Psychiatrists will tell you we all can be run through different personality inventories to determine whether we are more likely optimistic versus pessimistic, and while it is good to know how we innately interact with the world around us, it is just as important to discover things that we can do to create happiness in our lives.
Each of us rejoice in very different things. I personally have so many things I enjoy that I can’t really pinpoint what it is I like doing the most, so I created a list of the things I like doing to share with you. The point of this list is to help you create happy moments to bring you up when you’re feeling down, or to help you smile when you’ve “woken up on the wrong side of the bed.” Experts tell us that people who live happy, satisfying lives generally live longer, so in an attempt to do my part to help each of my readers live to 100, I’d like to share some activities that may provide you with enjoyment and help you reach that particular life goal.
- Hug your children, spouse and pet(s) often.
- Cook, bake and eat something yummy with someone whose company you enjoy.
- Take a nice, long walk with someone you enjoy chatting with and just “shoot the breeze.”
- Take a nice, quiet walk with your pet(s).
- Rent a video, go home and pop some “Jiffy Pop” on the stove the old-fashioned way, get a nice tall glass of ice tea, and enjoy the show and yummy treat either alone or with someone who will enjoy it as much as you.
- Brew up a nice steamy mug of hot cocoa topped with whipped cream, grab a terrific book, snuggle under the covers and read and sip till the cocoa is gone and bedtime is looming.
- Mend those pesky clothes from your sewing pile or bring them to the tailor — either way, you’ll have a whole new wardrobe again when you or your tailor finish the job.
- Sort through the chaos that is either your attic, closet or garage, find things to donate, fill the car up, and drive them over to your nearest Salvation Army store or Goodwill and donate them
- Sit down with your loved ones and go through old picture albums. Tell stories you remember about everyone pictured and laugh all the way through each album.
- Go through your pantry, look for canned and boxed goods you haven’t managed to even look at much less cook, put them into a shopping bag and drive them to your nearest food bank.
- Visit the elderly at your neighborhood retirement home.
- Attend services at your house of worship.
- Volunteer often.
- Call old friends and relatives and “catch up.”
- Plant something you’ve always wanted to see if you can grow in your yard.
- Clean something you’ve been putting off cleaning.
- Work out and sweat profusely
- Make love like you did when you first began dating
Whatever path you choose to happiness, make sure you tend to that need inside you, for if you live every day for all work and no play, you’ll grow old before your time. And if you haven’t heard yet: 49 is the new 39, so if you get started integrating happy activities into your life now, whatever your true chronological age, you’ll feel younger soon — for happy people get sick much less and live substantially longer.