You've heard of a time suck? Something that wastes your time and just sucks it down the drain. Time management people teach you to watch for the little things that suck your time that add up to a total loss of productivity.
So, I'd like to encourage you today to watch for the Happiness Drain. These are the tiny little things that drain away your happiness and joy in life. These thoughts are spurred on by the edutopia article, Teach Yourself How to Be Happier.
I think that to me one of the most important things I do is to guard my joy. You know that you tend to become like the people you are around (this is why spouses start to look alike over the years!) We mimic one another's facial expressions and phraseology without even realizing it (thus the spread of common imspeak and emoticons among teens in common groups.)
So, ask yourself – are there relationships that are sucking the happiness out of my life? Are there people who are never happy and they are just killing me? You know that there ARE people who you can move away from and there are those who we must love unconditionally. (I put my husband and family in the UNCONDITIONAL category so when they are down I GOTTA listen.) But I'm talking about the category of people in your life who you do not HAVE to be around.
This would be places you go (beauty shops, groups, etc.) or people who you hang around.
Ask yourself these questions:
Does this person (or group of people):
- Talk about positive things as much as negative?
- Teach me new things?
- Make me laugh?
And perhaps to me the biggest question of all is:
Do I like myself and how I act when I am around these people?
If not, take a look and see if you can find a way to reduce contact (if you cut off completely then you risk offending them) and replace it with positive things that buoy your attitude: listening to music or inspirational books, reading and learning something new, laughing, making a new friend, or being kind to someone who needs it.
We cannot control everything but there ARE things that we can control. If you see that a whirlpool is stirring in your life that sucks your happiness into its vortex of doom every time you get near it — time to paddle elsewhere!
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