In 2014 I had a bit of a wake-up call. After spending a lifetime being negative and seeing the glass half-empty in most situations, my Dad shared an article with me. The article challenged its readers to find 3 good things in each day. The idea was that if you can find three good things in each day for an entire month, your mental outlook and positivity would improve. I had nothing to lose and took up the challenge, quite eager to see if it could be done. I was tired of being negative.
Guess what? It worked! I made a conscious effort every day to find the good and celebrate it. I worked at it, didn’t let myself descend into a dark hole when things went wrong, as they definitely did. I don’t want you to think that everything is rosy and smiley every minute of every one of my days. I have shouty moments, grumpy moments, times where I am sad and lonely, times when I get frustrated and want to shout. But what I am able to do now is not wallow in those moments. To stop myself, literally sometimes, have a reality check, tell myself off and move on. I am able to bring the happy back.
One afternoon, my husband was getting himself a bit wound up. Something was going wrong with the children, we were rushing to get out of the house and suddenly there was shouting. Nothing horrible or scary, just the usual tense, lack-of-patience shouting that we can all descend into when we are frazzled. I walked up to my husband, put my hand on his chest and said “Honey, embrace happy!” My “brand” was born. I have been embracing happy myself since the beginning of 2014. Now I want to help others to do the same.
Embracing happy yourself is a challenge. Finding ways to keep happy is easier once you have truly embraced happy and let go of the grump. Sharing happy is just as important. Part of my Embrace Happy challenge is to encourage others to spread happiness through the old-fashioned art of sending cards. Through the POST. I know, right? How archaeic! How many times do you pull the post from the mailbox or mail slot to discover nothing happy at all. In this online age of direct debit, thankfully not as much of our “snail” mail is bills but most of the post is rubbish really. On birthdays and holidays, some of our mail is happier with cards and gifts but even that is dwindling with the online technology. Sites like Amazon and Moonpig allow people to send cards and gift online without so much as a lick or stick of a stamp. Gone are the days of handmade cards, writing out a heartfelt message by hand and walking it to the post box. I say, let’s bring it back!
I started the Embrace Happy “snail” mail programme with a hope for at least 10 participants. My first round actually ended up with 24 participants, 3 of whom were international! 24 people wanted a bit of sunshine through their post box. 24 people wanted to send sunshine on to others themselves. 24 people who were quite happy when that sunshine arrived. How wonderful is that? And so, my mission is to carry on sending sunshine and happiness through the post and encouraging others to do the same. I will also share daily happiness and inspiration, stories, reality checks and funny stories through regular blog posts. I will also challenge you to share your happy and participate in simple challenges which will help you to truly embrace happy. There’s no religious motivation or focus, it’s just simply an effort to allow happiness to take precedence. I was tired of being a grump. Aren’t you?
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