As a way of keeping myself sane and happy, I've always relied on hiking and getting out into nature to photograph animals. Or I create some new art.
Besides that, for the past six months I've been going regularly to yoga classes. We do breathing exercises as well. It's a great way to relieve stress and get fit.
This past week I did a meditation class for the first time. I felt fantastic afterwards! I'll be doing that on a regular basis from now on.
Last night I joined a choir. What an amazing, powerful experience. Loved it!
I think of all these things as tools to keep myself on an even keel. At times I'm even elated. There's been a lot of sorrow in my family the past few years and I needed ways to pull myself up instead of sinking into the blues.
Do you have ways that you can count on to make yourself happy?
I paint almost daily and that pretty much keeps me happy. When I feel blue or burned out a bit, I drive to the beach and take in the sounds and smells. Naturally I take advantage and snap several photos in hopes of finding one or two worthy to paint. :)
Peggy I agree with Chuck great choices to keep your stress in check and to keep that ever elusive flexibility in check. Another thing to agree with Chuck enjoying some good wine a couple times a week certainly helps too.
Like you I also have a great appreciation for the outdoors as in hiking, camping, fishing, bowhunting occasionally and my forever quest to be a better photographer. Being a Grandfather to 5 keeps bending at odd angles but I need to start playing Racquetball again, lol!
Read, among other things. It's a great mood elevator. When I'm not reading, I listen to audio tapes in my car. I just finished "A Gentleman in Moscow" on audio, and escaping into that world was beyond delightful. Sounds like you are doing all the right things, Peggy! It takes a while to discover what really elevates your mood, and you just have to keep trying until you find it.
I do not believe that any person can MAKE themselves happy.
For myself, I do not even use the word, "happy", to describe my emotions.
"Happy" is ..., well, ... too happy. (^_^) It seems like an overused word for a misunderstood feeling.
I have spent so many years practicing behavior that keeps me sane and fulfilled that this state of being has become the standard for my existence. So, I cannot tell you what makes me happy, but I could tell you what makes me UNhappy, because my baseline is already what you would call "happy", I guess.
The one thing that has established and maintained my baseline is engaging the body in such activities as walking, stretching, breathing, and toning on a daily basis, almost religiously some people might say, ... as routine as breathing or brushing your teeth or taking a shower. I enter each day with movement, stretching, breathing, toning, immediately upon waking, before eating or doing anything else. And I walk everyday too. These are pretty mundane things that sustain me. Borrrrrrrrrrrrrring, right?