The Happiness Project.

Hello World! Although I don’t share often anymore, I had to share this.  Just finished Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project.  Excellent, Excellent, Excellent!  A domestic Eat, Pray, Love (which reminds me, I should finish Eat, Pray, Love this summer, too…).  An inspirational journey of happiness.  It reminds me a bit of my starting this blog, trying to accentuate the creative in my life– my own source of happiness.  

The book includes facts, quotes and other happiness-related suggestions.  And I loved every page. 

In the one week that it took me to read?  I even noticed changes in my own life:

1) I cleared my financial clutter.  Old credit statements, receipts, bills– that are not related to taxes– are now shredded!  I wasn’t sure how long to keep these things (since bank statements should be kept for 7 years…), but upon some google searching and reading suggestions on several financial sites, I got my answers and cleared out my file cabinet.  It was stuffed full– now there’s EXTRA space!

2) I started to stretch in the morning.  With my arthritis, I get very stiff and moving in the morning is hard (I actually didn’t realize HOW hard until I started doing yoga, then stopped–).  It’s even harder on rainy days or humid summer mornings.  So even if I don’t have time or I’m too sore for yoga, I at least stretch.  In the morning, before bed, and sometimes even in between.

3) I eat a bit better.  Rubin is the first person I know who seems to acknowledge what I’ve already known about myself– physical comfort is a basis of happiness.  “Not letting myself get too hungry” is a big step I can take towards being nice.  Also, Rubin admits (as I’ve found myself), that she needs more frequent snacks/food than most adults.  This is VERY true of me.  

4) I sleep better.  I’m struggling with this.  But I have developed a habit of getting tired at 9pm and going to bed at 12:30.  I’m trying to go to bed at least a little CLOSER to when I actually get tired.  Including shutting off the light and trying to stop texting.  And I take a bit of time to unwind– mostly by reading and getting ready for bed early.  

5) Interrupt my inner monologue.  I just noticed myself doing this.  Yesterday, I went on a rant while trying to merge into traffic leaving a busy mall parking lot.  I couldn’t seem to STOP, but I did NOTICE– that I was spewing negativity that was totally unnecessary!  Today, I had a bad dream just before I woke up.  That often is enough to start a bad or funky mood that can linger the whole day.  Instead, knowing that I was getting up early for my own good as I wasn’t supposed to be anywhere at a particular time, I laid in bed stretching, thinking, praying and generally re-starting my morning for a long while.  When I got up, I felt brighter and it’s been a good day so far! 

Definitely recommend this book!  I’m thinking about happiness in a totally new way.  And looking forward to more summer reading.  

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