Last month we had a Relief Society activity on being happy - on looking after our mental health. One of the speakers talked about "Learned Happiness" or "Learned Optimism" which is the idea that happiness or joy is something we can learn to cultivate.
The "100HappyDays" project is all about getting people sign up to find something to be happy about every day for 100days, take a photo and post it on social media #100HappyDays. I signed up for it because I like the idea of recording moments of happiness - it sounded fun - and I plan to compile the photos in a book as a sort of photographic gratitude journal to complement my written one. I am a great believer in gratitude and happiness!
Here are some of the happy moments in the past 10 days.
Doing family history research - finding out about my roots....
Little Possum's fashion sense and funny faces despite being sick. She is always cheerful this little one of mine.
I love dark chocolate. I love pistachios. I love marzipan. A combo of all 3? Perfect!
I love this word..... so useful.
My accidental garden. Grew from where we buried the bunny poop.....
Aaaaah. A browse in a bookshop. Bliss.
Little Possum's sock monkey Toto that she made herself.
A letter from my aunt sharing childhood memories, family information and a beautiful photo of my great aunt who died before I was born.
Going to the temple. Can't top that for a source of joy and peace.
And... that is a secret to happiness... We can make our own happiness and feel joy by doing the things that will lead us to the temple. Learning to see the happy moments in a day is closely aligned with seeing the Lord's hand in our lives, to being grateful. The more I learn to look for it, the more I will find.
"Be of good cheer" is an admonition often repeated in the scriptures. It is so much more than telling us to "cheer up". It is a reminder of whom our source of happiness is:
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world"
"Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come."
Doctrine and Covenants 68:6