When you think about “happiness” … you may  think of the future in some way. The dream vacation coming up, the promotion you are working towards at work, the baby that is on the way, or the sixth date with someone new in your life. ( Thank goodness, I’m beyond that point!)

But happiness can also be found in the small things of a regular day.

So, today, look for it. Take just a few minutes and apply one of the ideas below and see how it brightens your day.  I’m thinking it just might.
One minute of appreciation

Take a minute, sit down and just reflect on what you appreciate and love about your partner, or a friend… or even… a family member!  This will fill you with gratitude and redirect your focus to the positive of things.

 Express your appreciation

Tell that partner, family member, or friend what you came up with. It will brighten his or her day. As his or her face lights up with a big smile ( you can also see it through a phone call) … you’ll feel happier too because emotions are contagious. (I’ve caught it once or twice myself!)

 Take a few minutes to see how you can help someone out

Offer some practical help, some good advice, look something up for them, be encouraging and supportive,  or just lend an ear.

Slow down

Walk and move slower for just a few minutes. Let your thoughts slow down. Use the minutes to enjoy what is happening all around you. Truly take it in with all your senses. There is so much simple wonder missed each day because we are preoccupied with our thoughts and plans for the future. Live in the now!

 Be the smile you want to see in your world 

Smile more towards the people you meet and you’ll get more smiles back. You’ll feel better. They will too. Actually, it’s contagious and they will probably smile more towards the other people they meet that day. So, don’t wait for other people to smile at you… be the smile you want to see in your world instead.

 Make someone else happy

Don’t stop at just smiles, give someone a big hug. Give him or her a small gift of some kind. Ask them their name! Cook their favorite food if they have had a bad day.
Actually, you can start your own day with setting a low bar for happiness. Now, that’s a good thought.

As you open your eyes and wake up to a new day tell yourself: Today, I will have a low bar for happiness!”

I have been using this one for quite some time now and it makes the ordinary day… well, just happier. I take fewer things for granted: my food, the weather, my life… and often pause to appreciate them more.

 Be the day you want to see

Don’t wait for someone else to create the day you want to have. Instead, get the ball rolling yourself. Take action and take the first steps forward. Many of us are now wearing “Fit Bits” or similar to measure the day’s activities.  Imagine that you are the “creator” of the day you want to experience in mood, accomplishments, and happiness!  You are.
 Say “Yes” to something new

Maybe try something you haven’t eaten before. Listen to a new song or album. Experience a new author or movie. Go see a new sport.  You get the idea. By actively going outside of what is normal for you or your comfort zone you’ll discover new, wonderful things in life quite often.

Get rid of your “should have” thoughts

The should haves in life can really drag happiness and energy down and make everything feel like heavy work. Do  you really have to do all of those shoulds on your “to-do” list? Or are you maybe stuck in a rut and are doing some of those things just out of habit?

Ask yourself one of my favorite questions: Will this matter in five years? Or even five months?

By zooming out like this you make it easier to see the true value of doing something. You see it for what it really is. Your questioning makes it easier to simply relax and say no to doing something because you realize that it isn’t that important  Do what you deep down believe is the “right thing.”

Instead of letting quick and judgmental words come of your mouth, be understanding.

Instead of snacking on some candy eat a fruit or drink a glass of water. Hard, right?

When an impulse inside of you wants you do something that you know deep down isn’t right for you then pause, be still for a few moments. The impulse will pass and you can  easily choose to take the action you know is right in this situation.

Then appreciate that you did the right thing, give yourself a pat on the back, and see how good it all feels. Continue to do this and you’ll help yourself to build stronger self-esteem.

Enjoy your life, enjoy your day!  Be Happy!


We live in a world of constant and often frightening change and never know of our tomorrow (s). I often ask myself … what will tomorrow bring! Will I have a blessed day with no worries or sickness upon me? Will I be able to cope with what will be passed to me through my day? Will I make a difference?

Finally, it dawns on me that I am so blessed to just be able to wake up and open my eyes each and every morning. I get to experience glorious Life, yet again. I should treasure each day and make everyday day count in my life.

We must not dwell on the past and ruin our present. Our past sometimes can haunt us and make our present day not too enjoyable. If your own past has haunted you and it’s fixable, then go after the problem and resolve it, so that you can live in peace. If it cannot be fixed, then choose to let it go.

As time and moments pass us by, they are then called memories and can be either positive or negative. We all want to have in our lives the best and happiest memories. None of us want to have bad memories of anything, but unfortunately, we will have many of them and disappointments to go along with them. It’s good to put everything in perspective.

I try to live everyday to the fullest and make each day count because there is no guarantee to the length of our individual times on Earth. In my journey, there have been acquired lessons of great value. Treat all people with respect and kindness. Turn the other cheek as hard as it might be. Learn to love and respect yourself, because without that, you will have a hard time loving and respecting others.

Really appreciate what you have in your Life and don’t take anything for granted. We can all improve the quality of our existence with some extra hard work to achieve a personal goal. However, if that goal is not achieved, the gain is in the personal knowledge that all effort was put forth in the venture of trying.

I try to make it a habit to glance into the sky and say thanks for all things in Life… exactly as given. My days are rewarding; yet challenging, happy; while melancholy at times, enlightening; even at this point in my life, and exhausting; while at the same time… I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Each day we experience is as different and individual as each one of us. May we all choose to live it well.


Sometimes, we feel manipulated by people we know and/or love. When this occurs we experience a great deal of stress and anxiety, both of which can make us ill and out of sorts.  When this occurs we need to step back and view it NOT subjectively, but rather objectively. View the entity that is doing the manipulating.

In research, it is indicted that a manipulative personality is, essentially, an aggressive personality. Now, there are also people who are overtly aggressive! Those are the people that we’re afraid of or intimidated by and their personalities are “overt.” Right there in your face. Then there is the covert personality that is aggressive in an underhanded way. Most manipulative people are the covert type.

That personality type is most often self-centered. They’re often narcissistic. They’re self-involved and they lack empathy for other people. So it’s all about what I want… and what I can get other people to do for me. It rarely is about what can be done FOR other people.They tend to use other people and they do that in a number of ways.

They’re dishonest. Or, they’re deceptive about issues. They tell half-truths or they don’t tell the whole truth. It’s also a feature of many personality disorders: borderline, avoidant – the avoidant person tries to get other people to do their work, because they will avoid others – the dependent personality – that plays the victim and wants everybody to take care of them – histrionic personality, anti-social – passive-aggressive has a big component there – and type A “angry personalities” and “addictive personalities.”

People that are addicted to drugs/ alcohol almost always blame all their problems on other people. “Angry” personalities they are they way the are because of something in their past. In the end, this type of behavior is so self-destructive. This is a pattern that runs deep with manipulation. Many of these people don’t care about relationships, sadly. They just care about getting what they want out of people. Often, they end up alone.

Guilt-tripping. One of the things that a covert-aggressive person knows well is that other types of people have very different consciences than they do. So, all a manipulator has to do is to suggest to the conscientious person that they don’t care enough, or kind of imply that they’re being selfish, and that person immediately is going to start feeling bad. So that’s an “in” that they can use to push people around and get them to do what they want.

Turn that around and a conscientious person might try, until they’re blue in the face, to get a manipulator, or any other aggressive type personality, to feel badly about a hurtful behavior, to acknowledge responsibility, or admit wrongdoing, and it’s absolutely to no avail, because these people don’t think that way. It’s all about them. It’s not about others. They don’t have empathy!

Shaming is another form of manipulation. Sometimes the use of subtle sarcasm and put-downs is used as a means of increasing fear and self-doubt in others. The stuff teachers say! I heard this from kids all the time – about the things that teachers say/said to them to shame them. Covert-aggressive people use this tactic to make other people feel inadequate, or unworthy, and therefore, to defer to them. It puts them in a one-up position.

Vilifying the victim. This tactic is frequently used in conjunction with the attacker playing the victim role. The aggressor uses the tactic to make it look like he’s only responding, or defending himself, against aggression on the part of the victim. It actually enables the aggressor to better put the victim on the defense.

Another thing they do is, they play the servant role. Covert-aggressives use this tactic to cloak their self-serving agenda in the guise of service…you know, to a more noble cause. You do just the opposite of what you’re really doing. National politics all over again. Most of our public servants get rich while they’re in office. So what does that tell you?

What causes people to become manipulative? Where does it come from? Mostly it comes from anxiety. People anticipate catastrophic losses in some cases. So, in an effort to control their own environment, and stay safe, and meet their own needs, they try to get other people to give them what they think they can’t get for themselves.

There are many of us who have had terrible experiences as children/ young adults… who do not resort to manipulation as adults. Perhaps, this is the realization that this isn’t the right way to go about things or treat other people.

It is never too late to stop manipulating and realize we can count on our own resourcefulness and God- given strengths.