Last night, I attended the wedding of two friends that I have known separately for more than half my life. The maid of honors gushed about how great they are together, about how much fun they have, but most of all, about how they are both happy people. And happy people are just the best to be around. It’s simple, really. When you walk down the street and smile at someone, they intrinsically smile back. Happiness is contagious, and it’s worth spreading.
When I turned 29, I started a daily happiness and gratitude journal. Just as I climb into bed, I write down three things that made me happy that day. I find that the simple act of reflecting on my day is cathartic. Even the hard ones. For example, when my condo flooded, my dog started her period, and it was record setting sub zero temps out on a Monday. Even on the hard days, there is happiness and things to be grateful for. Finding the silver lining in my day somehow makes any situation a little bit better. Not only does it keep me from ending my day bogged down with negativity, it forces me to go to bed thinking of all the positive, happy aspects of my day and life.
Let’s face it- there is SO much negativity in our world. Just turn on the news, or Google our president’s name. Being happy doesn’t just happen. It’s a choice you make every day, and it starts with the people your choose to surround yourself with.
I’m not sure what it is, but lately, I feel like the energy of those around me is so positive and happy. Friends are finding their dream homes, having babies, getting new jobs, falling in love, running marathons, getting married, and it all feels SO good to be a part of. Of course, we all have bad days and fall on hard times, but surrounding yourself with happy, positive people can make any situation a bit better.
To quote Nicholas Christakis, a Harvard Medical School professor of medical sociology, “When you make positive changes in your own life, those effects ripple out from you and you can find yourself surrounded by the very thing you fostered.”
So, let’s make a pact to grow the positive ripple throughout all of Cincinnati, shall we? I challenge you, each day think of three things that made you happy that day. If it’s a person, tell them and thank them for bringing joy and positivity to your life. Together, we can all make this city an even happier place to live.