Finding Happiness in Your Everyday

Finding Happiness in Your Everyday

You told us through social media what brings you happiness. Here’s one woman's take.

By: Helen Jane Hearn

For me, finding happiness was a decision.

I grew up in a negative environment, as an intense perfectionist who was quick to blame and quicker to sulk. It wasn’t until I made likeability and happiness a conscious choice that I discovered how to find happiness in my everyday.

Nowadays, I’m known for being an upbeat, enthusiastic person. People look to me to lighten the mood in a room or for advice to look on the bright side. Surprisingly, those traits are nearly all learned through time.

The Basics
When I find myself feeling off-balance or not myself, it’s sometimes a biological issue. When I'm sleep-deprived, I'm letting my basic physical needs stand in the way of my best self. When I prioritize sleep, I find my overall mood is heightened. Dehydration and low blood sugar can also cause crabbiness.

I found that when I take care of those basics, I can establish a comfortable mood baseline and work toward being the happy-go-lucky person I usually am.


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The Silly
Finding the silly in the day jolts me immediately into a better mood. It can also elevate the mood of everyone around me. Giving a silly voice to a stressful situation and inserting an element of the laughable helps me find happiness in unexpected places. My children are great resources for the unexpected smile or laugh as their capacity for silliness far outpaces mine.

When I identify the things that make me unhappy, I can avoid them. These include: gossiping, comparing my insides with other peoples’ outsides, obsessing about my shortcomings, spending too much time in my head and not taking time for myself. When I take the opposite actions, I’m investing in my long-term happiness.

It’s surprising how many of those actions are easy — not gossiping is easy to do, it just requires a conscious choice on my end to steer the conversation toward something harmless.

Human Nature
After my second baby was born, it took me awhile to feel like “me” again. When my emotions weren’t naturally improving, I went to the doctor for a blood panel and found out I had a huge vitamin D deficiency. Although I received a prescription to take vitamins (and as always, check with your doctor before consuming any supplements), it was more than that. I was told to get outside. When you’re outdoors, you breathe in fresh air, take in the sun and your mood can improve almost instantly. Even if it’s a cloudy day, being out of the house or office is a quick and easy pick-me-up.

I started taking small hikes in parks and trails near my house that only took an hour or two. Connecting with nature is a calming thing. It can give you true time to reflect and gives you perspective and appreciation for all the good things in life.

Appreciate The Little Things
Paying attention to the little things has the biggest impact on my day-to-day happiness. It’s when I take notice of the changing color of a leaf, the taste of a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, a perfectly loaded dishwasher or the sound of my kids playing peacefully together that my mood improves and I can pass it on to others. It surprises me how the tiniest things make me smile. Being present is a present — a present of happiness!

Helen has written about Internet culture and home entertaining at her eponymous site Helen Jane since 1998. Napa Valley-based, she is a certified specialist of wine and founder of Cheesewhizzes, a nationwide cheese-tasting club. She also captains her bocce team, Joanie Loves Bocce.

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I have found that if I have stopped and thought whether this is the worst off scenario I could be in, I find that matters could be a lot more stressful and then I am glad that they are not. Or I find that the after effects of anger or sulking is going to land me in a worse situation. Inevitably, nobody shares your blues- you are left alone. So I have learnt to always look for the silver lining in a cloud and believe that "This too shall pass". This has enabled me to find happiness again.

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