Everything is going to be okay, just smile (seriously)

Paige Kenny, intern at LCI, here.

The recession has made everyone so serious. We’re losing our savings, our jobs, OUR MINDS– serious, serious, serious. How could anyone stay happy in a time like this?

I remember doing a report in college where I referred to a quote by Abraham Lincoln: “Most people are only so happy as they make themselves out to be.” If Lincoln is right, then we all have the power to make ourselves happy – no matter the circumstances. This may sound silly, but being happy can even save your life. According to doctors, being happy has many benefits that extend to the workplace and beyond. Happiness can prevent physical problems, help you do better on your job, and improve your social life, too. So, making yourself happy is a worthy goal – and it is not impossible.

There are many daily habits that we can adopt in the pursuit of happiness. For example: (1) Limit TV so we don’t see all the material possessions we wish we had, and spend more time with friends instead. (2) Tune into the comedy channel or read the comics in the paper. According to J. Solomon’s 1996 study Humor and Aging Well, “in studies of hundreds of adults, happiness was found to be related to humor. The ability to laugh, whether at life itself or at a good joke, is a source of life satisfaction…those who enjoy silly humor are one-third more likely to feel happy.” (3) Live in the moment, because, in truth, that is all we have. One of the Beatles, John Lennon, wrote, “life is what happens when we are busy making plans.” Taking just a few seconds to breathe, put ourselves in the now and avoid imagining the worst helps us get perspective and calm down.

During the past month, I have been working on publicizing the work of the Blind Babies Foundation. Talk about an inspiration! I have seen how families affected by blindness have choices, and many have chosen to be happy. We can all make the decision to be happy. It really shouldn’t surprise us that people who take time to listen to silly jokes, smile, laugh and spend time with friends are happier and it doesn’t mean they are silly laughing fools. What it does mean is this: take joy in the small things. In business, we think people who take time to chat and laugh are wasting time, but taking a break, laughing at a joke, sharing a heartfelt story or giving someone a compliment can bring people out of a rut, stir their creativity and re-energize them.

Now is the perfect time to discover what makes you happy. Volunteer, learn a hobby, spend time with your family, try a new career, realize your purpose in life, adopt a pet, start a journal, exercise–the options are endless! The recession is not anyone’s choice, but you have the opportunity to rise above. It’s your choice – you are the person in charge of your happiness.

Buzzworthy tips:

Park Chalet Sunday Brunch: Delicious food, tasty mimosas and a beautiful atmosphere. http://www.beachchalet.com/aboutus/index.php?page=parkchalet

The Saddlerack: Escape the city and enter a completely different world—a country world. There is bull riding, cowboy hats and line dancing—YEEHAW! http://www.thesaddlerack.com/

Maggie McGarry’s: My favorite bar in the city! http://www.maggiemcgarrys.com/

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2 Comments

  1. david Reply

    Paige – well said and did you hear the one about the chicken crossing the road? 🙂 Cheers, David

  2. marsha Reply

    Where were you when I was a nervous intern? I definitely would have benefitted from your positive attitude.
    Marsha