Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Happiness is...

I love writing and reading fiction, but I'm also a big fan of non-fiction. My boss recently gave me a new audio book, The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work.

I know. It sounds kind of hokey, but what I've heard so far has been really fascinating.

I'm generally a pretty positive person, but I'm also task-oriented and a perfectionist. I've never given much thought to how improving my outlook and doing little things to make myself happier could actually improve my productivity. That sounds like a win-win--especially if it will help me meet all my deadlines without completely stressing myself out.

This book has me thinking about ways I can have a brighter, healthier attitude by finding easy things I can do to boost my happiness. A few examples are:

1. Count your blessings - One of the first things the author talks about in the book is how being grateful for the opportunities and good things in your life can dramatically affect how you handle stress and your overall success. I know that if I take a moment to step back and look at the good things in my life like my family and the opportunities I've been given to write the stories I love, it instantly boosts my mood.

2. Use your strengths - One thing he suggests in the book is to take an assessment of your strengths and to utilize those strengths regularly and in situations that might feel draining or tedious. For example, one of my strengths is a love of learning. That means I get excited about reading a book like this and sharing the information with you. If your strength is kindness to others, find somewhere to volunteer. If it's leadership, sign up for a new role in a group you're a part of.

3. Take a break - With small kids at home, a job in marketing, and a writing career, sometimes I feel like there aren't enough hours in the day. But something as small as taking a walk, reading a good book, or locking the bathroom door and taking a long bath can completely change my mood.

4. Have some fun - Our lives are so busy, sometimes we forget to take an opportunity to have fun. Dance with your kids or grandkids in the living room. Go out to dinner with that friend who makes you laugh until your side hurts. Don't get so caught up in "doing" that you forget to stop and enjoy life!

So what do you do to give yourself a little boost of happiness?

Julie Jarnagin is a multi-published author of inspirational romance. She grew up in a small Oklahoma town where her family farmed and ranched. These days she lives in a not-so-big city with her amazing husband and two young sons who tolerate all her nerdy quirks. Julie earned a B.A. in Journalism / Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
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  1. Julie, great suggestions!! Thanks.

  2. I need to get that book. I love positive life changes-type books. My favorite thing is any time I get to see or talk to any of my kids or grandkids who are scattered around the country.

  3. Love your post, Julie! I did a 52-week "happiness" challenge last year. It was incredible and helped me realize there is a very close tie between my happiness and gratitude level.
    I'm going to have to check out that book. Sounds awesome!

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  5. I've begun scheduling one afternoon a week with my granddaughter. She renews my spirit even though keeping up with a three year old wears me out!