Can you believe its been a month??
Week Four: Theme-Lighten Up
I had been waiting for Lighten Up month. Lighten Up meant I had gotten most of the important but rather dry and serious stuff out of the way. The tasks this week were actually things that seemed to be pretty obvious cues for happiness. The challenging part about the Happiness Experiment for me is that even though I am done the harder weeks of Remembering Love and religiously following the rule of evening clean ups, I had to still add on all of the tasks from the past weeks to each week. But funny enough, it actually gets easier. My tasks for Week Four:
Sing in the morning:
Yes, you heard right. Who in their right mind sings a cheery song at 5:30 in the morning? But that was the plan. First of all, the real task here was remembering to sing in the morning. Of course, it was only on Monday night while looking at my Resolutions Chart to review the day did I realise that I had a case of the grumps in the morning. There was no singing. I pulled out a bright colored sticky note and scribbled “SING!”. This sticky was stuck on my bathroom mirror and L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole became the soundtrack of Lighten Up.
Acknowledge the reality of other people’s feelings:
This was a task made for people like me. I tend to be critical of everything. And while I’d like to blame it on being a typical Virgo, astrology unfortunately isn’t justifiable in the real world. So I’ll blame it on simple lack of tact, because 9/10 of most situations I criticize, it’s usually because I either can’t take compliments, not really thinking straight or playing Devil’s Advocate out of boredom. The other day, my coworker came up to the front desk. “Nice! you got a new purse”, he said smirking. “It’s being over a month since I had that purse” I retorted without thinking. He shrank back. “Sorry, I actually just noticed it now. And that’s saying something because I don’t notice stuff like that”.
Why couldn’t I just say thank you and let it go? Yes, definitely had to learn how to acknowledge other people’s feelings. Moreover, I had to lighten up! It was just a purse.
Take time for projects:
One of the most exciting times I’ve ever had was when I moved into my apartment and had to figure out how I was going to set up everything. I love artsy projects. I drew up sketches and plans about where all my pieces of furniture would go. I spent hours on the Ikea website looking at bed sheets and cushion covers and pillow tops and rugs. I daydreamed about what my dream bedroom would look like and then tried to recreate it on a budget. A while ago, I bought a blank scrap-book from the bookstore and started a Happy Book where I wrote in all happy things. It had photos, quotes, clippings. I don’t why I stopped updating the happy book but somewhere along the way, I had let stress and negativity get in the way. I dug up my Happy Book. It was only fitting to make a project out of it now and make it a habit of updating it just as I had of my evening clean ups.
I loved Lighten Up week. At this point, I didn’t really care that a golden star was what
motivated forced me to sing a happy song while shivering in the morning cold. I’m just really glad I tried it because believe it or not, it worked. And it didn’t just work for crummy Monday mornings. It worked whenever I felt crummy. I would force myself to sing and it was amazing the change in mood after just 2 minutes. Acknowledging the reality of other people’s feelings did not enjoy the same smashing success but I totally understood that this was a behavioral change and I was prepared to give myself the time to change it. I wasn’t going to magically transform into Ms. Tactful 2011 in one week. And that was okay. As for my Happy Book, we’re back in business.
Happiness-O-Metre of percieved happiness: 7.5/10
Until next week…stay happy and I hope you sing.