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And the Secret to Being Happy Is…

this is my life and I'm happy to be living it Martha Washington, the first first lady, said that, “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our disposition and not on our circumstances.”

I think we’ve all been guilty of playing the happiness trick on ourselves before. The happiness trick is starting out a thought or sentence by saying, “I will be happy when…” You can fill in the blank.

Concerning motherhood this thought may come when you can’t get pregnant. I will be happy when I have a baby. It could be when you’re overdue and uncomfortable. I will be happy when they get this baby out of me! It could be when you’re sleep deprived. I will be happy when my baby sleeps through the night. Or it could be when your kid is a temper tantrum throwing toddler. I will be happy when my kid goes to school all day.

Do you see the pattern? If you have this mindset, it’s never ending. Your life won’t be instantly happy if one of your problems is solved because another problem will inevitably arrive.

Marcus Buckingham did a study on female happiness and wrote articles for the Huffington Post examining the findings. He says that the happiest women simply decide that they are going to be happy and these are four habits/qualities that they share –

1. Happy women focus on moments, more than goals, plans or dreams.
2. Happy women accept what they find. Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation, giving up on your dreams. In fact, more often than not, accepting which moments strengthen you and which don’t reveals to you exactly how you can live out your dreams, whether at home or at work.
3. Happy women strive for imbalance. They seemed to realize that not only was a perfect equilibrium nigh on impossible to achieve, but also that even if they did manage to achieve it, it wouldn’t necessarily fulfill them anyway–when you are balanced, you are stationary, holding your breath, trying not to let any sudden twitch or jerk pull you too far one way or the other. You are at a standstill. Balance is the wrong life goal.
4. Happy women learn to say “Yes.” Yes, to the strong-moments in each part of your life. Yes, to the people who help you create these moments. Yes, to your feelings as these moments happen.

You could easily change the word women in each of these sentences to mothers. Happy mothers focus on their happy baby giggles not that their goal to shower didn’t come true. Happy mothers accept the fact that they don’t like to do certain things with their kids and don’t feel like a failure because of it. Happy mothers don’t stress too much if their day doesn’t go exactly as planned. Happy mothers say yes to a the neighbor who wants to help out and don’t feel guilty about it.

Easier said than done? Yes. Impossible to change your disposition to sunny. Absolutely not.

Read the full article here.

image: Katie Licht

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