Worried? Stuck in a rut? Try some of our weird happiness tricks and you'll start feeling better in a jiffy.
Time just dragging by?
Make time fly by having a little fun and throwing caution to the wind. Mix it up. Do the opposite of what you usually do.
Rather than getting kicked out of the restaurant where I made tiny paper airplanes out of discarded receipts and tossed them around, many people joined in the fun, young and old. And the owner gave me a free drink.
My childhood friends and I used to pride ourselves on how many cars we could hit when we threw pebbles at passing cars (and how fast we could run). Soon we learned that was no fun and it was the wrong thing to do. So, we traded rock throwing for standing on the corner and waving at drivers who went by, and seeing how many drivers we could get to wave back at us. It's still a lot of fun.
In college, I had to do experiments for psychology classes. One of my favorites was to smile at strangers, and to try get as many people to smile back at me. It proved to be a great deal of fun. There were beautiful people who smiled in response, and some who didn't. But it was always good for grins. Having fun, whether you're doing social experiments or weird happiness tricks, can shine a light on your life.
No matter how old or mature you may be, playing is one of life's greatest joys. I believe that playful people have the most fun and tend to be the happiest people on earth. As a relationship expert, I have long known that playful partners make the best partners, and have a creative knack for discovering the joy in the moment and of expressing their love.
One really effective way to play more is to think of some of your own weird happiness tricks, perhaps tricks you have used in the past, or may have forgotten. Why not find some of those old things, dust them off and try them again? It's never too late to rediscover things you once loved to do, but have set aside because of the pressures of life.
Maybe you used to love dancing, but you haven't danced in ages. Well, it's time to get those feet moving once again.
If you love to play softball, why not join a softball league or play catch with the little ones in your family?
Sometimes doing something you love, but haven't found time to do in a long time, is the best kind of weird happiness trick. Whatever your favorite ways to celebrate life may be, the important thing is to just do it. Take a break from your responsibilities and make having fun a priority. You'll be healthier and happier.
You can revive a stalled relationship by rediscovering the spirit of playful discovery and taking time to be playful with your partner. Being serious all the time is no way to live, and is very stressful, and hard on your relationship. So find ways to play and have fun, and try plenty of your own weird happiness tricks, and your stalled relationship will reward you with new growth and progress.
One of my clients was having trouble with his relationship with his teenage son, and wanted help in re-establishing contact and improving the quality of the relationship. When he told me they did a great deal of arguing and quarreling over small things, I realized they were locked in a power struggle, and neither could let the other win.
So, I asked him to think of something they could do together that they would both enjoy, and to invite his son to join him. He elected to take his son to a professional hockey game. I asked him to avoid talking about subjects they disagreed on, and to spend more time listening than talking, and to show a real interest in his son's life. By listening and expanding his knowledge of his son's life, he could show that he cared. And I knew he would learn to appreciate his son more by understanding him more deeply. The focus of their time together would be on having fun, enjoying the game and getting to know each other again -- and enjoying the journey to the hockey rink.
Their outing proved to be a win-win solution for them both. Each had fun, and they made great memories. There were no arguments or emotional outbursts. And, they decided to go to another game soon.
I asked my client to think of an activity he and his son used to do together, which they haven't done in a long time. He said that they used to play video games together, but they hadn't done that in years. I suggested he invite his son to a night of gaming, that he serve refreshments and finish with a good meal -- a meal featuring his son's favorite dish, homemade French fries with heaps of ketchup.
It worked like a charm. My client was thrilled to be able to make his son smile again, and to spend time with him without it ending up in a fight of some kind. He had to learn to keep control of his emotions, stay focused on the positive, and to show the kind of care and concern that he felt for his son in all interactions, in order to make it work.
My client's weird happiness trick was playing games with his beloved son. He just needed a little push in the right direction to make that old trick work new wonders for him.
What is your favorite long-forgotten weird happiness trick that you can use to enhance the quality of your life?
Anyone can improve his/her chances of finding true and lasting happiness by making good decisions -- decisions that invite happiness to thrive in his/her life. A great life is a collection of choices you make to be happy with the past, in the present, and for the future. Some of us may need to revisit our decisions, rather than to blame others for our unhappiness. Re-decision therapy involves analyzing the decisions we've made, and learning to make superior decisions in the future -- decisions that will give us a greater chance of attaining happiness and joy in our every day lives.
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