Sunday, August 11, 2013

Happiness Project: What makes me feel...

Part of the investigating and assessing phase of the Happiness Project is identifying those things that don't make me feel so great, or those things that contribute to my
unhappiness. The question Gretchen poses in her toolkit is: What makes you feel bad? What brings you anger, guilt, boredom, dread? Here are those things:
  • I am not my best when I am not close to God
  • I am not my best when I don't feel close to my husband and family
  • I feel remorse, guilt and then anger when I feel like I am not doing enough
  • I often feel like a failure, and that makes me feel bad
  • I dislike not completing what I say I am going to complete - not meeting internal deadlines
  • I dislike when people don't understand what I am trying to say - it makes me feel like a failure when I feel like I am not communicating well
  • When I feel and look fat, I am disappointed in myself and therefore unhappy
  • When I compare myself to others and think "I wish I had...."
  • When I can't see where I am going in life
  • I tend to feel bad when I don't recognize God's plan for each of His children
  • I tend to feel angry and guilty when I am not getting enough exercise
  • I feel guilt when I eat crappy foods 
  • I don't feel successful when I don't check things off my list
  • When I don't understand new technology - especially new computer systems
  • When someone tries to press their opinion on me, or won't let me voice mine
  • When someone tells me how I am acting, when I disagree. Example: When someone asks me "why are you so angry?" When in actuality I have no anger. Perhaps it is because I am silent, or I am thinking about something else and have moved past the conversation. 
  • I tend to get bored with people who have a holier/better than thou attitude

I noticed that a lot of these things that make me feel bad are based around a couple of things: 

1. Perception: Above, I listed things that make me 'feel' bad. Perhaps one of my months will be based around distinguishing a realistic perspective, letting things go easier, and/or concentrating on what makes me 'feel' good instead of everything that makes me 'feel' bad. I am sure I can dedicate some time to examining what 'feeling' means, and how to better communicate what I am feeling.

2. Me, Me, Me: There are a lot of 'I's' listed. Yes, this post is intended to be self-reflective, but my take-away is that I need to get out of the 'I's' and look at the 'you's'. During one month I can concentrate on halting focus on my self interests....even though I tend to have 'happiness' issues when I forget about keeping myself healthy and strong because I focus too much on pleasing others. But aren't we supposed to lose ourselves in service to others? Something worth contemplating...

3. Your Agency, Not Mine: A lot of the items listed above are a reflection of the choices of other people. One of the hardest things for me to understand are the decisions other people make that hurt me or the people I love. Sometimes even the people I love make poor decisions that negatively impact me, which also contributes to my sadness/unhappiness. I know it is important for me to be happy, despite what decisions other people make. This could be a lifelong goal, but maybe I can think of something I can do in the meantime to overcome this challenge.

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