2021 , a New Year with new Opportunities for Happiness

One thing I think almost everybody can agree on in a time that nobody seems to agree on anything is that 2020 was a challenging year for Happiness !  Psychology Today published an article that defines some of the hallmarks of Happiness … The full article is here , but for the purposes of this posts I will pull some of the information I find relevant to the idea of a period time that presents challenges to our happiness and ways in which we might recognize that our Happiness is suffering. This wouldn’t be much of a blog about finding and sharing happiness if some tactics for finding and retaining happiness in challenging times wasn’t also included .

Many of my readers seem to enjoy lists, the visitation and engagement stats for my blog support this ! I’m pretty found of a good list to so here goes !

Outward signs of Happiness:

Here are a few of the outward signs that someone is happy. As you browse this list think about you experiences during challenging times, for purposes of this blog post, the year 2020 in general. How many of these characteristics remained intact, how many of these characteristics suffered ?  For me this list was kind of a light bulb moment , so many of these characteristics that are normally a very big part of me and my personality suffered greatly and in a way that while in hindsight is very obvious, the evolution , the downward spiral so to speak was so slow that it isn’t entirely clear to me when everything changed.

  • Is open to learning new things
  • Is high in humility and patience
  • Smiles and laughs readily
  • Goes with the flow
  • Practices compassion
  • Is often grateful
  • Exercises self-care
  • Enjoys healthy relationships
  • Is happy for other people
  • Gives and receives without torment
  • Lives with meaning and purpose
  • Does not feel entitled and has fewer expectations
  • Is not spiteful or insulting
  • Does not hold grudges
  • Does not register small annoyances
  • Does not angst over yesterday and tomorrow
  • Does not play games
  • Is not a martyr or victim
  • Is not stingy with their happiness

How many of these happiness characteristics fell by the wayside for you ? What is interesting to me is that while a good many of these characteristics held steady for me some of the others were extremely fragile and didn’t hold up at all, I suspect most people will have similar conclusion.  Interestingly had I seen this list at an earlier point perhaps I could have done a better job at managing my level of happiness ?  I will have some conclusions and suggestions but I will save that for later when I get to happiness tactics portion of this blog post 🙂

One of the hallmarks of a good trap is that it is very easy to get in and not as easy to get out of.  How many times during 2020 did you find yourself falling into the Happiness trap of thinking that you could be happy if only (fill in the blank) would happen.  Pre 2020 here are some of the misconceptions you may have had with regards to this “if only” happiness trap. Thinking along these lines how many things we though “if only” during a challenging 2020 robbed us of happiness ?

Myths of Happiness

  • “I’ll be happy when I’m rich and successful.”
  • “I’ll be happy when I’m married to the right person.”
  • “Landing my dream job will make me happy.”
  • “I can’t be happy when my relationship has fallen apart.”
  • “I will never recover from this diagnosis.”
  • “The best years of my life are over.”

Interestingly if one were to search for myths related to Happiness one can find other ideas and other ways of thinking about Happiness.  I ran across this article “20 Biggest Myths About Happiness” on the Best Life website. If you have read any of my other posts you might notice I often say that what brings me happiness may not be the same thing(s) that bring your happiness. It is always interesting to me the different approaches and takes on happiness , some of the observations aren’t my perspective but it certainly does a good job on expanding on Happiness traps that may apply to you. I love reading about happiness , so many different approaches, so many ideas 🙂

Happiness Tactics and Resources

One of the joys about writing about a very specific topic is that at a point it becomes a vast wealth of resources that comes together and becomes extremely useful in challenging times. The irony is my happiness suffered just as everybody did in the challenging year of 2020 while having the resources and ideas to more effectively maintain and nurture happiness.  Here is a list of resources and tactics that I have previously published, it is almost as if I were preparing for this very moment !

Can Happiness really be stolen ? By whom ?   – Who steals your Happiness ? What can we do about it ?

The Dollar store happiness factor – Is your shopping experience making you happy ?

Why sharing makes us happy – Why we sometimes get it wrong

Happiness Quiz: How Happy Are You –  Find out your current level of happiness with some ideas included in results to boost Happiness

The happiness bank – Be a happiness Ninja – One of my favorite all time posts exploring the idea of banking Happiness !

Is Seeking Happiness Selfish ? – Do we need to justify Happiness ? – During difficult times it can seem selfish to seek Happiness , it is far from selfish !

Being too hard on yourself, it’s not just a saying – You are human, cut yourself some slack

Happiness and emotional abuse – Jelly Beans and Sauerkraut  – In tough times emotional abuse often follows

Happiness – It begins with you – For some the isolation of 2020 was cause for being unhappy, find ways to be comfortable and happy in times of solitude

Happiness and Money – How closely is your happiness related to money ?

Happiness and the 9-5  – Maybe you find yourself without a job , a new job , self employment maybe. Happiness and your job may not have the correlation you expect ?

Happiness and its Surprises – What we might think will make us happy is debunked by some real science , this post includes a very insightful video on the psychology of happiness

What Happiness does for your Health – This is a beautiful and simple graphic that illustrates the health benefits of Happiness

Happiness, when it goes astray – How much of our idea of happiness is actually clever marketing

Life’s goal- Creating the most happiness while creating the least misery  – Incredibly impactful post about what does and doesn’t create happiness. The video is eye opening

Happiness and Keeping your Peace – The world needs to read this and now !

Happiness , our Perspective and Differences of Opinion – Difference of opinions should no be a source of unhappiness

This is by no means a comprehensive list , there are many more blog posts and resources available on my website .. A complete listing appears here .

It is my hope that this post and the resulting resources will be of help , if not inspiration for finding and sharing your happiness even in the most challenging of times …  Perhaps more than ever before we all need a little extra help finding ways to cultivate true and lasting happiness

Find your happiness, Share your Happiness

#findyourhappiness #shareyourhappiness #happiness #share

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