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30 Days to Happiness

 

Are you a happy person? I’d like to think that most people are happy. We might not be happy 24/7, but I’d like to think that people are generally happy most of the day.

Genuine happiness comes from within. It’s a state of mind, a way of looking at the world, a commitment to improving ourselves and authentically enjoying life.

I do know that “life happens,” and sometimes we find ourselves struggling to smile. Been there, done that.

Last year (2017), was a really bad year for me. We had to put down two of our cats. One cat we knew had limited time with us (he was very old and suffering from diabetes for many years). That still didn’t make it any easier to loose him. Our other cat having to be put down we never saw coming. We brought him to the vet thinking he was constipated. It turns out that he had an incurable liver disease, something our dog had to be put down for a year earlier.

In addition to losing two of our beloved pets, I had gone to school to get certified as a Teacher’s Assistant for the State of New York. The job I had was ending, and I needed to find another job. I wanted to get a job in the school system. I applied to a few jobs, but never got them. I had such high hopes for a school job. I felt like I wasted the time and money it took to get certified.

The biggest event that happened last year was that I lost my brother. It took me nearly 30 years to find him. I had him in my life (FINALLY!) for a year and a half when him and his wife (along with another family member) were killed in a horrific car accident. That REALLY got to me. My heart felt like it exploded into a million little pieces. I searched for him almost all my life, only to find him and have him taken away from me before we had a chance to make up for lost time. Even typing this is making the tears well up in my eyes.

Even though I consider myself a happy person, there are times when I get into a deep, dark “funk” and I find it hard to smile and find joy in things (it’s not depression, but rather based on life’s situations).

I recently finished reading a book called 30 Days to Happiness: Daily Meditations and Actions for Finding True Joy Within Yourself.

I had mentioned in a recent post that I am not one to read “self help” books, but the human mind fascinates me, so sometimes I read self help books more so out of curiosity than for my own personal needs. Having recently found myself very unhappy (2017), I figured I had nothing to lose reading this book.

30 Days to Happiness is written by Rhonda Sciortino and it’s published by Hatherleigh.

Here is a brief synopsis of the book.

Everybody wants to be happy, yet few people know how to get there. We think we will be happy if we get the right job, meet the right people, get a new car. But there will always be something else we want – genuine happiness comes from within. It’s a state of mind, a way of looking at the world, a commitment to improving ourselves and authentically enjoying life.

30 Days to Happiness is an honest assessment of the 30 key life inventory items that have the biggest influence on your happiness. By examining ourselves and finding room for improvement, we learn to treat each new day as an opportunity to live our best possible life, finding new solutions to challenges and we take another step down the path to true happiness.

Make the most of your life by committing and becoming truly happy.

The description mentions “30 key life inventory items.” What exactly are those 30 items?

The book is broken up into chapters, which each section/chapter revolving around a specific “happiness item.” The book is written this way so that you can tackle one “item” (or area of your life) each day. You can follow the book as far as the sequence of the items is concerned, or jump around to the topics that you feel you need the most help with first and foremost.

Here are the 30 key life inventory items the book focuses on.

  1. Love
  2. Relationships
  3. Laughter
  4. Peace
  5. Trust
  6. Patience
  7. Self-Control
  8. Perseverance
  9. Generosity
  10. Consideration of Others
  11. Kindness
  12. Listening
  13. Learning
  14. Strength
  15. Courage
  16. Honestly
  17. Positive Attitude
  18. Organization
  19. Frugality
  20. Humility
  21. Be a Good Example
  22. Reliability
  23. Self-Respect
  24. Faith
  25. Cooperation
  26. Forgiveness
  27. Creativity
  28. Be Purposeful
  29. Fairness
  30. Sobriety

Some of these topics are logical (Love, Peace, Kindness…). Other topics I was surprised to see on this list (Sobriety, Frugality).

Each chapter starts off with a quote that pertains to the topic of the day. Each chapter discusses the topic and why it’s important to our happiness. The chapter concludes with a meditation and some easy activities/actions you can do that pertain to the topic. Most of the activities involve being mindful of the actions you take in various situations. For example, find funny videos that make you laugh and bookmark them so that you can go to them whenever you feel like screaming or crying. Other examples are smiling at everyone you encounter that day, and say a positive thing about everyone you interact with that day.

The activities suggested in each chapter don’t cost money or take up much of a time investment. ANYONE can accomplish them.

The books is 170 pages, and it’s easy to read. The best part is that you don’t necessarily have to read a chapter/section each day for 30 days. You can simply read the sections you feel you would benefit the most from, or ones that seem to be in the way of YOUR happiness. There is no right/wrong way to use this book. You don’t have to mediate or do the activities. It’s totally up to you (although I’m sure you’d get the most out of this book if you take everything into consideration).

Overall I found the book to be very interesting and easy to implement. Some areas I don’t really think applied to me. I skimmed over those areas. I can always go back to them later on if I feel I need to.

The information in the book is practical and most of it is common sense, however, sometimes common sense eludes us and we need to have someone (or something, such as this book) to bring it back in front of us so that we can understand and appreciate it again.

I found the book on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I’m sure it must be available at other book retailers as well.

What do you think of this book? Does it sound like something you might be interested in reading?

In what ways do YOU find joy and happiness?

This is a “happiness” sign I keep in our kitchen to remind us to always find ways to be happy.

Kimberly

*I received a free copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and "mini zoo" consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher's assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.