Be Happy

January 19, 2011

in the generous life

My husband and I have spent the last couple of weeks traveling.  As we travel we tend to watch people and jot down ideas for the generous blogs.  One thing I noted was just the overall attitudes of people.  How lovely it was to talk with smiling, happy people and how difficult it was to talk with negative, cranky people.  I try not to judge (because I have my cranky moments), but you can’t help at least note the difference and how much nicer it is to deal with people who are being pleasant.

Then I picked up the latest Spirit magazine (Southwest airlines) and read this article where Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky is quoted. “We have 225 studies [that say] that once you’re a happy person, you’re more likely to make your marriage work.” The whole gist of the article was about the great perks of being happy, what happiness is and how we can grow in our ability to be happy.

I thought about the connection between happy attitudes and the willingness to work on your marriage.  Made sense, but also I realized how much easier it would be to build your marriage if you are happy and generally pleasant.  I took a long look at my own attitudes.  For the most part I have made being pleasant to others a habit (especially to my husband and kids).  But happy?  I tend to be a “glass that is half empty” kind of gal.  I’m not rude about it, but I tend to weigh deficiencies and problems before I notice and give place to assets and strengths.  Am I allowing the negatives to rule my attitudes?  Just to check it out,  I’m going to be very intentional about noticing, talking about and joining in on the good, the beautiful, the fun, etc. for awhile.  Anyone care to join me?

Smile; it the second best thing one can do with one’s lips.  Author Unknown

Be generous!  Lori <><

Attitude Adjuster: When you smile at someone, nine times out of 10 the other person will smile back and you’ve made two people’s days brighter and better.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda Lundquist January 19, 2011 at 5:52 am

Being a “glass is half empty” type of gal myself, I knew I needed some practical ways to change my natural tendencies. So a friend recommended that before I go to bed each night I write down 5 things I was thankful for during the day. They can be simple things like “I got all green lights when I was late going somewhere”. I have to say it has changed me in so many ways. I just naturally see the good in life now. I even did a test on my mom who was the same way and encouraged her to do the same thing. She is like a different person. You don’t even realize it, but you do really start looking at life through a positive set of eyes.

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Becky January 19, 2011 at 9:00 am

So what can I do as a generous wife with a husband is exceedingly unhappy. His story is way too long to go into here, but he always sees (and expects) the negative in his life. It’s taken me awhile to disconnect from his moods, and I do see his issues as HIS issues (and not mine to fix for him), but his unhappiness with all aspects of his life (and often including me) really wears on me.

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Wendy January 19, 2011 at 9:27 am

Great stuff, Lori. My family of origin tends to be happy and energetic with people outside and then dump on the family at home. This certainly isn’t something I want to do or pass on to my kids.

I also asked my husband a while back something like “what would make our marriage better” or some such thing. He said he’d just like to come home to a happy wife at the end of the day. Really?! I mean, there are other areas that are a lot easier for me to make you happy in, let’s try one of those! :-) but he wants me to be happy when he gets home, so I try to plan my afternoon with things that tend to make me happy by 5:30pm (an afternoon snack so I’m not starving for dinner, and dinner ready earlier in the day so the kids and I are relaxed and happy when he gets home). Still working on all that, though. Thanks for the reminder, because it’s not something he would nag about, but I know is important to him. :-)

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E January 19, 2011 at 11:42 am

This is closely related to something I want to work on in 2011 – being more positive. Thanks for the reminder.

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justina January 21, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Our church is doing a forty day fast from negativity. With “declarations” to say each day about the truths of God in our lives. It really makes you realize what your mental state is when you’re reading the truth and it rubs you the wrong way :)

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The Generous Wife January 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm

The 40 day fast sounds cool. I do understand being uncomfortable with something positive. I’ve been doing this for a couple of days now and been challenged quite a few times. Lori <><

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The Generous Wife January 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm

@Becky,
My only advice would be to stay happy and surround yourself with others who are positive and can encourage you. Looking back my husband has been a constant source of “happy” and it has effected me over time. I’ll be praying that your husband will be effected by you, instead of the other way around. Lori <><

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April February 6, 2011 at 6:14 pm

@Becky–Wow, you’re comment really hit home for me…. I feel the same way, and I have detached myself as well but it still really effects me and my attitude. It really makes me sad that I have to detach myself from my husband…..I try really hard not to let it get to me because I am a happy person. But it is so hard. I am learning that it isn’t my thing–my counselor always tells me this!–and that I can’t fix it, but it is a struggle that I have to remind myself of regularly. I wish you the best, and I hope that you keep smiling and hopefully we can one day have smiling husbands too!

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