Trick or Treat

balance happiness Oct 30, 2020

Well we’ve reached the end of October in a year that dove into uncharted waters early and hasn’t found its way back to dry land yet. What is often a fun filled time for kids to get out in costume and collect tons of candy from friends and neighbors is now more fraught with worry. Do we go out, is it a drive-by trick or trunk, will any kids come by, and how will people be acting?

The world is a frightening place with all the unease and discord that exists in the world right now. People are stressed, worried, and tired. It seems like every where we turn there is a new problem, another argument or more discouraging news. How do we find any fun again?

It’s important to remember that even when things are difficult it’s okay to have a little fun, find a moment of joy in the smile of a child or in the changing colors of the season. While the world is a hard, troubling place right now, there are moments that are fun and should be cherished for the light they bring.

Here are some tricks to help you enjoy life a bit more:

  1. Smile. As crazy as it sounds it’s okay to smile, at another person or for no reason at all. A genuine smile can make you feel lighter and brighter as well as convey a bit of happiness to others. A smile can help heal some of the hurt we experience when things aren’t working well.
  2. Breathe. When you find yourself struggling to get through or itching to argue with someone who’s view is different than yours, take a deep breath, and repeat. The act of deep, slow breathing helps get oxygen into our systems and allows our brain to process what is happening. It slows us down and can calm us down. Breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out. It will get better.
  3. Remember. There may be things people say that you vehemently disagree with, yet we really like the person, so let go of the statement and focus on the person. If we remember what we like about the person we can give ourselves more perspective on what they are saying. The reality is that we don’t have to agree 100% on every item in life to like someone. Focus on what you like.
  4. Let go. Some things may not work out the way we imagined they would. Maybe you or a loved one can’t travel for the holidays due to concerns with the virus. That can be so disappointing for everyone involved, and people may end up feeling left out and alone. Remember that the situation is the issue not the person. Forgive others for making choices that disappoint you or you don’t agree with. You can’t force them to be what you want, so accept what they can do and let go of what they can’t.
  5. Cherish. Cherish the moments that bring joy. What brought an unexpected smile to your face today? Be still in that moment and embrace it. Was it a kind word from a friend, a pat (figuratively) on the back from your boss, a phone call from a loved one to say hi or the laughter of the kids? Look for the good in the world, nurture it and cherish those moments.

As this year winds down, there are still many hurdles to face and yet not all hope is lost. We can find happiness in the simple things, make peace with the challenges and nurture friendships. There will be times when we disagree and yet we have the power to heal that discord. Simply be ready to hand out treats even when the world seems intent on tricks. The smile of a child who gets a favorite piece of candy can be a reminder that the small moments can bring happiness to each of us.



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