A post on Jezebel today has really got me thinking. Why is happiness such hard work for some of us?
The Jez article cites two books, Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness by Ariel Gore and The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I stumbled upon Rubin's site a little over a year ago (just in time to deal with my layoff) and her musings on happiness have been tremendously helpful. Most of her theories are no-brainer stuff: do good things for others, be mindful, exercise consistently, incorporate fun in your day, etc. But what has helped me most is the daily reminder to work on being happy. Because for me -- and I'm guessing millions of others since these books have gotten so much attention -- happiness is something I have to work on every single day.
Here's my daily formula: do some meaningful and productive work, do something enjoyable (take a walk, cook a new recipe, have lunch with a friend), do something nice for someone else (sometimes I just retweet someone or leave a nice comment on their blog or I spend an afternoon volunteering) and remember that I don't have to be perfect. It's that last one that's the killer.
Since I really began "working" on being happy I can say that I'm about 150% happier. (Of course, when I started this I had just come out of a trough of depression, so I had a really long way to go.) I'm curious about other people, though. Are you naturally a happy person? If not, do you work on finding happiness?