The Happiness Project: February

Peachy Palate | PHOTO Courtesy The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Peachy Palate | PHOTO Courtesy
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Two months into the happiness project and I can already feel my life changing for the better. The goals from January really changed the way I managed stress and after going through February I have changed even more. I have found that the majority of the stressors in my life are little things that don’t need to be stressors at all, and I’m only two months into the book.

February’s challenges were a little more abstract, as in they didn’t necessarily have immediate and concrete results. The goals for this month were all goals that revolve around a loving mind-set. The goals included: quit nagging, don’t expect praise or appreciation, fight right, no dumping, and give proofs of love.

Some of these may seem simple, but all took a huge amount of focus and being completely aware of your actions.

Quit Nagging

Like most people, I HATE being nagged. I don’t necessarily like nagging others either. Although both of these statements are true, it was still hard to accomplish. Nagging is normally something that occurs without a second thought, so in order to accomplish this, or even BEGIN to accomplish it, I had to really focus on what I was saying to others. Like it’s been said before, “my way or the highway” isn’t always the best base for a thought process.

Don’t Expect Praise or Appreciation

This was a task we have been taught to disregard since we were children. We are used to being given praise for something we have done, so to do something and not expect praise is a new concept for us. Human nature expects the appreciation and praise we give out ourselves in return. The task also requires large amounts of self focus and acceptance in self-appreciation.

Fight Right

Don’t just fight. Fight with intention’s that will benefit the both of you. Compromise and laugh. Fighting doesn’t always have to be filled with negative energy. Although this was harder for the author, Gretchen Rubin, to handle, it was easier for me to correct my fighting than kicking my bad nagging habit. I chose to look at the light in the fight. Laugh a little, because if you can’t joke with the person you are fighting with, then the fight, most likely, isn’t worth your time.

No Dumping

Anger is a dangerous thing and it tends to take over our lives. Some of you may argue that the happy moments are what make us who we are, but if you didn’t have the angry/sad moments to compare the happy ones to, they wouldn’t seem as happy as they do. So why dump your problems on someone else? Why make them feel shitty about your shitty day. You may argue that your trust and relationship make that okay, but it doesn’t justify the dumping of every terrible moment on top of their pil of crappy moments as well. Work on not dumping, and I can promise you that the relationships will become stronger than they already are. When you don’t dump every bad moment on them, the moments you do share become more important and the person you are dumping on is able to understand and put more focus on that one crappy moment.

Give Proofs of Love

Pretty self-explanatory right? People appreciate knowing that they are loved. Not only you and me, but everyone. So, show the people you love that you do, in fact, love them. These gestures don’t have to be a wall of roses or a hand designed and printed novel of a card. They can be simple things. Just remember that love is valuable and makes someone’s life substantially better, so display your love. Prove that you think of that person even when they aren’t around. Show them that you care.

I am hoping that March continues to make my life, and yours, much happier. Hopefully the future chapters contain just as much, if not more, brilliant, happy advice.

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