Photo: How to be happy, even during the holidays

Do the holidays bring you happiness and gratitude or misery and anxiety? (Credit: Nakeva via Flickr)

"Happiness is an inside job" (says a postcard by Dr. Nedd above my desk).

His recipe to become a happier person:

  1. Celebrate whatever there is
  2. Bring a sense of wonder to your life
  3. Sing
  4. Enjoy nature
  5. Be with happy people
  6. Treat everyone as if you care
  7. In everything, give thanks

Does this describe how you stay happy during the holidays? Then read no further.

But Dr. Nedd also has a "How to become a miserable person" recipe:

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  1. Be grateful for nothing
  2. Look stressed (they'll think you're important)
  3. Reach out and help no one (you need your strength)
  4. When you feel the urge to give, focus on your own needs
  5. When you feel the urge to exercise, go to bed
  6. When all else fails, eat

I'm no doctor, but I bet you've found yourself in both camps from time-to-time. Because when I asked you (via Facebook) to describe the holidays in one word, you said: lonely, crafty, tired, family, overkill, blessed, expensive, joyful, obligations, torn and happy.

If gratitude is healthy and promotes happiness, how can we show it to others and nurture the joy of giving without all the shopping and overindulging we know doesn't make us happier?

Do you give to show appreciation, connect and acknowledge people in your life? Or are you gifting to ease guilt?

Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green

December 2, 2013

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1 Comment

Dec 30, 2013
1:35 PM

Dear David Suzuki Founders,

I have enjoyed “Nature of Things” program on CBC for many years. I am 62, member of College of Trades and Professional Engineers of Ontario. I would like to cooperate with the foundation.

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