Depression is soooo last year. Yep, you heard it here first folks: depression is out and happiness is in. I mean it, happiness is everywhere lately. During the past few months: The New York Times recently ran an article about designing your home in a â€œhappyâ€ way; BBC did a six-part series on the science of happiness; and Time Magazine did a special issue with a cover story about happiness (so did US News & World Reports). You can even take a class at Harvard called Positive Psychology â€” itâ€™s supposed to teach you how to live a â€œfulfilling and flourishing lifeâ€ or something like that. So, given all the hoopla, Iâ€™ve decided to take a test to measure exactly how happy I am. The results are in and … drum roll please … Iâ€™m happier than 95% of the people who live in my zip code in New York City.
Itâ€™s good to be happy. And now that I have scientific proof that Iâ€™m Manhattanâ€™s resident scholar on all things happy, Iâ€™ve decided to come up with a 5-point guide to happiness. And, remember … you can trust me on this because Iâ€™m one of New Yorkâ€™s â€œhappyâ€ people. So, here we go, â€œStolieâ€™s Guide to Happinessâ€ …
1. Therapy. No one gets through life without scars. To deal with it all, I eat up therapy like itâ€™s chocolate cake. Really, thereâ€™s something quite magical about sharing a 1-on-1 cry with a complete stranger who is professionally trained in helping people solve lifeâ€™s minor disturbances. So, if you havenâ€™t tried therapy, try it. You might like it.
2. Know What Makes You Happy. Think of the 5 senses: taste, touch, sound, sight, and smell. Surround yourself with things that make you happy in each of these areas. For me, itâ€™s the smell of sandalwood candles, incense and perfume; the taste of chocolate; the views of Manhattan; the smooth sounds of Bossa Nova; and the touch of a manâ€™s body. I try to indulge in all of these on a regular basis.
3. Keep a Journal (or a Blog). I remember re-reading a tear-stained page from one of my high school journals. A guy that I was majorly crushing on asked one of my best friends (instead of me) to be his date for prom. Life, as I knew it, was over. So, yeah, if you keep a journal, youâ€™ll have written proof that youâ€™ve been in experiences that felt like the world was ending. And, you survived. And, youâ€™ll survive again.
4. Surround Yourself with Winners. Frenemies. Weâ€™ve all had them, right? In general, I try to ensure that the people that I spend time with are on my team, theyâ€™re rooting for me. If theyâ€™re not, I get rid of them.
5. Live the Life You Love. I donâ€™t want to be the 85-year-old woman who says, â€œI always wish Iâ€™d done [insert dream].â€ So, I do it. I live it. And, not to sound all earthy crunch, but I honestly think that a part of your soul dies when you donâ€™t follow your dreams. So, if thereâ€™s something that youâ€™ve always wanted to do in life, make a financial plan and timeline for how and when youâ€™re going to do it. Then, do it.
Now itâ€™s your turn. Tell me what you do to stay happy …