There is nothing better than a best friend and I am lucky to live next door to mine. When I see Norman looking under the fence to see if he can come over to play, I do a happy dance. We run around chasing the tennis ball or hang out in the yard and just chill. Doc says she has never seen two dogs that act so joyful when they are together. I told Doc it’s because we can be ourselves when we are together. There is a lot of comfort in someone accepting you for who you are. Doc’s remark about us being so happy got me to thinking about why some of us are happier than others. The answer came sooner than I expected when Doc ran a group counseling session that talked about the very thing I had been thinking about.
According to Jaime Kurtz, PhD, happy, joyful people do the following things; They see the world in a positive, hopeful way, they savor small pleasures and experience gratitude, they prioritize their physical and mental health, they have meaningful social relationships, they have rewarding work and hobbies and they experience purpose and meaning in their lives. Luckily I checked all the boxes. I love my life, have a great job working with Doc, good friends, I make sure I exercise, eat right and talk to someone if I am sad or upset. I have many hobbies that include digging holes in the yard and chasing squirrels and at night before I go to sleep I remember to count my many blessings.
Now I understand that not everyone has been fortunate enough to have been raised in a positive environment and that can surely have an effect on how you view the world. But here is the good news, you have the power to make some changes, You can start by listing the things that you are grateful for. Since some of Doc’s patients don’t have a stable place to live, every night we remind ourselves that we are thankful for clean sheets and a safe and warm place to sleep.
It’s easy to get tunnel vision and only focus on the negative when you are going through a tough time in your life. But the good news is that each of us has the power to make choices that will either make things worse or improve the situation.