First Course: Gratitude
Express at least three things for which you are grateful paired with the song “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-T6aaRV9HY. When things get tough, human nature often turns to a misery loves company response. The flip side is what works in creating happier lives. Rather than wallowing in fear or self-pity, take time to think about the positives in your life. When you have the things you REALLY NEED, thinking about and expressing gratitude for them makes you happier.
Second Course: Worry-free Days
Focused thought to eliminate worry paired with “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHFDa9efCQU; or “Don’t Worry About A Thing” by Bob Marley https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApAth15BXVc. The best tip for reducing anxiety and pursuing happiness is first understanding that over 90% of the things you fear and worry over never happen. A significant number of studies support this conclusion. Start by understanding that your worst fears rarely happen. You are not a victim of circumstances so even a pandemic may be overcome by perspective and your approach to the day. Anxiety/fear during a crisis like this pandemic is no surprise. Having the mindfulness to put the fear aside is the best tool. Coronavirus is today’s fear, but tomorrow’s will be something else.
Third Course: Life Purpose
Think about your life purpose and put it in one concise thought paired with “My Way” by Frank Sinatra. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1t8kAbUg4t4. Social distancing is the new term applicable to staying at a safe distance. Alone time is an old saying but no less a promoter of health. Use some of the extra time you now have to reflect on what’s most important. Having a purpose, whether it’s being a great spouse or parent, a caregiver for the needy, a spiritual advisor or a mentor of others unequivocally increases happiness in your life. Write out your purpose, make it official, and do it your way.
Fourth Course: Time
Think about the time you now have and pair it with “Time Is On Your Side” by The Rolling Stones. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_3oxD5dDSw. More time at home means no long commutes and less long hours away from home. More TIME to work more efficiently, and in turn, more time for families, kids, and yourself. Happiness and wealth, two complex subjects, are connected to control over your own time and especially to your relationships with your children, family and other loved ones. More time available means more time to be together and to pursue happiness.
Fifth Course: Acting Happily
Start acting like a happy person aka, fake it ’til you make it— paired with “The Great Pretender” by The Platters. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_DNQuGKbR0. Once your new actions become habit, then move forward to “Shiny, Happy People” by R.E.M. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1H20W0e_oSM. As simple as it seems, acting happily and taking action in pursuit of happiness, makes you happier. It works, guaranteed.