Catching Fireflies

finding magic along the way

The Secret to Happiness is Everywhere I Look!

I noticed a funny thing in the last few weeks. Every magazine I pick up has at least one article about happiness and how to get it. (For all the wise guys out there, no, I am not reading guitar or computer mags and they probably won’t have an article specifically about happiness unless you consider all the ads that hint as to what might make you smile.) 😉

Three magazines that I can see from where I am sitting – Prevention, Health and Fitness – are all screaming from the cover that I can love my life if I only follow their simple advice.

Get the body you want and the calm you crave!

Double your happiness – Just do this!

Bring on Bliss! Surprising ways to be a lot happier!

Stress less every day! Simple strategies to find your calm.

Well, sign me up! It can all be mine if I would only read the articles and implement the advice.

One of the articles, “9 Ways To Go on a Bliss Trip” in Health (June 2013), states that women’s happiness dips when they hit 40 – well, that explains a lot! – but resurges at 50. So according to this author, I only have to hold out another five years! 🙂 Other strategies, besides getting the heck out of your 40s as quickly as possible, are to buy experiences as opposed to things – trips, dinners, lessons in something, forget self-improvement, learn to go with the flow, be a giver, focus on relationships, and my old favorite – fake it til you make it! (For my previous post on this advice, click here.)

The same magazine also asks the question “Can You Think Yourself Well?” In it, the author discusses how healthy people in her medical practice – or those following every healthy habit known to man – were still suffering from illness. So she set out to find out why. She asked them as well as patients who did NOT follow healthy habits about their personal lives – what they loved and what they felt was missing, if they consider themselves happy, fulfilled in work and love, if they express themselves creatively. Their responses made her realize that how they felt about their lives, their relationships and their work had a profound effect on their health. Her bottom-line advice – Ask yourself what you need in order to heal and follow your intuition.

The May 2013 issue of Prevention tells me that carbs of all kinds could be making me depressed, tired and overweight and I don’t need to suffer from Celiac disease to react that way to them. In “Is This What’s Eating You?,” Arthur Agatston, MD, author of The South Beach Diet, talks about gluten sensitivity and recommends cutting all carbs from your life for a few weeks to see if that is the culprit in your overall mood. I don’t have the reactions to whole grains that he described, but it really has made me eye my carb selections carefully.

“Serenity Now!” also appears in this issue of Prevention. In it, the author makes recommendations for finding inner peace instantly. Everything from aromatherapy to meditation, nature to gardening, waking early, playing more and simply smiling. Easy, low cost and effective.

That is just a handful magazine issues in the past two months. I know from my forays into the grocery store magazine stand that there are many many more where these came from. It seems that everyone has simple answers to a complex problem. Maybe gardening or eating gluten free will not “fix” depression, but these ideas certainly can’t hurt. The suggestions always seem like common sense. But as anyone who has suffered from clinical depression will tell you, common sense and easy answers often prove elusive. All of these articles makes it pretty obvious to me that our world is suffering and we need to heal ourselves.

What’s the best and worst advice you ever got regarding improving your mood?


  1. Ha ha ha, and I’ve just started a new blog about my “happiness” journey 😉


    • Seems like there is a lot of that search for happiness going on, huh?! 🙂

      • Oh DEFINITELY Cheryl! And what does that say about life today? 😦


  2. charliebritten

    The first thing must be not to buy any of the products being advertised! Seriously, though, Although I don’t suffer from proper depression, I do occasionally feel down. I’m pretty sure, this is the result of exhaustion. Sitting down, preferably with a cup or tea, and doing something I enjoy, like reading a book or, better still, writing one, works wonders!

    • I agree — Self care goes a long way toward healing the blues. And nothing like a good book to read or write! 🙂

  3. For me, doing what I love to do and limiting negativity maintains my positivity. I will remove myself from people who are drains because I have learned to respect myself. Secondly, I learned a wonderful chant at a retreat I went to for Lourdes focused around Psalm 46.10 “Be Still and Know that I am God.”
    In a monotone, from the back of your throat chant these verses, each verse prolonging the last word until you are out of breath, then move onto the next:
    Be still and know that I am God
    Be still and know that I am
    Be still and know
    Be still
    Repeat until you feel grounded and serene.

    Although baptized Catholic, I am not a super religious person. I have become very spiritual over the years and am very interested in theology as well as philosophy. I happen to call my higher power God, but you can choose whichever higher power you believe in. This chant quiets the mind and soothes the soul.
    Hope you enjoy!

    • Thanks Chrissy! Love the verse. 🙂 I think I need to start meditating a bit to calm and support myself.

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