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Develop a strategic plan for happiness

April 13th, 2008 · 7 Comments

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be

~ Abraham Lincoln

How happy are you?

On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being absolutely darn miserable, and 10 being deliriously happy) where are you at, right now?

Are you happy with that score? (pun intended: )

Yes? Terrific – have a nice day.

Oh, you’re still here?

What can you do, right now, to increase your score?

If you’re down in the dumps, sometimes you need a strategy to drag yourself point by point back up the happiness ladder. And when you’re down it’s often not the time to start thinking about that strategy.

It needs to already be thought upon, brainstormed, even written down, so that you wont forget when you’re in that hole that you’ve a couple of things to try.

It’s a bit like having a fire drill.

It often seems pointless, and certainly time consuming, when we’re busy getting on with the rest of our life. But having that semi-automatic reaction to a certain situation (like a black-hole day or a fire) can
be a life saver.

In Case of Fire...

I needed a strategy for when I wake in the middle of the night.

I lie there for a while until I realise I am awake and it’s very dark, and my mind switches on and off I go. Worrying. Fretting. Imagining horrible things. (Especially if Captain Scarlett is out and driving…)

Once this had happened a couple of times I realised I wasn’t able to get myself out of the worry cycle without a premeditated plan. I’m just not awake enough to think up a strategy at that time of the morning.

So, I devised and tried a few different things. My aim was to soothe myself back to sleep quickly. I didn’t want to get up and divert myself in some way. I really need my sleep. And getting up and phoning Captain Scarlett didn’t win me any brownie points either : )

And now, I wake far less in the wee hours. Is it because strategies are to hand? I’m not sure, but I am not complaining!

Do you prepare strategies, like fire drills, ready in case of emergency? Or do you just deal with the issue when you’re in it? What works for you?

Tags: Reinvention · Resourcing for Women Who Do Too Much · Why Did I Have Children?

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Joh // Apr 13, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    What a splendid idea! I need a strategy for winter, cause I know after 42 years that I can get flat during winter. I’m going to work on a winter survival kit for myself:-)

  • 2 karen // Apr 14, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks Joh. A winter survival kit!! Yes – now that’s an idea a lot of people could use. Good luck and have fun putting the kit together. I’d really love to know how winter turns out for you this year – please stop back and let me know?

  • 3 Verna Wilder // Apr 16, 2008 at 1:10 am

    What a great idea, Karen. I can make myself crazy with my thoughts, and when I mentioned this to a friend, she suggested that when my thoughts are revving up with fear, pick a high number and count backwards. It works!

  • 4 karen // Apr 21, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Verna! How lovely to hear from you, my friend.

    Making ourselves crazy with our thoughts – yes, I know! I spent a good part of last year, my son’s first year of driving, making myself crazy and sick with my thoughts… it’s NOT a good look.

    I love your friend’s idea, she must be very wise. I am going to put it into my strategy for craziness.

    Thank you for sharing this with me!

  • 5 Maureen // Apr 22, 2008 at 2:20 am

    I have suffered sleepless nights for years. It’s a mid life thing. I finally found a way to calm the fretting that results when I can’t get back to sleep. I put soothing songs that remind me of happy times in my past. The songs bring up memories which takes my mind off of the what if of the present. Usually, I wake up with my ear buds in not remembering going back to sleep.

  • 6 karen // Apr 22, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Maureen,
    thank you for visiting The Clearing Space! Sleepless nights are awful, aren’t they? I think you’ve found a really good way of distracting your mind and helping you relax and get to sleep! I can see that listening to music wouldn’t wake the mind or body up too much, so it would be easier to get back to sleep.

    Please come visit again soon!

  • 7 Winter Uniform | Joh Blogs // Apr 22, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    [...] - winter, is creeping up. I had better get on to that Winter Survival kit, I suggested when I read Develop a Strategic Plan for Happiness: The Clearing Space. I’ve been thinking about what kinds of things, besides chocolates and soup, would make [...]

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