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Dear Daughter. About Being Happy.

be happy

Dear Daughter

Back again with another square for your Dear Daughter quilt. I know you liked my last letter, especially the cake part. Not sure I can offer cake this time, but we will see.

This letter is about being happy.

Some people seem to float through life being happy, with no effort. A constant smile. Some people seem constantly sad and see no good*. The classic half-full or half-empty glass approaches to life. Most of us move between the two states, and several degrees in between. I am a half-full kind of gal, an optimist and happy person, but I have my moments. We all do.

sewing in the garden

When I was carrying you, people would ask me if I wanted a girl or a boy. I used to say that so long as you were happy and healthy, I didn’t mind. (Your father’s response was that he’d like a puppy, but he was only joking…..well I think he was!) I wanted you to be well set up to cope with whatever life threw at you. Being happy is a good step in that direction.

It’s difficult to write about happy without a passing nod at least to the other side of the coin: sadness. They both exist. Inexplicitly linked. It is a rare person that does not experience both at some stage of their life. The optimist inside me, suggests that we have to experience some sadness so that we can fully appreciate happiness. Maybe happy people are able to flip the coin to the happy side more quickly and easily.

This is the real point of my letter, I want to pass on some of my tips on how to be happy. Ten steps to flipping the coin to the happy side!

rabbit dancing 2

1. Smile. I think this may be the biggest tip. When you smile it releases a hormone that gives you a happy feeling. Even a fake smile, will help, and hopefully the smile will soon turn into a real one.

2. Smile. Again? Yes. If you smile at someone, even a stranger passing by, then you may receive a smile back. We often feel better being surrounded by smiling people as its less stressful. (if they look at you strangely, don’t worry, just see the funny side of it.)

rabbit dancing 3

3. Look for a silver lining. There is always one and don’t argue with me on this point. I’m your mother. Things can feel bad and they become worse as you dwell on them. If you can find a silver lining in the situation, then maybe you can see a way through. It may not chase the bad away, but it could put you in a different position to cope with it.

4. Celebrate the little things. Obvious to make a fuss of the big events, but some little moments of success can disappear without even a high 5 .  Maybe you figure out how to do something at last, or get a better mark in a test than you imagined. No certificate issued, but why not do a little dance of joy or run round the garden for a lap of honour. Sounds daft, but see how you feel afterwards!

rabbit dancing 4

5. Avoid bucket dipping. I hear you groan. At 11 you are too old for the Have You Filled A Bucket Today? book (which really deserves its own blog post), but the message is still good. Being mean to someone will not bring happiness. You will never get that happy feeling at someone else’s expense. (hitting your brother will not make you happy – as if you would!!!!).

In fact, the complete opposite is true. Bucket filling (or, in other words, doing something genuinely nice for someone else) will bring happiness.

6. Sing a silly or happy song. As loud and as silly as you like. Pretty much provides same effect as smiling, but works better in some situations more than others.

rabbit dancing 5

7. Practise saying and thinking the positive. Next time you are about to say something that went badly, try saying it using positive words. Choose “yet” instead of “never”. “How do I?” instead of “can’t”. May need to couple it with the silver lining point too. Trust me. Try it.

8. Being content. Yes, the grass always seems greener over the fence. It’s easy to focus on the bad or to see what we don’t have.  So a good exercise, when you feel like you are  missing out, is to remind yourself about what you have already. List it if you need to.

9. Take somethings with a pinch of salt. If someone says or does something that saps your happy feeling, stop and think about their motive. Are they jealous? Has someone said it about them? What advantage is it for them to say it? Are they unhappy and  looking for comfort in numbers? Often a comment says more about the person saying it than the person on the receiving end.

rabbit dancing 7

10.Finally, in the unlikely event that all of those fail, eat chocolate. Oh, yes. Not too much, but it helps to release a hormone that gives you that happy feeling.

Coin flipped to the happy side, yet? Good. Just as I hoped before you were born, I wish you happiness now (not furry, as your father hoped.)

As ever

your loving mother

finished peace and plenty


*Please note: I am writing about the choice of being happy or sad. I am not referring to people that suffer from depression, which is on a whole different scale.

So are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person?

Joining in with #MotivationalMonday over at:

Pinkoddy's blog

10 Responses to Dear Daughter. About Being Happy.

  • Michelle @ Bod for tea says:

    I really need to make a note of all these and read them every morning! Great post 🙂

  • Pinkoddy says:

    Such fantastic advice. I think it is great even for those of us with depression – no-one wants to feel sad. I am currently working more on the point that negative things said say more about the person saying them. Thank you so much for linking up to Motivational Monday.

    • Crafting Mother says:

      Ah, thank you for your kind comment. It’s easy to forget that the person making a comment always has a motive too. So often the unsaid says so much more. Here’s to happy feelings for all!

  • Love the bucket dipping bit! What an uplifting post. Great to read.

  • I am really really sad since yesterday and .. and i didnt even know how I lasted yesterday. I am just so doen and I want to thank you for this post. They are uplifting. #MBPW

  • Nickie says:

    All great suggestions! My favourite silly songs for this are from Monty Python – the universe song, and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

    I was struck by your comment that we need to feel some sadness to appreciate happiness, and it reminded me of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet – if you don’t know it then do have a look, it’s a beautiful book. There’s an online version here: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jrcole/gibran/prophet/prophet.htm
    Then a woman said, “Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.”
    And he answered:
    Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
    And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
    And how else can it be?
    The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

    • Crafting Mother says:

      Mine is Always Look on the Bright Side of Life too. 🙂

      The optimist in me, hopes that joy does not have to follow sadness. That it can spring from anywhere. And be inspired by everything around us. We just have to look and be ready to experience it. It is there.

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