Tag Archives: smile

Happy for no reason!

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN


laughingdogAh, the joys of feeling happy for no reason! Isn’t it the best? You wake up feeling full of hope, a smile on your face with enough energy to handle all problems, challenges, and tasks you encounter. Life is good and you feel good in your life.

Unfortunately you, like me, may not experience this special kind of day of grace as frequently as you would like. These happy for no reason days feel like random gifts given to us by the gods, angels or pure chance.

Perhaps it is because I’m a greedy person, but I want to see if I can change this dynamic. Instead of feeling happy for no reason, I want to start cultivating a different attitude. Can I practice being happy for lots of reasons! After all, why should Thanksgiving be celebrated only one day a year?

Of course there are many secular and religious holidays on the calendar set aside to bring our focus to gratitude, appreciation, meditation of love and goodness, increasing our kindness and generosity in all forms. In fact this year December 1, 2015 has been declared Giving Tuesday. We are encouraged to come together around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

My plan, starting NOW, is to collect all the reasons I can find to be happy. I know I will find lots of reasons to be happy if I will only change my focus and pay attention. My brain will automatically inform me of all the ways life is out of order:  from my awareness of my physical well being, to the well being of my bank account and my personal relationships. And then there is the long list of grievances and dissatisfactions I feel about my professional life.

This means that my daily job, my Mental Health & Happiness work, and my intention for well being must be focused on hunting for and discovering all of the delights, sweet moments, natural beauty and personal encounters that I find pleasing, satisfying, and reasons to be happy.

Top on my list is I’m accepting the task and the hunt to discover all of the reasons to be happy today. Next on my list is that some smart, generous and peace-seeking people have declared December 1st to be our International Day of Giving! And today there is the joy of seeing the sparkling white snow coating my world with the bright sunshine sparkling every crystal beneath the deepest, bluest Colorado sky!

Please join me in being greedy. Instead of waiting for the random miraculous days when you feel happy for no reason, start collecting all the joys you can find to cultivate your own personal happiness. Start today, continue tomorrow and carry on the search to discover how to be happy for lots of reasons.

The Pure expression of presence is love

Dr. Ken Larsen

I heard Tara Brach tell this story on one of her current podcasts.  I was so moved by the loving tenderness that I wept.  I’d like to share it with you.  Giving and receiving love is an essential part of our mental health and happiness.  We can choose, as this young man did, to set aside our reactions and make a choice to share life in the love we can give.

  “I stand by the bed where a young woman lies, her face postoperative, her mouth twisted in palsy, clownish. A tiny twig of the facial nerve, the one to the muscles of her mouth has been severed. She will be thus from now on. The surgeon had followed with religious kissingfervor the curve of her flesh; I promise you that. Nevertheless, to remove the tumor in her cheek, I had to cut the little nerve. Her young husband is in the room. He stand on the opposite side of the bed and together they seem to dwell in the evening lamplight, isolated from me, private. Who are they, I ask myself, he and this wry mouth I have made, who gaze at and touch each other so generously, greedily? The young woman speaks, “Will my mouth always be like this?” she asks. “Yes,” I say, “it will. It is because the nerve was cut.” She nods and is silent. But the young man smiles. “I like it,” he says, “It is kind of cute.” “All at once I know who he is. I understand and I lower my gaze. One is not bold in an encounter with a god. Unmindful, he bends to kiss her crooked mouth and I am so close I can see how he twists his own lips to accommodate to hers, to show her that their kiss still works.”
― Richard SelzerMortal Lessons: Notes on the Art of Surgery


You Never Know

By Denise Daub

Woke up this morning to a glorious day… windows open, breeze whipping through the house, wind chimes playing music on the porch… great day for a run.   Last time I went for a run the heat and humidity was so bad, I couldn’t breathe.  I decided I wouldn’t run outside again until the humidity broke and here it was… great day for a run.

I got dressed, put on my new running sneakers and went out. I knew that I really needed this for my mental health, happiness, physical health and well-being. I made it a special point today to look around, enjoy the coolness of the morning, the lush green grass and the blowing trees in the breeze.  I thanked God for the day and the ability to do what I am doing… running.  At age 50 and 80 lbs overweight, I decided to take up running.  I am on week 7 of my program for two weeks now, not able to complete my goal yet… but I am running.

woman running

But today something happened that helped me reach a turning point.  As I was running and looking around me I noticed another runner coming the other way.  In all the times of running, that hasn’t happened to me before.  I wondered… and as we passed we smiled and waved at each other.  So, you say… isn’t that the polite thing to do?  Of course, if I was walking she would have done the same thing… but I wasn’t walking.. I was running.. She acknowledged me as a fellow runner.  I have arrived.

I have been running for a few months now and I know that I am runner, but something about that simple gesture just nailed it for me.  The woman had no idea that her simple wave made my day and went a long way towards increasing my mental health and happiness.  She had no idea that I have been struggling for a few weeks, was starting to believe I couldn’t do it, couldn’t lose the weight or ever really complete a 5K run.

As you go through your day, remember we are all at different places in our lives and we can never know what someone else is going through or thinking.  Your smile or wave of acknowledgment can make someone’s day.