A Happiness Boost
This morning I was on the receiving end of a telephone call that made me view my day and my life in a whole new light. The call was from my neighbor and friend who, despite a life full of huge challenges and trials – including being drafted and serving on the front lines in Vietnam – maintains a positive spirit and a focus on others.
Today, his focus was on me and letting me know what he appreciated about me and our friendship. I was blown away as I sat and listened to him tell me that my smile and a few words of encouragement had made such a tremendous impact. After he finished, besides thanking him for being the president of my fan club, I told him how remarkable it was that he had put himself out there with such vulnerability and taken the time to say so many important, life-affirming words to me.
This is the second time in less than week that I’ve been reminded of the importance of telling those we love how much they mean to us and what we appreciate about them. Why don’t we say life-affirming words more often? What holds us back?
Last week, at a training session for our counselors given by happiness expert and best-selling author Christine Carter, she showed us this Upworthy video that I’ve seen multiple times and would willingly watch many more (and tear up every time):
I know my friend has not seen this video and doesn’t read up on the science of happiness, but I now know from personal experience that affirming words like his are the best gift a friend can give.
A world where it’s accepted and commonplace to express our positive thoughts about others is a world that will be a much happier place to live, so let’s reach out to those we love and tell them how they’ve positively impacted our lives.
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Christine Carter, Ph.D.
Happiness Books (Greater Good Science Center)