Welcome to DesignedHappy.com, my little corner of the webishpere (that's a word, right?).
I touched a bit on why this page exists here, but seeing as how positivity and happiness will be an underlying theme of everything on this site, I thought this would be a good time to tell you a little bit more about how I got here...
I started researching positive psychology in late 2011, while Pancake was pregnant with Stinky Face. I wanted to be a happier, more content person so I could teach my kid happy habits, instead of always finding the negative in a situation like I did. While I was googling how to be happier, I came across a Ted talk that would prove to be my springboard. The speaker is Shawn Achor, and the talk is titled, The Happiness Advantage.
Since I'm super nice, and part of being a happier and more positive person is practicing conscience acts of kindness, I will embed the video here for your convenience:
Pretty excellent, right? After watching that 12 minute clip I immediately bought Shawn's book, which if you know me, is saying a lot - I love to learn, but I hate to read (I've since got on the audible.com bandwagon).
The biggest take away for me - not just from The Happiness Advantage, but from everything I've studied - is that your brain can learn to be happy. It needs practice though. That's where a gratitude journal comes in.
This is the point in the story where life gets in the way. We had a house fire in 2012, and between my regular job, a new baby, and my new job of dealing with the insurance and restoration companies, I just didn't have the mental or emotional capacity to add another new something to my life. The restoration took almost a year, and I'm sure at some point I will document it here.
Anyway, I started my gratitude journal on March 21, 2013 with an app called, Gratitude!, I found on the app store. Every single day, for the next 500 days, I wrote at least 3 specific things I was grateful for that day. Something like, "I'm thankful for my family" is not specific. Something like "Stinky Face wearing my hat is hilarious" is. That was part of my journal entry on March 24, 2013. Here is the (super cute) picture I included:
So...after all that journaling, am I happier? In short, Yes. Now, it is so much easier for me to find the little things in my day that I'm grateful for. I don't want to make it sound like I'm happy all of the time - I'm not. I just don't obsess about the negative things in my life because I see more of the positive. And with more and more practice, I hope to get to the point where happiness will just become my new normal.
Thanks for reading, and have fun journaling!
Bye for now,