or remove them from your life?
Stress can take away from my happiness, especially worrying about my family. Severe illness and death in the family have been recent things that have impacted my happiness. I've used counseling and support to cope with these events. To lessen the impact of the types of things that take away from my happiness, I try to redirect my thoughts, count my blessings, distance myself from negativity if possible, and take a break from high stress situations if I can. If a situation is within my control, I can choose to remove the stress by fixing the problem or removing myself from the situation.

What do you plan on doing in the future that will bring you even more happiness?
I plan on setting goals that focus on things that I enjoy. I have applied to graduate school because I love learning. My husband and I look forward to our retirement (or semi-retirement). I love spending time with my grand-babies and look forward to doing things with them as they grow.

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