…And you will be happy, too
Sometimes I chalk energy and having lots of it, up to things like; adrenalin, a good night’s sleep, cardio, eating lots of nutrient-rich foods, spending time outdoors in the sunshine…because they are all proven. But happiness can bring energy up, and conversely unhappiness can bring energy levels down sometimes, despite partaking in any or all of the above.
I mention this specifically because of how important I find spreading happiness to be; I mean I think it’s really important.
And sometimes it’s simply an encouraging word, or phrase, that will turn it around. In parenting those of us with children have a pretty much guaranteed chance to spread happy most every day. Although it may get more challenging as they advance into the teen years. Not always, but sometimes, that is.
I find, for me, and not surprisingly for my children, a mix of encouragement and praise goes a long way. Encouragement is usually more task-oriented, while praise is personal. It’s been a while for me, but I’ve certainly seen this manifest positivity in both the workplace and a classroom setting.
When I was growing up, it was in a household that celebrated birthdays as special days. I thought everyone did. It wasn’t until I was much older that I found out differently.
I still think of it as your special day, and I like to wish someone so. And I’m not ashamed to enjoy my own still, even though it involves getting older!
In the tenth grade my parents decided to put my name on the local radio station’s (CKCL) Birthday Greetings list, or whatever clever title it held. It seemed as if nearly the entire town had heard it too, I had several people stopping me in the hallways at school to give their wishes.
So many, in fact, that I was late for history class. When I scrambled in, flushed and apologetic, Mr. Brown called me by my last name (as only he so often did), and asked me if I had a good excuse? I thought for half a second and replied, “It’s my birthday?”
He smiled, said, “Good enough”, nodded toward the class and I took my seat. On the way out he stopped me to wish me a “happy one”. And it really was…
Wishing someone happiness, good luck, or heath, best wishes or any other combination of salutations on their birthday usually does indeed bring genuine happy into their day. It doesn’t work on the odd person here or there, but mostly it’s an easy way to spread that stuff.
There once was this epic day that I remember from my childhood. I can almost smell that day. If I’m really quiet and have my eyes closed I can almost hear that day. But it was really just an ordinary, albeit rainy, day by all accounts. That is until our Mom walked into the living room of our little house and handed my sister and me a gift;
A Rainy Day Activity Book
I feel like it was a Crayola book, but I’m not sure, I could simply be remembering the brand of crayons and markers we used in it. It was very thick and it had like a million different kinds of activities inside; coloring, puzzles, mazes and other games, things to cut out and fold.
More things than we could do in a month of rainy days!
It was amazing. It must have been akin to winning a 50/50 draw? We’d hit the jackpot.
I honestly cannot vouch for how stellar that book actually was, how long it held our attention or especially the level of our creativity…but I can tell you very sincerely; my memories of that day and the incredible works of art that we compiled are such happy recollections that they kind of bring tears to my eyes now, thirty plus years later.
As I recall it, it was one of my very best days.
Scattering happiness need not cost you any money. It can be as effortless as smiling at a stranger. Even as painless as holding a door for someone.
Or saying thank you and acknowledging someone by appreciating them. Make them glad they held the door for you!
Simple acts of kindness can make a person’s day.
Visiting a magical place can do it, too. The joy from an unforgettable experience can last a lifetime.
My boys, my husband and I are all huge Harry Potter fans. The moment all four of us walked into the HP themed amusement park within Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida was one of those moments.
The stories that were begun by being read to them, the HP World they’d first only heard then read and then watched on the big screen had come to life. The feeling really was like magic. I think the hair on my arms stood up?
But an easy drive to a lake or park can bring an abundance of joy and happiness. Even a shopping trip can do it for some. A County Fair. The local library. Watching a sunrise, a sunset, the stars or an eclipse. Is there any happy? ✓
Going somewhere happy just brings happiness…
Happiness is many things to many people:
What makes you happy? What can you do to make someone happy? I’m willing to bet that it will make you happy too…
— Raina K Morton October 21 2014
*Title from a Jimmy Durante song that you may recognize from many places, not the least known of which would be the soundtrack to a little movie called “Sleepless in Seattle”, the entire video with lyrics can be found at the top of this piece. 🙂
** Click pic to enlarge – 25 Ways to Encourage