I Need to Choose Happiness

Well I know I am missing in action around here.  Sorry some days life gets busy.  And then there are days like today where I am just not up to daily living.  It is days like this that tear me up the most.  Feels like my illness wins and that all my positive thoughts and actions do not help.  Those of you who deal with mental illness, depression, PTSD and horrid anxiety can understand what I mean.

You see as stupid as it may seem, a dang dream, better yet night terror, has put me out for the majority of the day.  It is just for this issue that I often wake in the middle of the night and do not choose to try and go back to sleep.  But the terror I had this morning was so bad for me that I woke with my body literally shaking from how hard my heart was pounding.  It took me a good 10 minutes to just get calm enough for my body to not physically shake.  But now well over 10 hours later my chest is still in pain.  Not to mention how bad my nerves, anxiety and depression has hit.

What really hurts is that I CHOOSE to be a positive person.  I CHOOSE to see the good in life.  But I can not always totally control my emotions.  To try and stay positive today I looked  up and posted photo albums of the wonderful missionaries that have served in our lil town.  The guys have done so much to help me that I was hoping that sharing their photos with their families would raise my spirits.  In so much that I was happy to have done this, my heart inside still feels like it is weeping.  So what else to help myself get out of this horrid spot?

Well I pulled out Happiness A-Z: The Gleeful Guide to Finding and Following Your Bliss by Louise Baxter Harmon.  Surely this will help me focus on all the good in my life and get me out of the dumps!  So here is what I read about H for Happy!

Living Every Minute with Love, Grace, and Gratitude

I look forward each month to O, The Oprah Magazine and Oprah’s ending essay in each issue, “What I Know for Sure.” She relates meaningful and profound moments from her life, and often, it can be something that affects us all such as what we all learned from Hurricane Katrina. I am inspired to share things I know for absolutely certain about happiness. Here goes:

• There is enough happiness to go around—it is unlimited.
• Kindness and generosity come back to you tenfold.
• You need to have experienced at least some degree of sadness to truly appreciate the opposite.
• Isolating is a surefire way to unhappiness. (I messed up here and stayed hidden away all day long.  And yes it did not help me with my sadness at all.)
• Letting go of emotional baggage is a ticket to more contentedness.
• Holding grudges is useless, wastes time and hurts you more.
• Forgiveness is a high art form, good to practice.
• Having more material belongings is not conducive to happiness.
• Dwelling on the past prevents you from embracing the future.
• Always try and try your best.
• Slowing down increases enjoyment of life immensely.

To get you started, here are some ideas:

C’mon, Get Happy: Ten Ways to Increase Your Happiness Quotient
1) Take a class on something way out of your comfort zone: rock climbing, cooking, photography, pottery, guitar, quilting.
2) Write a poem and send it to a friend you lost touch with.
3) Volunteer at a local preschool (oh, the smiles of children!)
4) Start the day off with a couple of “just catchin’ up” calls (instead of Facebooking). (Again messed up and honestly stayed on Facebook 90% of the day wasting my time!)
5) Put together a happy CD with the songs that make you happy.
6) Share your happy CD with your five best friends!
7) Take a walk every day after lunch no matter what! (Oh how much better I could have felt if I had gotten some exercise, and I KNOW this one.)
8) Pick a happiness mentor and learn from this master.
9) De-clutter, one area at a time.
10) Organize a regular potluck for pals (I suggest once a week), and each pal takes their turn hosting.

Happy is he who learns to bear what he cannot change.
—Friederich Schiller (I know this one too!)
Anyone can be happy when times are good; the richer experience is to be happy when times are not.
—Susan Harris (Today would make a great time to set this in motion.)
Do not worry; eat three square meals a day; say your prayers; be courteous to your creditors; keep your digestion good; exercise; go slow and easy. Maybe there are other things your special case requires to make you happy, but my friend, these I reckon will give you a good lift.
—Abraham Lincoln (WOW!  Did not eat, did not exercise and did not pray. No wonder I have not been any better today.)
The greatest part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, not our circumstances.
—Martha Washington (I should make sure to get up, get moving and change my mood!)

So what else have I learned?  That I need to do what I know to do and not wallow in my depression. 

26 Life Lessons to Finding and Following Your Bliss

Happiness is around every corner but every once in a while we need a map of how to find it. This book is just such a guide with 26 chapters filled with ideas and inspiration. Joy unites all people and words are often how we best express our joy. Happiness A to Z: The Gleeful Guide to Finding and Following Your Bliss is the perfect collection of powerful thoughts and insightful quotes that expresses some of the best ways to "get happy.” From exploring the excitement of being fully “Alive” to the adventure of exploring the world's most “Zestful” experiences, this collection of inspirational quotes takes you through the most important ABC’s of life. With a heartfelt foreword by June Cotner, the author of the best-selling Graces, Happiness A to Z inspires you to lead your best life by seeking your inner bliss above all else.

About the Authors:
Louise Baxter Harmon originally hails from rural Kentucky and picked up a lot of wisdom from the elders she grew up around—farmers, teachers, preachers and even a country doctor. From childhood, she made it her habit to save (and savor) quotes and life lessons to share with others. Harmon is also a contributor to the “Random Acts of Kindness” movement. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

By Louise Baxter Harmon
Foreword by June Cotner, author of Graces
ISBN: 978-1-63228-007-7
Trade Paper, $14.95
5” x 7”, 240 pages
Publishing on I Want You to Be Happy Day, March 3, 2015

Brenda Knight, bknight@vivaeditions.com, 510-845-8000


  1. Hi Sweetie. Here in Kansas doing the same thing. I can waste time better than anyone I know. I have the same issues and some days are better than others. You are very inspiring and I'm always happy when I see a new post from you. Hang in there and know that you are loved. God bless you.

    1. Thanks so much. I vow today will be productive. But already awake at 3:30 a.m. So time for me to focus on the positive.


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