A Little Jar of Happiness
Author: Nymala Ingasy
What's a good way to remind yourself of the good times you've had throughout the year, particularly when you find yourself reflecting on the year that's almost passed? Before the ball drops in Times Square, you might want to start a happiness jar for 2016.
First of all, what is a happiness jar? A happiness jar is a project inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of "Eat, Pray, Love." It's a simple way of reminding yourself every day of the good that came out of your day, even if the day has been a challenge. Every day you add a note to your jar that describes a moment that made you happy, preferably with pretty scrap paper. The more you fill it up with happy and thankful moments, the more beautiful it becomes. Think of something that made you happy during the day. It could be something that happened that very day, but it could really be anything. Be truthful to yourself; the simpler things that delighted you are often the happiest moments.
You may ask what to add to your happiness jar, but the truth is, it's *your* jar so you make the rules about what you might want to include or exclude. There are lots of things you could include depending on what seems most fitting that day:
Your happiest moment that day
Something you are grateful for
You could also include a lucky token, ticket stub from a trip you loved or a note from a loved one.
Notes from your kids about their happiest moments
Whatever it is, write it down, put a date on it, and toss it in the jar. Remember to make deposits into the happiness jar regularly. If you can't do it every day or whenever the moment strikes you, take a note on your phone to add later. Don't forget to keep your jar in a safe place, but not too cunning so you can't find it later.
The most important thing about a happiness jar is remembering to open it and read the messages!! Some people like to open it on New Years, while others prefer to pop it open whenever life gets tough. When you feel that everything is getting to you and that there isn't much happiness in your life, take out a few of the messages and read them through. These reminders of the happiness that has been in your life and will continue to be present in your life will serve as a source of morale boosting. Your past happiness will comfort you and give you hope that there is more to come. It will also remind you that happiness is found in moments along the journey and is not a single destination with any defined point or actions.