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Monday Roll Call: HAPPINESS and OPTIMISM

Recently on my Truth Or Dare post, I had a few comments come in after I took a break that day from answering. One of them was about happiness. My friend Sam said, how do you keep yourself so upbeat and optimistic?

I could probably write a six paragraph post about it. But I'll keep it as succinct as possible.

I just really, really, really dislike negativity. Sometimes it's inevitable and I get that. Bad things happen, sad things happen, disasters and depression and horrible things occur. I'm not saying that all you have to to is "turn that frown upside down" and expect instantaneous happiness. At all. 

But I guess that I just choose during the vast majority of the day to focus on the blessings (and you don't have to be a religious person to reflect on your blessings). To put myself in others' shoes. To choose sweet over mean, to choose smiling over stoneface, to choose a compliment over complaining. I think the proclivity toward this thinking is a little nature but a lot of nurture. I truly believe it's the way my mom raised me but also just my DNA.

So for today's Roll Call, let's focus on happiness. I want to hear FROM YOU. What are one or two small things that you do (go ahead, pat yourself on the back!) to foster happiness and optimism? 

For me: I like to wave to and make small talk with our neighbors. I like to call store managers to report a stellar employee. If I pass by someone who looks happy and pretty, I make myself go out of my comfort zone and tell her so. 

25 comments:

  1. I kind of avoid the negative situations,people and media with a passion. I also play a lot of upbeat music. The silliest is funny pins on pinterest. When I'm grumpy they always crack me up

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  2. I love that you call store managers and report on a positive situation or experience. I do this, too! I also make a point to say "thank you" and give a smile to people -- you never know if they might just need it.

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  3. I find the bright spot in every situation, and always point out! A friend is well past her due date with her baby; good news!! You to get to enjoy that pregnant tummy a few extra days! A long day with a toddler: let's relish in the quiet that was naptime or the funny things she said and tecord extra videos to look back on! Mommy has a cold: pajama day for everyone, lots of fun games & puzzles on the floor to be played!! My husband says that I am everybody's defense lawyer, Haha!! But the fun and light and happy and positive side is wayyyyy better than the alternative!! Rose colored glass wearers unite!!

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  4. Always point *it out
    Record* extra videos

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  5. I love to compliment people! Just yesterday another blogger and I happened to be taking pictures in the same spot, and I stopped to tell her how much I loved her skirt- you should have seen her face light up! Making someone feel beautiful can do wonders to make you happier! :)

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  6. I always like to take a few moments and count each one of my blessings. Sometimes things like car problems, bills, etc can really make you feel stressed. But I am so fortunate to have a job, a house, plenty of food, and family that love me. That is so much more than many people have and I don't take any of it for granted.

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  7. It amazes me how what you put in is what comes out. Meaning, if I let myself read gossip magazines, forums, etc. then that dictates a negative attitude from me! It really does not enrich my life AT ALL. Read, speak watch positivity and typically I will be more positive!

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  8. everyone read THE HAPPINESS PROJECT! it is an awesome book and it just helps reinforce positivity in one's life :)

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  9. I read happy things. I also turn on praise music (Hillsong, Bethel, Elevation Worship).

    I am so BAD at spreading happiness though. I often have RBF and am a bit of an introvert so I love your ideas of sharing happiness by complimenting even if it means going out of your way.

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  10. I'm a big note writer - love to send things in snail mail:) I also, like you, point out super star workers to their managers.

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  11. I love this post! I send lots of thank you notes, try hard to give out compliments regularly, bake for others and smile.

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  12. Thank you, April! This is actually one HUGE reason I love to read your blog... because of your positive, realistic and caring outlook on life. We are blessed & thank you for reminding us!

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  13. When shopping or dining, I make a point to try and catch the cashiers/employee's name...and then make sure to say thank you, bob or have a great night, sarah. Sometimes saying someone's name makes them not feel invisible!

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  14. I love it! I try not to be on my cell phone in waiting rooms. It gives me an opportunity to look around and chat with people. I also always try to make eye contact with passing people and say hello. You never know who needs a smile and to be seen. I do the same with our homeless/downtrodden in our town. I may not be able to meet their physical needs at that moment, but I want them to know that I see them. They are not invisible. Yay for kindness!

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  15. Fun! We also try to wave and talk with our neighbors! That's a great idea to call store managers for stellar service. I always think of doing that and then forget once I'm home. I'll have to make an effort to do that!

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  16. I have a pesky pessimistic side of me and the first way to deal with this is by acknowledging that it is there. I will start to run down the list of things that have gone wrong...but then I say to myself #firstworldproblems. When I remind myself how small our problems are, it give me a positive outlook on life on those days I am having a hard time seeing the positives. I have also started reflecting on the day once I go to bed and I make myself think of one or two things that were good about the day, no matter how small. It really helps.

    Chels @ Red Velvet Rooster

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  17. Love this! I truly enjoy complimenting people (a store clerk has a pretty name? why not tell her!), writing handwritten "hello" notes just because, and random acts of kindness. Like my (pregnant!) gf ran out of ice cream sandwiches, her craving, last week and couldn't get to the store with her two kiddos. I did a drive by drop off of ice cream sandwiches on her doorstep. I love surprising people -- it's the little things! :)

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  18. Ah this post is just what I needed today! Praise hands! I try to always compliment people when I'm out, especially if it looks like it just might literally make their day better and when that leads to small talk I feel great! (waving and speaking is something my daughter totally gets from me already as well) Even in the social media sense, I like to always acknowledge someone's positive post, picture or accomplishment. The age old - treat others as you would like to be treated. Great positivity for today pretty lady! xo

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  19. I always try to remember that happiness is a choice.

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  20. Oh April, How special do I feel for the shout out?!! Thank you so much for this post.. I love you all the more and I'm just loving reading everyone's comments. There is some great tips. You know I have so much bad stuff happening and most of the time I feel like I'm drowning but I also have many blessing in my life that I need to remember. Thanks!! xoxo

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  21. I lOVE this - I am also an eternal optimist and try my best to see the good in all situations! I smile or say hello to service providers and strangers, I try and pay it forward with helping carry things or paying for parking tickets etc and I always let people into the traffic.

    Happiness starts with us.
    x

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  22. I think that's why so many people are drawn to you, you can literally "feel" your radiant and joyful energy through a computer screen! It's a wonderful thing and your daughters are lucky to grow up with you as their role model.

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  23. so good to read this today! woke up a little 'downcast' and I already read a devotional for the day about always remembering that no matter what, you don't HAVE to be downcast, there's always something you can focus on instead so that you can be "up-cast" ;) I use an old-school planner and try to write positive statements, words I like from things I've read that day. I already had something for today, but I added your "choose this over this" statements:) Thank you!

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  24. During our bedtime routine, we ask the kids what was their favorite part of the day and what was one kind thing they did for someone else. It has challenged our kids to look for opportunities to spread kindness each day.

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  25. I try to speak to most everyone and be friendly, even just for a minute...the garbage man, postal carrier etc. my 4yr old and I also like to make cards for anyone sick, hurting or experienced a loss. Sometimes being nice just feels so good. Great post!!!

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