August is, among other things, National Happiness Happens Month. This week, August 1st through the 7th, is National Happiness Happens Week. Plus, National Happiness Happens Day is coming up on Sunday, the 8th. All established by the Society of Happy People!
There are so many mental and physical perks that come from being happy, including a rise in energy, as well as self-esteem; which, in turn, is also good for the heart and, thereby, likely to help you live longer. Unquestionably, WHEN HAPPINESS HAPPENS, LIFE IS GOOD!
‘Happiness is a state of thought. It begins with gratitude for all we’ve already received and achieved – not with what we own or the things…’ – Gloria Pitzer, as seen in Gloria Pitzer’s Secret RecipesTM Newsletter, Issue #218 (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI; Nov. 2000, p. 5)
It’s difficult to define real happiness because it’s different for each individual, as it is a state of mind that is made by our own choices, and we are each unique. From one of Mom’s writings I shared last week, according to John Luther, “happiness is not a matter of good fortune or worldly possessions. It’s a mental attitude. It comes from appreciating what we have, instead of being miserable about what we don’t have.”
Healthline.com offers 25 daily habits that can make you feel happy, in a wonderfully informative article written by Ann Pietrangelo (Jan. 15, 2019). Some of the habits mentioned in Ann’s article I’ve found on many other “lists”, covering the subject of achieving happiness.
The general consensus seems to include deep-breathing, exercising, getting plenty of sleep, and eating right. As Ann pointed out in her article, different types of food can affect our moods in different ways – sounds like a good subject for another Monday! Anyway, other common actions that can make you feel happy are giving compliments and smiling; even acknowledging unhappy moments, as well as being grateful for something every day.
Contrary to popular belief, money does not buy happiness. However, according to Social Networks and Happiness, written by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler (Dec. 4, 2008), for every happy person in our lives, our own chances of being happy increases by 9 percent!
‘THE GREATEST WASTE in the world is the difference between what we are, and what we could be!’ – Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 10)
Take a closer look at what‘s defined as happiness and what it takes to reach that level of personal pleasure in your life. Technically, the term “happy place” is an oxymoron, as happiness is not a place. Happiness is the whole journey of life, rather than the destination. It can be found anywhere, at any time, in anything along the way.
You could say that “happiness is in the mind of the beholder”! Thus, take pleasure in every little moment of joy you can find. If you can’t find any in your day, search YouTube for “baby giggles” – that always helps me. It’s up to each of us to find what makes us happy and put it into each and every day that we can. It can’t get more simple than that.
FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in…
Gloria Pitzer’s Christmas Card Cook Book (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1983, p. 19)
THE CRITICS ALWAYS have a field day with the subject of being happy, as if it were an unrealistic condition to which no one was truly entitled. Those who claim to be specialists in the field are skeptical about the achievement of what is commonly considered happiness and take care to caution us against hoping to attain such a state, as if it were something only fools would desire.
I weigh the happiness I have had and what I feel is mine today with a sense of relief that is more than I ever expected and probably more than I deserve. In keeping, though, with the commentary of the cynics, one might think that it is unlikely and unrealistic to be truly happy today.
To be truly and totally happy, the cynical critics give us an unrealistic ream of necessities that we are first expected to possess. We shouldn’t have to be totally happy every minute of every day, otherwise the state of absolute contentment just might become so boring to us that we would lose our appreciation for it.
Every challenge we can meet, every crisis we can overcome, weighs more on the scale of success than all of the gold in Fort Knox! There are moments when we are the happiest, in spite of fret and discouragement, when we rouse ourselves from weariness and self-pity and realize that we are more important to the happiness of others than we give ourselves credit for.
In knowing how important we are to others, we can find a degree of contentment that is often sufficient to clean the slate of any self-imposed put-downs. All it takes, sometimes, to put us into one of these moods is the undeserved criticism of someone who’s opinion of us is quite important.
Of course, the self-centered cynic, whose job in life, it would seem, is to constantly find fault with those whose ideas they do not agree, would try to make our little contentment seem like a fraudulent attempt to deceive ourselves and others.
Happiness is the one state of being that comes in so many different forms that the righteous critic, the cynic, the skeptic, can only feel it when they are being proven correct; while the rest of us find it in doing what the cynics criticize us for doing.
Happiness, if only at wonderful intervals, is no miracle – no coincidence. It’s a happening! Or better said – it’s a ‘happy-ning’! The scales on which we each weigh what is of value to us that gives us happiness, balance out what we expect with what we get.
One can find happiness in getting what they want – or in wanting what they get! One book that I recently heard about seems to cover the whole subject nicely. The book is called ‘How to be Happy Without Money’ – but it costs $300!
Most of us think of happiness as an end or a means to an end – when, in reality, happiness is the beginning – not the end… And seldom the means to anything that does not reach out and touch somebody else with unselfishness and charity!
Happiness is achieved by making the most of the good times – but also effectively coping with the unavoidable bad times, in order to experience the best possible life overall. Research has shown that happiness is the key to success, rather than success being vital to happiness.
In an awesome article by Mark Williamson (Nov. 3, 2014), called Why Does Happiness Matter?, he wrote: “Trying to live a happy life is not about denying negative emotions or pretending to feel joyful all the time. We all encounter adversity and it’s completely natural for us to feel anger, sadness, frustration and other negative emotions as a result. To suggest otherwise would be to deny part of the human condition.”
MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in…
My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 19)
EXCELLENCE vs. AVERAGE
THE PRESSURE WE put on ourselves to be exceptional is totally unreasonable! The trendy position to cultivate, these days, is one of excellence. In the marketplace and business world, the urgency and motivation is to become excellent – as individuals, as executives, as parents, as citizens, as politicians or as husbands and wives. At every turn, every level of society, we are pushed into becoming humanly excellent!
If everyone, however, were to become truly excellent in their endeavors; ‘excellent’ would, then, become ‘average’! It’s perfectly okay, just to be average – which is simply the same distance from the top as from the bottom. When the average person is content with their position, their lifestyle, their social level and, even, their earning capacity; then, they are truly happy.
Average people sleep better at night than the over-achievers, seeking maximum excellence. Average people have average homes, wear average clothes, eat average foods and maintain average lifestyles. They are proud [and] their pride is genuine. They like who they are [and] what they are, [making] it easy for them to like their neighbor too!
According to BargainHunting.webs.com, National Bargain Hunting Week starts on the FIRST MONDAY through Sunday of August (which is today). However, NationalDayCalendar.com claims National Bargain Hunting Week is celebrated during the SECOND week in August, which is next week. Both websites agree that it was founded by Debbie Keri-Brown in 1996. I say, “Why not celebrate it both weeks?” Whichever week it is, HAPPINESS HAPPENS for me EVERY TIME I find a good bargain!
HAVE YOU EVER had your day suddenly turn sunshiny because of a cheerful word? Have you ever wondered if this could be the same world because someone had been unexpectedly kind to you. You can make today [that way] for somebody! It’s only a question of a little imagination, a little time and trouble. Think now, ‘What can I do today, to make someone happy?’ – Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 30)
In honor of TODAY, being National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, here is Mom’s secret recipe for homemade ice cream sandwiches; as seen in her self-published cookbook… The Secrets Of Homemade Groceries (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Sep. 1979, p. 37) [aka: “Book 5”].
P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…
Some of August’s observances include: National Dog Month, Family Fun Month, Get Ready For Kindergarten Month, International Peace Month, National Back to School Month, National Brownies at Brunch Month, National Catfish Month, National Crayon Collection Month (see National Coloring Book Day below), National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, National Immunization Awareness Month, National Panini Month, National Sandwich Month, National Water Quality Month, National Wellness Month, and Romance Awareness Month!
As the first week of August, it’s also… International Clown Week and Simplify Your Life Week! Additionally, the first FULL week of August celebrates… National Farmers Market Week and National Exercise with Your Child Week!
Other celebrations happening this week include:
Today is also… National Coloring Book Day!
August 6th is… National Root Beer Float Day, National Fresh Breath Day, and National Wiggle Your Toes Day! Plus, as the first Friday in August, it’s also… International Beer Day and National Water Balloon Day!
August 7th is… National Lighthouse Day and National Raspberries N’ Cream Day! Plus, as the first Saturday of the month, it’s also… National Play Outside Day (which is the first Saturday of every month), National Jamaican Patty Day, National Mustard Day, and National Mead Day! Additionally, it’s also the start of.. Twins Days [which is always the first full weekend (Saturday-Sunday) in August].
Sunday, August 8th is… Global Sleep Under The Stars Night, National Frozen Custard Day, and National Dollar Day! As the start of the second week of August, it’s also… National Bargain Hunting Week, National Health Center Week, National Kool-Aid Days, and National Hobo Week! Plus, the second full week celebrates… National Resurrect Romance Week, too!
…31 down and 21 to go!