The Happiness Project: October

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

This month is all about mindfulness; to have the ability to be able to pay attention to the everyday activities and understand how they affect our lives. There are four goals this month and they are meditate, examine true rules, stimulate the mind in new ways and keep a food diary.


Taking some time out of your day to meditate and reflect on your life has a great ability to lift your spirits and cleanse your soul. I’m not saying you have to become a Buddhist in order to accomplish this small feat. But taking the time to understand life in a way that you didn’t understand it before requires a little reflection. Meditation will help to lift your spirits and create a happier future.

Examine true rules

True rules are the thoughts and consciousness that cause us to make inferences about certain things daily. These automatic thoughts enable us to sort of walk through life on “autopilot.” Without being made aware of true rules we don’t think about them and therefore do not realize they exist. By making yourself aware of the things that cause you to think and act the way you do you will be able to focus some attention on your decision making process and therefore have the ability to morph the outcome. This will help you be more aware of yourself and others and the effects your actions have.

Stimulate the mind in new ways

We often get into the habit of going through life doing the same things the same way every day without thinking twice.  Because of this we often forget to stimulate our mind in new and effective ways in order for our knowledge and our consciousness to grow. Thinking about how you are doing something or trying to accomplish a task in a different manner will help to build a more stimulated day which then leads to new discoveries not only about the world around you but about yourself as well.

Keep a food diary

This difficult but seemingly simple task is something that can really improve your health. Just write down what you have eaten that day, right? But this is honestly one of the more difficult tasks I have ever tried to keep up with.

First you have to keep the diary consistently so you develop a habit. Once you have the habit down you will then be able to use the food diary to your advantage. For example, I had a reaction the other day to something I ate and was able to go back and figure out what it was.

It will also help with your overall health because you are now conscious of what you are putting into your body and tend to change your eating habits into healthier ones. As long as you can be honest with yourself and develop the habit of writing it all down this simple task can make a substantial difference in your day.

This month’s tasks are definitely more mentally stimulating than those of the past but they have a wonderful effect on your mind, body and soul.

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