Happiness in Ten Minutes

There are times when my schedule is so packed and full of meetings, activities here and there, workshops, meetings, meetings, and more meetings that I feel so tired at the end of the day. During these moments, when I am just about to give up due to sheer exhaustion, I remind myself that there are still things that can definitely make me smile and turn my mood around. This week I guess I have Google translate to thank for a conversation in German which had me cracking up for a good ten minutes the other day. I learned a new sentence in German, Sie sind fett, which, when translated to English means “You are fat.”

I have also rediscovered one of my favorite websites, StumbleUpon.com. This website allows you to browse through pages and pages of articles, drawings, and other stuff that you can actually customize by choosing your interests from the areas provided on the page (Health, Fashion, Science, History, the list goes on). You just click on the Stumble button on top of each page, and it will move to the next interesting thing on the world wide web based on your preferences.

I was bitten by the Friday bug today which meant that after every hour or so of working, I’d click on Stumble and let my mind digest what I’m seeing on my monitor other than my Excel files and emails and systems. I came across a short article from Barton Goldsmith Ph.D., which was published on Psychology Today. It was very timely because at this day and age, it seems like we’re all living a fast-paced life and we barely have time to do something that will make us genuinely happy.

Here are 10 Life-Enhancing Things That You Can Do in Ten Minutes or Less:

1.    Watch “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. See it online at Oprah.com. This is a deeply moving segment that may be the best ten minutes you’ve ever invested in front of a computer.

2.    Spend a little while watching the sunset with your mate. Nothing extra is necessary. Just sit and take in the natural beauty of the sky and appreciate being able to share it with the one you love.

3.    Sit quietly by yourself. It doesn’t really matter where or when. Just let your feelings bubble up and then experience the thoughts flowing out of your mind. Clearing your head and heart will give you extra energy to get through the rest of the day.

4.    Write a thank you note to your mate. When was the last time you thanked your partner for just being who he or she is and being with you? Doing this in writing will give your partner something to cherish for the rest of his or her life.

5.    Take out your oldest family photo album and look through it. The experience will fill you with fond memories and perhaps make you a bit wistful for days gone by.

6.    Play with a child. Most kids have short attention spans; ten minutes of quality time from a loving adult can make their day. It will also help you stay in touch with the child inside of you.

7.    Visualize or imagine a positive outcome for any issue. Medical doctors recommend visualization to patients with chronic and potentially fatal illnesses. If it can help them, it can do the same for you.

8.    Go to bed with the one you love ten minutes earlier than usual. Then spend that time just holding each other. Let the feeling of warmth from your mate move through you.

9.    Hang out by some water. Studies show that hospital patients who can see a natural body of water from their beds get better at a 30 percent faster rate. If you’re not near the coast or a lake, try taking a bath. Doing so is also healing.

10.  Get your body moving. Shake, twist, and jump around. Let yourself feel the joy of moving to your favorite music, or just the sounds in your head. Run, walk, and bike to your hearts content. You will live longer and love it more.

Sadly, many people measure happiness by how long the experience lasts. The truth is that a few minutes of joy here and there can make a big difference in what you get out of life. – I cannot agree more with this. 

Photo courtesy of poppytalk.com
Photo courtesy of poppytalk.com

I feel energized at the thought that I can always do something, even for ten minutes, that will result to pure happiness. I hope everyone else can do the same and see to it that you stop and smell the roses – Life is good and is meant to be enjoyed after all.

Happy weekend – glückliches Wochenende! 🙂

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