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Finding Happiness During Hard Times

Updated on February 5, 2016
Listening to the waves is relaxing ~ Cape Cod
Listening to the waves is relaxing ~ Cape Cod | Source

Dedication:

I am dedicating this article to my family, and to many of my friends on both Facebook and HubPages who have been supportive and comforting to me in my own time of unhappiness, especially the wonderful Epigramman and the esteemed Billybuc, Cat, Shanmarie, Nellieanna, Just Ask Susan, Abby Campbell, Suzie HQ and Karen Hellier. I appreciate every one of you, as well as many others whose names I haven't listed.

Fleeting Happiness

Life can throw us curveballs, and sometimes it is hard to be positive during these times. When we focus on the bad things happening in our life, it is hard to make room for any ounce of happiness that is waiting to sneak in.

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

"Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open." ~ John Barrymore

Source

Basic Contents:

In this article, I provide:

  • many tips and suggestions for finding happiness, although not everything will work for you. Everyone is different, and what may be fun for one person could be boring or frustrating for another.
  • I am also sharing with you many quotes on happiness that I have found inspiring.
  • Feel free to participate in the poll on "sources of happiness", and to comment once you are finished reading this. I always enjoy feedback from my readers.
  • I have also provided some links to a post on stress-relieving hobbies, fascinating articles on happiness, and to a couple of beautiful poems. To round it out, there's a video on art, as well as a couple of happy music videos. I hope you get something positive out of this.
  • Please check out the link to Faith's beautiful hub, "Smiles That Hide Our Pain". It is just above the videos.

Going To A Park Is Fun In Any Season

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Wickham Park in the SummertimeThe Moon Bridge in the Oriental GardenFountain at the park's Lotus GardenWickham Park in Autumn
Wickham Park in the Summertime
Wickham Park in the Summertime | Source
The Moon Bridge in the Oriental Garden
The Moon Bridge in the Oriental Garden | Source
Fountain at the park's Lotus Garden
Fountain at the park's Lotus Garden | Source
Wickham Park in Autumn
Wickham Park in Autumn | Source

Quotes That Explain What Happiness Is

  • "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
  • "Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." ~ Joseph Addison
  • "Happiness is a function of accepting what is." ~Werner Erhard


Walking Along The Water Cheers Me Up

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The causeway in South BostonComing back from Castle Island
The causeway in South Boston
The causeway in South Boston | Source
Coming back from Castle Island
Coming back from Castle Island | Source

Nonstop Happiness

If you are looking for a secret way to be happy for eternity, without ever feeling sadness or despair, stop right here! It doesn't exist. Happiness is not by any means unreachable, but it is also not something that stays with you once you attain it. Sometimes you have to actively do something to make yourself happy, and other times simply taking action will distract your mind into becoming content. Just remember that without pain, we wouldn't understand happiness as much.

"In order to have great happiness you have to have great pain and unhappiness- otherwise how would you know when you're happy?" ~ Leslie Caron

"Happiness is a matter of one's most ordinary and everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self." ~Iris Murdoch

How Can You Become Happy When You're Sad?

  • Count your blessings, and don't let negativity rule you
  • Don't surround yourself with toxic people, but with those who are supportive and positive
  • Keep your eyes out for opportunities in life, and pursue them even if your mind tells you that you're not good enough
  • Don't listen to the negative thoughts in your mind. If it helps, find and write down affirmations that help you to feel more positive
  • Accept what is
  • Mourn over your loss. It's important to get it out
  • Let it go. If there's anything you can do to help the situation, do it. But when it is out of your hands, don't dwell on what you can't help
  • Find things to preoccupy your time. These can be things that are productive, fun, or a mix of both
  • Remember that life changes constantly. Don't resist, but let it change, and do what you can to be resilient and adaptive without losing who you are at the core
  • If you are not happy about who you are at the core, take the extra effort to change yourself- your behaviors, your attitude, or the way you react. But if you do so, watch your intentions. If you are changing an important part of yourself for someone else in the hopes they'll accept you, it might backfire. Do it for yourself, unless this part of you is truly detrimental to others

Happiness Changes As We Journey Through Life

  • "The art of living does not consist in preserving and clinging to a particular mode of happiness, but in allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed by the change; happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up" ~ Charles L. Morgan

Create Your Own Happiness

"Some pursue happiness, others create it." ~ author unknown

"You need to learn to be happy by nature, because you'll seldom have the chance to be happy by your circumstance." ~ Lavetta Sue Wegman

"A man's as miserable as he thinks he is." ~ Seneca

Know Yourself

Everyone is unique. Each one of us have different things going on in our lives, and react differently to an event or tragedy. Some take a long time to get over it, and others are resilient, snapping back in no time. We each have our own ideas of what happiness is, and what causes it.

  • Decide for yourself what happiness means to you
  • Make a list of things that often make you happy, and refer to it when you're feeling down
  • Think about what you could do to improve your life in general, and work towards achieving it
  • Write a list of things you are thankful for. Even when life seems to be going downhill, I am often surprised at how long the list of things I have to be grateful for is


Art Can Sometimes Improve Your Mood

  • "Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling." ~ Margaret Lee Runbeck
  • "Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response." ~ Mildred Barthel

Things To Do To Make Yourself Happy

Here are some of my own ideas:

  • Listen to an upbeat playlist of music you enjoy- just beware of songs that make you sad
  • Watch a comedy of some kind
  • Writing can sometimes be therapeutic. I like to write out my thoughts and reflections in a journal
  • Read a good book that takes you far away from the negativity in your life
  • Watch a good movie
  • Go to an art museum, or look at art from the comfort of your chair- to the right is a great video showcasing the 50 most famous paintings of all time, accompanied by music
  • Talk to friends and family who boost your spirits
  • Write down words of encouragement that you have received, so that you can refer to them again later. Positive reinforcement is good
  • Visit family or friends
  • Go out with friends
  • Reconnect with an old friend
  • Hug someone that you love- as long as they don't mind! Affection can be very warm
  • Pay attention to a domesticated animal- I find that petting a cat or a dog can change my mood pretty fast
  • Work out- it is good for you, and boosts feelings of wellbeing
  • Go on a walk. If you are able to go somewhere that relaxes you, that is especially ideal
  • Take a walk in the park
  • Enjoy nature. Go hiking, camping, or picnicking
  • Being near water brightens my mood- whether a river, a lake a pond, or the ocean. In a pinch, a water fountain will do
  • Go swimming

Sources of Happiness

What makes you the most happy?

See results
  • Take a hot bubble bath
  • Pamper yourself
  • A good scent can turn your mood around. Burn a candle, bake an apple pie, brew coffee, or put on some lovely scented lotion or cologne
  • Do some gardening, even if it is only in pots indoors
  • Breathe in the scent of flowers as you pass them
  • Buy yourself flowers, or a plant
  • Productivity can sometimes make you feel better
  • Create something with your own two hands- that can be a great feeling. Whether it be an arts and crafts project, putting photos in an album, painting a bookshelf, woodworking, building a car, sewing- whatever floats your boat. The simple act of making something can make you feel good
  • Treat yourself to some comfort food- something that you take great pleasure out of eating
  • If there is a beverage that boosts your spirits or provides you great enjoyment, have some. If it is alcoholic or caffeinated, don't overdo it (that could backfire, and leave you unhappier than when you started out)
  • Go to a little café, and relax there for a while
  • Get out, and people watch
  • Go on a vacation, or a day trip
  • Explore the area you live in, and find new spots that you have never been to
  • Change your routine a little
  • Watch a sunrise or a sunset
  • Watch a moonrise, or gaze at the stars
  • Watch a thunderstorm (from a safe place)
  • Play games
  • Daydream, without giving in to negative thoughts
  • Reminisce about good times
  • Live in the moment
  • Practice meditation

Critters Can Be Comforting

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cats are often sensitive to those who are sadChipmunks can be fun to watch Blue-Jays have a lot of personalityI love watching the seagulls
Cats are often sensitive to those who are sad
Cats are often sensitive to those who are sad | Source
Chipmunks can be fun to watch
Chipmunks can be fun to watch | Source
Blue-Jays have a lot of personality
Blue-Jays have a lot of personality | Source
I love watching the seagulls
I love watching the seagulls | Source
  • Smile like a madman or woman! It's hard to be sad when you're smiling
  • Smile at someone else- not only will a genuine smile boost your mood, but maybe you will make the other person happy, at least for a moment
  • Do something for someone else
  • Listen to someone else, without listening to your own thoughts during that time. Be there for them in their time of need or happiness

"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up." ~ Mark Twain

Enjoy the Little Things

  • "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." ~ Robert Brault

    "Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is." ~ Maxim Gorky

  • "Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn't stop to enjoy it." ~ William Feather
  • "The happiness of most people is not ruined by great catastrophes or fatal errors, but by the repetition of slowly destructive little things." ~ Ernest Dimnet

Good Advice I Have Received

I have had so many inspiring things said to me, but here are a couple of things that my brother said that struck a chord with me.

  • Look at photos that inspire you- silly things that make you happy- people that you know, or celebrities, places you'd like to go- something to distract you, and make you smile
  • Allow yourself to sulk for 10 minutes at a time- life is too short, and 10 minutes is more than enough time to waste on being depressed

~ Michael Stratford

Just Smile!

A Peppy Song To Brighten Your Mood

Feel Free To Comment

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    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      Hi Kathryn!

      Can't access your videos yet ( my problem, not your links ), but one thing that will create surefire happiness is reading your wonderfully constructed, and, as always, beautifully presented Hub article!

      Your Dostoevsky quote was spot on - that guy sure knew his onions, and the ' Think, Say and Do ' approach to life by Gandhi was a great reminder.

      Isn't it amazing how simply stroking a cat or dog has a seemingly magical effect of an instantaneous mood changer?

      Thank you for a fascinating read, and voting up and sharing, as you've obviously put so much hard work into this marvellous Hub article.

      Have a lovely evening, and best wishes;

      R.Q.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      This hub brings me much encouragement as I tick off each bulleted point. I can only hope that in the writing of it, you were able to elevate your own spirits as well. I'm sorry for whatever it is that you were faced with, and I'm thankful that you may have been able to cope with some of that pain by way of connecting with the HP family. Thank you for sharing honestly and courageously with us all. Aloha, dear Kathryn!

      ~Joe

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good for you Kathryn! Write about happiness and it will come. Oddly I'm writing about this very subject tomorrow. In the meantime, if you ever need to chat I'll be available.

      bill

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Great article on achieving happiness during difficult times Kathryn! Putting effort into resolving a negative situation(s) will ultimately result in a long lasting, positive impact on your life. It is always difficult at first, but I believe that you should never waste too much valuable time in dealing with certain issues. This is a very insightful article and you have offered valuable tips and advice for anyone going through a difficult situation in their life. At the end of the day we are all looking for peace and happiness. I enjoyed the quotes and videos that you have included. Well done! Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Kathryn,

      Congrats on an excellent hub that was full of great ways to help achieve the elusive happiness when we really see nothing positive. Writing this in itself must have been a touch of therapy and a sure fire tonic. As I stated in an email, I am always here for you to chat with during this transitional time in your life.

      Up, useful, awesome,interesting, shared!

      We could all learn some ideas, tips and advice here and loved how you brought such relevant quotes into it,

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Excellent article! The one thing I learned how to do throughout some ordeals in my life is to live so that no one else would know anything was wrong. Such as your advice like, "smile", "only sulk for 10 minutes"....those are surely great tips!

      Going through unthinkable things has made me appreciate time I have instead of dwelling on the negative things that have happened. I've found through these times that I can let go of small things because I know the true meaning of what's important now.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      R.Q,

      I enjoyed the quotes I found for this, and they helped me get a feel for what happiness is supposed to be.

      Yes, it is so calming to have a cat to pet. My mother actually got permission to have a cat in an apartment that normally wouldn't allow it when her doctor wrote a note saying she needed it for her health. True story! Pets can be very beneficial for our well-being.

      Thanks for the compliments. It did take a lot of work, and it was hard in some ways for me to finish it. But now that it is complete, I have my own resource to return to when I need a bit of encouragement, and I hope others will enjoy it, as well.

      Thanks for stopping by, and have a fantastic night!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Joe,

      I'm glad this brings encouragement.

      Constructing and writing this has elevated my spirits, although I am very much going from feeling down to up, and back down again. But I will be okay in time. My boyfriend of the past 4 years broke up with me, and although it happens to most people at one point or another, it is my present reality. It's time for me to pick up the pieces and move on.

      Yes, the H.P. community has been an immense help, and I really appreciate it.

      On the bright side, I have gone on a lot of walks! I find that getting outdoors is extremely soothing, so I do it more often. If I stay cooped inside, I drive myself crazy.

      You're welcome, and thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Have a great week!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Bill,

      I look forward to reading what you have to say on the subject. What good timing!

      I actually just read something that you wrote last year on happiness, too. It showed up as one of the other hubs on a similar topic.

      This has been very therapeutic to brainstorm, research, find links and songs and quotes to, as well as the poems. Now I have this encouraging resource to go back to.

      Thanks, Bill, I appreciate having people to talk to very much.

      Have a great night!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Rose,

      I believe that I will do very well in time, and learn from this experience. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger!

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on this. I always enjoy what you have to say. You always seem to put thought and effort into responding.

      I like that some level of happiness can be gained by the small things. You don't have to be rich, have an expensive car or a huge house. It's something that is within reach of everyone, not only the elite. I find that very comforting.

      You're welcome, and I hope you have a wonderful night!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Suzie,

      Thanks, I appreciate it!

      Yes, writing this was very good for me! I spent quite a bit of time on my commutes brainstorming for this (as well as doing the exercises in thankfulness and looking on the bright side), as well as researching, and finding the songs, poems, website links to other great articles, etc. And I enjoyed picking out the pictures, too, because they are of things that make me happy.

      Thanks for being here for me, Suzie. I appreciated the e-mail very much, and I will most definitely send you an e-mail again!

      I really enjoyed incorporating the quotes into this. I have a thing with quotes, so even that aspect of getting this article ready was rewarding for me.

      Have a great night!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 3 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Thank you for the advice. I've been having a tough time lately and needed a little cheering up. Thanks for helping me out. :-)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      CraftytotheCore,

      That sounds like a great way to go! It would be hard for me in some cases to act like nothing's wrong, but when I'm sad over little things I can usually "fake it", and in the process usually become in a better mood. I am generally a very happy person, and I don't like to seem too "blue" around others, because I enjoy making them smile by smiling myself.

      I try to focus on positive things, too, because otherwise the negatives could overtake me.

      That last sentence is a very dynamic thought! Yes, once we put things into perspective, and value what is truly important, some of the negative things really do seem minor.

      Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for your thoughtful comment. I appreciate it.

      Have a great night!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Jeanieinabottle,

      You're welcome, I'm glad I could help. I hoped that in writing this piece I could give others a little boost, and am incredibly happy that it cheered you up a little. Whatever you are having a tough time with, I wish you well.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and have a lovely week.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Great advice! Like you say, getting out and doing something can be such a help. Whenever I'm bummed, I really don't want to do anything at all. When I force myself to, I almost always feel better. I'm anticipating a very stressful next four months and I may be reading over your lists several times!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Natasha,

      That is how it is with me, too. Once I actually do something (even if I'm not in the mood to do anything), I feel a little better. Sometime I even feel fabulous afterward. Lately I have gotten outdoors when I feel bad, and it has done wonders.

      Awww, I feel for you. I hope that you do what you can to reduce the stress. Good luck, and of course I look forward to keeping up with your progress on your blog (well, if you even have time to write)!

      Thanks for commenting, and I hope you have a fantastic week.

      ~ Kathryn

    • writinglover profile image

      Jennifer 3 years ago from Lost...In Video Games

      Awesome advice! I've spent most of my life being an angsty kid, so this was a welcomed hub! I loved it! Hobbies and relaxing make me the happiest. As you well know, I love writing poems... :) Voted it up!

    • lesliebyars profile image

      Buster Johnson 3 years ago from Alabama

      During difficult times I just want to mope around but doing something I enjoy always makes me feel much better.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 3 years ago from New York

      Kathryn,

      I'm fighting off tears! Oh my lanta... not because this is sad, but beautiful! Gee, I was so happy reading your title as it flew by me a few hours ago... but I really didn't even know where you were going with it and the shout out; you are right at the top of my list darling and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. "Some pursue happiness, others create it." ~ author unknown, but you help create my happiness!

      You are an inspiration simply in how you approach life and I will continue to turn to you.

      I hit every dang button on this page! Hope you're having a wonderful day in Boston as you deserve nothing but the best days ever!

      Hugs and love to you Kathryn!

      Cat

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Such a wonderful article and I can relate all the way.

      Thank you so much for sharing this gem which I know will benefit so many.

      Voted up and enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Great job on this hub, Kat! So full of useful information. I know I need to think more positively. I tend toward melancholy and depression all the time. More positive people in my life would help, too, but where are they? I have a lot to work on, but what I get from this is that it really starts within myself.

      I don't know what you've been going through, but it sounds like you are doing better. For that, I am glad. Beautiful hub.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Love your happiness quotes, especially Barrymore's. Hope you continue progressing with joy. Your cheerful spirit makes a world of difference.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      This is such an important topic! Thanks for sharing your insight. I know that it will be an inspiration to those who need it during hard times.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      What a wonderfully inspiring resource you have created, Kathryn! The part that struck me right to the core, and one I have to work on, is 'Know Yourself'. So I am bookmarking this for future exercises in finding out who exactly I am at this point in time. Thank you for sharing ;) Pearl

      Voted Up++++

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Good ideas for cheering oneself up. It is a very individual thing, so it is so important to know what makes you happy. When I am feeling low, I like to bake for others, spend time with my cats, write, do crafts, clean my house, take a nap, or watch a funny movie.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I like the quote about happiness sneaking in through the back door when we don't know that we left it open. That is often the way happiness occurs in my life. I have always been a type A person, driven to accomplish. It used to be that was the only way I could feel happy. I would feel a sense of satisfaction when I had finished something that I felt was important. Now that I am older, I find happiness in the simple things, a flower blooming, a sunset, a smile from a friend, or an unexpected thank you. Its funny that life becomes more precious as we begin to realize that we don't have all that much time left!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Inspiring ideas to chase away the blues. When i am down in spirit, i clean. I love to decorate my home. I have had friends who are perplexed when i tell them i love to clean, They hate to clean, i tell them, " different strokes for different folks. " Whatever works for you. Thank's. Enjoyed reading your hub.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Absolutely filled with ways to find happiness rather than its opposite. There are just so many ways we can find that joy that lifts us up.

      You have carefully selection suggestions that many will benefit from, Kathryn.

      Have a lovely evening. Angels are on the way to you today ps

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

      Oh, I'm terribly sorry to hear you have been down. I am happy, though, that you wrote such an inspiring hub and you know the things that work for you. This hub is a great benefit for anyone to read.

      You know I voted other and you know, the wetnosedogs is what gets my spirits up. I can come home tired, exhausted, ticked off at work about something and I open the house door and I get nothing but love from these dogs and I just have to smile and be happy.

      Wishing you the best. And trust you will smile and be happy. Truly happy. :)

    • Tashaonthetown profile image

      Natasha Pelati 3 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks for the interesting info and it is a feel good page!

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Kathryn- awesome hub. I hope you are doing well. :) Like you said, I don't think it's possible to be happy all of the time. There are days when it is difficult but you we have to pull ourselves out of our slumps. I remember two specific days recently when I felt like that and I forced myself to pack up my camera and my dog and visit three different parks. I had so much fun photographing my dog that I forgot what I was upset about. Often, we have to give in to ourselves and do something that we enjoy...and sometimes it even means shunning responsibility for the day! Thanks for sharing!

    • W1totalk profile image

      W1totalk 3 years ago

      I found myself ready to pass this article because my mood was good and ripe. It is something about a situation that makes you look at staying in a positive mood. Great writing. Wonderful article.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Oh dearest Kathrine,

      It seems it has been a season for such sadness, and the trails of this life we must all face at times. I, too, have been going through some and had expressed such about happiness too.

      I will be in prayer for you precious heart, and I do remember reading a couple of weeks ago on another hub about you going through such, and I am so sorry, for you deserve the best this life has to offer for you are such a beautiful person inside and out, so intelligent and genuine.

      It does pain my heart to know of your sadness. You have written a wonderful hub of great advice as to attaining happiness, which I would really love to link to my latest hub, if you do not mind? As it would be just perfect and compliment it so very well.

      For me, when times get really tough, as they have been here of late, all I can do is place my faith and trust in my sweet Lord God to deliver me from such trials and He always does, and I am the stronger for such. Of course I love listening to music and reading too. Sometimes, it is just good to get in the shower away from all, and just let it all out there. And I love going to a quiet place just to myself to reflect and pray and that gives me much peace about all.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      Much hugs and love, Faith Reaper

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 3 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Just the article to read when feeling a bit down.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Useful article and very fine tips these, Kathryn. Wonderful ways in which we can combat this state of mind. I find music to be a great soother.

      Sharing this here and on G+1. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I will be back to respond to everyone's comments. I appreciate them very much! Have a wonderful weekend.

      ~ Kathryn

      @ Ahmad Taha, I couldn't approve your comment, because you added a link. As useful as it is, we're not supposed to promote sites in the comment section. You're new here, so I'm sure you're unfamiliar with the rules. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, though, and have a great day.

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 3 years ago from Georgia country

      I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through hard times. My husband and I have also been going through some as we have financial problems which is tough when you have children.

      In your hub you have found great tips to find happiness during hard times. I wish that you will find happiness again as you really deserve the best in your life. A wonderful hub.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 3 years ago

      Well my Kathryn of Kool I found happiness when I found you.

      And I am finding it once again while reading your definitive and most essential guide to happiness itself but you are so right in saying that it's very subjective like food and music and everyone has their own interpretation of it. I knew you were a 'relatively' happy person by nature from the first hub I've ever read by you because you had such a wonderful and enthusiastic attitude for life and living and people.

      And it contagious because I would say you have made me a better person just by knowing you. Thanks for the memories as Bob Hope used to sing - it's a great song and you're a great lady, friend and writer too.

      Sending to you 3 big hugs from the cats and I.

      7:28pm

      p.s. - I am spreading the happiness over to my FB page with a link and a post

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Fantastic hub! I love what you have said. Happiness is never constant. But it can be easily found again. Through the hard times, I have found that writing is one my favorite pick-me ups.

    • Schoolmom24 profile image

      Schoolmom24 3 years ago from Oregon

      Found this by simply "hub hopping" and very well thought out and great tips for trying to choose happiness even when it isn't easy. I just joined this site yesterday...hope you'll stop by!

    • traderjim profile image

      traderjim 3 years ago

      thank you for all this good suggestions.

    • lesliebyars profile image

      Buster Johnson 3 years ago from Alabama

      Kathryn,

      I found this hub kind of by accident but, the title caught my eye. For the past 2 years I have been struggling with personal problems that all stemmed from being laid off at a job that I had been at for 4 years and had no intentions of leaving. I had actually hoped to work there until the doctor retired. It is always hurtful and quite personal to be laid off from a job that you enjoy. Then financial trouble, relationship issues...it just keeps building. I have been telling myself for 2 years that it's going to get better.

      It does help to know that other people are down and struggling (although I don't wish it on anyone) but, it helps to know that we are not alone.

      I read your hub and I do every one of those things that you suggested. I don't know if you have "Dollar Tree" where you live but, when I got divorced, I knew I wouldn't have a lot of extra money for entertainment. They have great books for $1.00. Most of which would sell in a book store for $20.00 or more (some less).

      I find that music and food tend to be my sanctuary. I usually combine the two. I will turn up my music and find a new recipe to try to get in the kitchen. That is GREAT therapy for me.

      I too follow Billybuc and really enjoy reading his hubs and I have found that we share the same opinions most of the time. I voted your hub interesting and awesome and Up of course. I am going to pin it to my pinterest board and to my facebook page. In this day and time everyone needs encouragement if even for a moment. Who knows who this might help??

      Thank you for taking the time to write this. I copied some quotes that I am going to keep close to me.

      Sincerely,

      Leslie :)

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      These are good ways to make us happy during the hardest time of our lives. Writing is indeed a good therapy in times of hardships. I can relate to what you have felt. The quotes are very inspiring. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and shared.

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen Szklany Gault 3 years ago from New England

      Hi Kathryn,

      Sooo sorry to hear about your breakup. Glad that you have found aspects of your life that bring you comfort. Even in a relationship that lasts, there are little hurts that we must help ourselves to recover from. This hub is so phenomenally useful that I voted it up, awesome, beautiful, and "pinned."

      I can relate to the comfort of being outdoors, too....and listening to music that lifts my spirits (like my Celtic music radio shows on Saturday afternoons)...and comfort food (dark chocolate kisses).

      If you'd like to, you are welcome to spend a day with my daughter and I out here in Central Mass,, especially during leaf peeping season. I cold pick you up at a commuter rail station, and bring you back at the end of the day, of course. ~:0) If so, we can work out the details via email

      Thinking of you with a smile,

      Karen

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Writinglover,

      Oh yeah, I know you like writing poetry! I'm glad, too. Hobbies are a great distraction, and relaxing definitely does well for me, usually. I'm glad that this is useful to you! Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a wonderful remainder of the weekend.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Lesliebyars,

      Same here. It is hard to resist moping around, and sometimes I give into it. But once I start doing something, I feel better.

      Thanks for reading, and for commenting. Have a wonderful weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Cat,

      Sorry for the long delay in responding.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I was happy to dedicate this to you and the others who made me feel better. There have been days that it's been hard to find my happiness, but talking to you all has been a tremendous help!

      Thanks, Cat, that is so sweet. I hope to inspire others, and I'm wicked happy I could help create your happiness!

      Hugs and love back to you, Cat. Have a fantastic weekend, and it is so glad to see you again!!!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Eddy,

      I can tell that you can relate. I have enjoyed your posts especially lately, and the one from a couple of days ago was incredibly moving and positive.

      You're welcome, and I really do hope that it will benefit others.

      Thanks for the votes, and for taking the time to read and comment. Have a fantastic weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Vickie,

      Thanks, I'm glad you like it. I composed it in part because I really needed it myself, and because happiness is such a universal subject that most anyone can relate to.

      I know how that is. I have struggled with melancholy and depression quite a lot over the years. I have gotten much better at turning it around these past 7 years or so, but when I was younger sometimes those feelings would almost drown me.

      Yes, positive people are a great help. They can be hard to find sometimes, though.

      Good luck with everything you have to work on. At least you know where to start, and even though it takes a lot of work, it can be very rewarding.

      I am doing better. I'm a little up and down, but I think I will be stronger going through this.

      Thank you very much for reading this, and for your words. It's nice to hear from you, and I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      MsDora,

      Those quotes are wonderful! I read quite a few of them, and it was fun to figure out where to sprinkle them in.

      Thanks, I fully intend on progressing with joy. I know I will have down times, but I try not to let them own me. Being mindful of my thoughts helps out a lot, and so does my natural cheerfulness.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a beautiful Sunday.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Rose,

      You're welcome, and thank you for reading and commenting. It's always nice to see you.

      This was a very helpful piece to put together- for myself, and hopefully to many others.

      Have a fantastic Sunday.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Pearl,

      Thanks, that's sweet of you to say. I put a lot of work into this, and it took a few chunks of several days for me to get this completed.

      It is very important to know yourself, because no matter what tips I give, they're useless if they are not catered to your own self. I like exercises that cause me to get to know myself, and to appreciate what I have.

      Thanks for bookmarking it, that is a great compliment in itself. I really hope that this is helpful.

      You're welcome, and thanks for taking the time to read and comment. It's nice to see you here.

      Have a beautiful Sunday!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      FlourishAnyway,

      Yes, it is important to know what makes you happy. One of the first exercises I did after a particularly trying fork in the road of life was to write down what made me happy, and it has been helpful when I have been in the mood to do nothing.

      I love baking! Those are all great ways to become happy. Thanks for sharing your "happy tasks" with me.

      I used to have a cat, and it was so soothing to be around him.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Denise,

      I like that quote, too. It's also the simple things that make me happy.

      Very true, life does seem more precious as you get older. One of the thoughts I almost added to this was to live life like you only had a short time left on this earth. The only reason I didn't add that was because I was thinking it would be terrible if someone who reads this is unhappy because of an illness that could potentially end their life early, and that thought might actually cause them to be more depressed.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a fantastic Sunday!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Always Exploring,

      Haha, that reminds me of my sister-in-law. She feels better when she cleans. Sometimes cleaning makes me feel better. Just accomplishing something like that, seeing a clean house, and smelling those wonderful scents can be uplifting. I also organize my things when I feel bad.

      I also like to decorate! I also enjoy looking at my home décor books and magazines, watch HGTV shows, and daydream about how the place could look if I had a bigger budget.

      Thanks for sharing your own happiness helpers with me, and for reading my post. Have a great day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      PS,

      Yes, there are many things that can make us happy, or at least lift us up out of the gloom a little. Every little thing helps.

      Thanks, I hope it does benefit many people.

      Have a wonderful remainder of the weekend, and thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I enjoy seeing you!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      WND,

      Thanks, I appreciate your concern. It definitely helps to know what makes me happy, and to be thankful for what I have.

      It's sweet that you have your dogs to lift your spirits on your bad days! Dogs can be such wonderful companions.

      Thanks, I will try my best to be happy. I have been doing pretty well lately, and I know things will get better in time. It may be a while before I am as happy as I was before, but I will be patient. Who knows, maybe life will be even better than it was, once I take my life in a new direction.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and have a wonderful day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Tashaonthetown,

      You're welcome, I'm glad you think this is a feel good page. I hopes it helps to boost many people's moods.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a wonderful weekend.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      epbooks,

      Thanks, I appreciate it!

      I'm doing pretty good. I'm making the most of my weekend, and creating this article has been very helpful to me. I hope it is inspiring to others, too.

      I'm glad that you're able to get up and do what you know will make you happy. I love visiting parks and taking pictures. And having a dog with you must make it extra special!

      You're welcome, and thanks for reading and commenting. I enjoy seeing you!

      Have a wonderful Sunday.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      W1totalk,

      Thanks, I appreciate it!

      It's great to stay in a positive mood.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and have a fabulous Sunday!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I'm sorry I waited so long to respond to everyone! I will finish writing responses tomorrow, and I will also check out your pages at that point, if I haven't already.

      Have a fantastic weekend, everyone, and I appreciate everyone that visited my page!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Faith,

      I'm sorry you have been going through trials, too. I hope that you get through it well, and that you maintain your wonderful, sweet spirit. You are an inspiration!

      Thanks, you are so sweet to say that.

      I'm glad you like my advice, and feel free to link to your latest hub. I would be honored.

      Those are very good ways to deal with unhappiness.

      When I hear you talk, sometimes you remind me of my aunt Nancy. She seems a lot like you, and I know you would adore her.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment, and for the hugs. I appreciate it so much!

      Have a great remainder of the weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Truthfornow,

      Thanks, I'm glad you think so! I hope it helps others to feel better when they're down.

      Have a great Sunday, and thanks for reading and commenting.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Rajan,

      Thanks, I'm glad you think so.

      Music is always soothing to me, too. Actually, I have been listening to it a lot these past few weeks, and it's been helpful. I just avoid music that would make me sad.

      Thanks for sharing, reading, commenting, and voting. I appreciate it.

      I will get over your page tomorrow. Regretfully, I haven't kept up with reading your hubs like I usually do.

      Have a great Sunday.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Janet,

      Thanks, I appreciate it. This hub has been a useful piece for me to put together for my own sake, and I hope it benefits others, as well.

      I'm sorry you are going through financial troubles, especially since you have kids.. It must be stressful. I hope that things improve, and that you will find happiness in the little things.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and have a wonderful Sunday.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Colin,

      You're always so sweet, thanks. It's nice to see you here on my page, and it brightens up my day!

      Yes, I think it is important for people to realize that happiness is different for everyone. It's not a "one-size-fits-all" subject.

      I'm glad you noticed I'm a basically happy person, and that it shows in my hubs. I go through ups and downs, but I try to learn from experiences, and grow and keep positive as much as I can.

      Thanks for the compliments, Colin. I'm glad that my attitude is contagious!

      Giving big hugs back to you and your little furry friends.

      Thanks for sharing, and I hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Sharkye11,

      Thanks, I'm glad you like it!

      Writing is one of my favorite pick-ups, too. I am very internal and reflective, and find that many aspects of writing help my mood.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and I hope you have a fantastic Sunday!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Schoolmom24,

      I'm glad you found my hub, and took the time to read and comment. I appreciate it.

      Oh, you are new- welcome to HubPages! I find this community to be fantastic, and the opportunity to write is exhilarating. I hope you enjoy it here! Yes, I will stop by your page shortly.

      Have a wonderful Sunday!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Traderjim,

      You're welcome, and thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate hearing from others.

      Have a great Sunday.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Leslie,

      I can definitely relate to you! Up until recently, the past 4 years have been spectacular (and that is why I have been feeling down lately, because when you go from feeling really good because your life is going well, to feeling bad because you lost what made you happiest, it's quite a long fall), but before then, I went through about 2 years of trouble. I tried to make the most of it, but it was one thing after another. Relationship, money, getting into a car accident and being out of work for 1 1/2 months while I healed, and moving around a lot. It was rough. But eventually things did get better.

      Yes, it does help to know that others are also struggling- we are not alone. We can make it, even if it is difficult.

      I have been to Dollar Tree before. I'll have to see if I have one in this area, though. The tip about the books is great! It would be nice to be able to buy a cheap book even when I'm on a strict budget. Thanks for letting me know. I'm glad you have found ways to entertain yourself for little money. That is very helpful!

      I love your way of cheering yourself up! Music is what I turn to often, and cooking also makes me feel great. I love to try new recipes, and add variety to my life while being productive. Isn't it great to make things with your own two hands, and have it come out delicious?!

      Billybuc is great. He is the most inspiring person, and he has so much knowledge and information about writing.

      Thank you so much for not only taking the time to read and comment, but also for voting and sharing this. I truly hope that this article will be helpful to many. Sometimes when you're feeling bad, it only takes one glimmer of light to make you feel better, or at least hopeful for a better future.

      You're welcome, and I am happy that you have copied down some of these quotes here. I have a thing for quotes. Some of my favorite ones are on my computer's home screen, so when I turn it on, that is the first thing I see once I log in. I also have a special journal I put positive quotes in, as well as these index type cards I write positive affirmations on.

      Leslie, I hope that your life improves. It must be frustrating for bad things to keep happening, but just be hopeful that things will improve. I believe it will get better, too. We just never know when. In the meantime, try to enjoy life as much as you can, and appreciate what you do have. It sounds like you have found ways to cope, and to feel better, so that is great! If you ever need an online friend to talk to, I'm here.

      Have a fantastic remainder of the weekend, and I will be over to your page very soon. You seem like a wonderful person.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thelma,

      Thanks, I'm glad you agree that these are good ways to make us happy. I put a lot of work and thinking into coming up with these suggestions, and it was therapeutic for me. Writing is my number one way of feeling better (music is a very close second, although I usually do both at the same time).

      I'm glad you enjoyed the quotes. I had so much fun finding them, and inserting them into my article. It is helpful for me to read them, and really think about what happiness is, and what it's not.

      You're welcome, and thank you so much for reading, commenting, voting up and sharing. It is so nice to see you!

      Have a wonderful Sunday.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Karen,

      Thanks. Yes, I have been doing pretty good with creating my own happiness during this time, although there have been some rough patches. But Andy is a gentleman, so it is not as hard of a breakup as it could be.

      I was hoping that this would be useful to many, so it makes me glad that you agree.

      Being outdoors is one of my favorite things! I have gotten out so many times lately, and it never ceases to amaze me how good it makes me feel.

      Thank you for sharing your own "happiness makers" with me. Those are all great!

      I would absolutely love to spend a day with you and your daughter sometime! Thanks, I appreciate it. That would be a wonderful way to get away and have some fun. And it is almost Autumn (I'm very excited about that)!

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Karen, and I look forward to seeing you again at some point.

      Have a beautiful Sunday, my friend.

      ~ Kathryn

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image

      Marilyn L Davis 3 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you for reminding me to remember. One sentence sums up an exercise I have done to relieve sadness and the "What ifs."

      •Allow yourself to sulk for 10 minutes at a time- life is too short, and 10 minutes is more than enough time to waste on being depressed

      When I have done this exercise in the past, not only are the remaining 50 minutes of the hour ones of gratitude, but it spills into the next.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      MDavisatTiers,

      It is wonderful that you have used that technique in the past, and very encouraging that it works so well. That was a great piece of advice that my brother gave me, and I have appreciated it very much.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I really enjoy hearing what works for different people.

      Have a wonderful day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

      Humans are in the quest of happiness, but happiness is not eternal. There is always the shadow of unhappiness in happiness. We have to be happy with what we have and not what we want.

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 3 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Loved your thoughts and attitudes on the topic of happiness. For them who've to live always with stubborn, negative-minded people happiness would be doomed. The list of things you've mentioned here is wonderful and "may your life be filled with gay and enjoyment all ahead"!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      A wonderful hub about Happiness and how we can achieve it!

      My idea to remain Happy is, to Count the good things I have, primarily my loved ones, who always stand by me in hard times and happy times.

      As Mahatma Gandhi said that whenever you feel you are sad or unhappy, look at the person who is more unhappy and in a more sad state of affairs than you.

      Happiness and unhappiness are two sides of the same coin and will come and go in our lives, till we live. They are part of our lives.

      A very well written hub indeed! The quotes are very inspiring.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 3 years ago from West Virginia

      Kathryn, great article and resource. Valuable information, happiness is very valuable. If it could be bought, I bet people would jump. There's a lot of different ways to find happiness. The hard part, finding that happiness. Harder then that, keeping that happiness. This is great information and tips Kathryn. Personally, I find happiness in success. It doesn't matter in what, just that I obtained it. I'm addicted to making money, it's just the way I'm wired. I don't envy money, but we all need it. It's great that you mentioned those who have encouraged you through your Hubpage experience also, well done. Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and shared on FB.

    • forbcrin profile image

      Crin Forbes 3 years ago from Michigan

      It is nice to see how many people are reading this topic...

      It is sad to see how many people are lacking directions and think the secrets and wisdom of life can be passed through "how to manuals"...

    • maramerce profile image

      maramerce 3 years ago from United States

      Great hub! Definitely not for someone who wants to be miserable. That's the other thing--you have to WANT to be happy. Some people actually like being miserable. They say that they don't, but they wallow in it and don't take action to change how they feel each day. I know what's it's like to be sad for a good reason and even to be uncontrollably depressed, but I also know how to combat those feelings. Personally, I prefer to be happy so I work very hard at it. I remove the things from my life that cause me unhappiness. I exercise which is a natural mood lifter. I listen to sad songs and cry to get the feelings out and then I listen to happy songs and smile to overcome the sadness. I do that deliberately like musical therapy. It works for me. I also focus on thinking positively, having gratitude, and taking joy in the little things. I believe that happiness can be a choice we make. It's not easy sometimes when circumstances are hard, but what in life is easy anyway?

    • HappyMikeWritter profile image

      HappyMikeWritter 3 years ago

      I am going throught some hard times at work and I tend to forget simply things which makes me happy. Sometimes I lock myself in my own self and thinking Why nobody sees me. Sometimes I am just showing it too much How depressed I am which affects others and preventing them to connect with me. Your article inspires me to think of How to keep happy. Thank you so much for saring :-)

    • tastiger04 profile image

      tastiger04 3 years ago

      Very nicely written! I like how you put everything together in a variety of info....thanks for the nice read :) voted up and useful

    • lifelovemystery profile image

      Michelle Orelup 3 years ago from Houston, TX

      It really can be difficult to be happy during hard times. These are great ideas to get out of a funk.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Vinaya, those are very wise words. It is important to be happy with what we have, and not what we want. There are always things to be content and thankful for.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and have a wonderful weekend.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Rahikaaree,

      I feel bad for those who are stubborn and negative. I admit to dwelling on the negative on occasion, but I would hate to always do that. I like turning my mood and actions into something more positive and productive.

      Thank you very much- for taking the time to read, and also for your encouraging comment. Have a wonderful weekend, and may your life be filled with many happy moments.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      ChitrangadaSharan,

      Thank you for reading this, and for your uplifting comments. Mahatma Gandhi has said so many wise things. I really enjoy reading quotes, and hearing what everyone has to say.

      I think that without happiness, we would not appreciate the happiness as much. I like the comparison to two sides of a coin.

      Loved ones are a great part of life, and I always appreciate mine. No matter how tough life seems, I have people who are there for me.

      Thank you so much. I appreciate that you like my hub on happiness. May your life be filled with a multitude of happy moments. Have a great weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Lyricwriter,

      If anyone could find a way to sell happiness, they would be rich! But I'm glad it can't be purchased. It's good that some things in life are free, at least to an extent.

      That is true- happiness can be hard to keep!

      I don't hear many people admit to being addicted to making money! That is an honest comment. It's true, we all need money. And money alone may not provide happiness, but it does allow for security and providing creature comforts in life.

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comment, for sharing, and for taking the time to read my hub. My apologies for not responding sooner.

      Have a great weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Forbcrin,

      Yes, it is sad that so many feel the need to read "how to" manuals. There are no secrets to life, although I do like reading other people's opinion and input on the subject.

      I was delighted that this hub was so popular. It was a useful topic for me to think of, and has been helpful in the entire process of putting the article together.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and have a wonderful weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Maramerce,

      True, this would not be good for someone who thrives on misery. I agree, you have to want to be happy. I have seen negative people that wallow in it, and after a while it is draining to listen to them.

      I'm glad that you know how to combat those negative feelings. I have been very "down and up", but I usually don't stay down for too long for that same reason- I like to be happy!

      The music therapy idea sounds great! At some point I will make a section on positive comments made, and that is one thing I want to add! Very inspiring.

      I am very big on taking pleasure out of the small things. Our lives are made out of small moments, so that makes sense.

      If life were too easy, maybe it would get a little boring. I think the hard times in our lives make us stronger, and help us to appreciate the good times more.

      Thank you so much for reading this, and for your beautiful comments. I love hearing how other people get happy.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      HappyMikeWritter,

      I'm glad that this has helped you to think of ways to make yourself happy. You're welcome, and thank you for your comment.

      We all have those times in our life that are discouraging. I hope that you are able to change your mood around, and to connect with others in a more positive way.

      Have a great weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Tastiger04,

      Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed this. It took some work to put together, but it was such a positive article to work on. It was very therapeutic, and now I have something to refer to when I need a boost.

      Thanks for the votes, and have a wonderful weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Lifelovemystery,

      Absolutely, it can be difficult! Thanks, I'm glad you like these ideas. It was a fun article to put together, and really made me think about my own happiness as I wrote it.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a great weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Sentinelco,

      I know what you mean! Some things feel so earth-shattering when they happen, but later on they seem like no big deal. It doesn't make the pain you felt any less real, but it is incredibly encouraging that the pain only lasts for so long. I always try to look at how I will feel in the future, and try not to let things affect me for too long.

      Those are very inspiring words, thank you so much!

      I appreciate that you took the time to read and comment, and I hope you have a spectacular weekend! May your life be filled with many happy moments.

      ~ Kathryn

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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thank you everybody for the outpouring of comments, and for reading my article on happiness. I hope that this helps people, at least in a small way. May all of you have many happy moments in your life, and live it to the fullest.

      ~ Kathryn

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      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Finding Happiness During Hard Times makes me think of my hard times and how I found my happiness there is something or someone to give you happiness just look forward to seeing that person or performing that task, to feel good again. Interesting and a useful hub

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      DDE,

      Thanks for your comment, and for reading my hub. I'm glad that you have found happiness after the hard times you went through. I think we often learn lessons from those dark times in our lives.

      Have a great day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 3 years ago

      I couldn't resist the chance to bring more happiness in my life . Now I am doing cartwheels in the sun.Well at least in my mind . Have a beautiful day.

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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Dream On,

      Cartwheels in the sun? Haha, that sounds fun. I can't do those in real life, but I sure can envision doing it in my mind, as well!

      Composing this hub was very helpful for myself, and even when one's life is going well it is nice to think of ways to bring happiness into your life during the more sad or lonely days. Coming back to this page sometimes gives me a boost.

      Thanks, I will have a beautiful day. You do the same!

      ~ Kathryn

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      Cynthia Sageleaf 3 years ago from Western NC

      Sound advice, my friend and judging from all the comments, you've struck a chord. May peace and light always guide your days even when you enter those times - as we all do - that are most unhappy because, you're right: it really makes us appreciate what happiness is. :)

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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Cyndi,

      Yes, all of the comments surprised me. Usually one hub doesn't get this many in such a short time (for me)! But it is a subject anyone can identify with.

      Thanks, I appreciate your words of wisdom and goodness. I have been able to keep my spirits bright more often than not lately, even though my circumstances are not ideal. Things are gradually getting easier, and once I am out and on my own, I think my life will take on a "new normal", and if I let it, it could be fabulous!

      Thanks for reading and commenting, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I look forward to attempting to keep up with your blog. You always manage to make me think, and your personality is so likeable!

      ~ Kathryn

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      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      This is such a great hub. I love the positivity and all those brilliant quotes you've included. Impossible not to feel inspired by this. Just look at the response and the support you have - bet that makes you feel happy! I hope so because you certainly do deserve to be. Music makes me happy and so does being with my loved ones, amongst many other things; you've come up with so many alternatives to help others that no one can be unhappy after this! Well done indeed. Will look out for more from you. All best wishes to you, Kathryn. Ann

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      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      This is wonderful kathryn, however hard the times get this will surely be a great read to cheer us up, we need to be positive and your hub really shows that its possible, amazing. nell

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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Ann,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate it! Yes, seeing all of the responses to this makes me very happy. This is such a universal subject, and when I was putting this together I was struck by the desire to make something good out of my own fleeting unhappiness. I was so aware of how others around me were going through their own hard times, and that each of us have challenges in our lives.

      Music and being with loved ones really make me happy, too. I have been doing plenty of both. Actually, a few days ago my parents visited me here in Boston for the first time (usually I visit them), and it was such an unexpected and fun time. I got to show them the apartment I am living in for a few more weeks, and the part of the city I have grown to really love during this past year of living here- South Boston. We went to a cute little local fast-food place that has plenty of outdoor seating within Castle Island (where Fort Independence is). It was so relaxing, and nice to spend a couple of hours with them.

      I spent quite a bit of time on this hub, coming up with the different quotes, and the suggestions and advice. I like to come back and browse it every so often. Even the photos lift my spirits, because they remind me of good times, and good places.

      Thanks for your kind words and encouragement, Ann, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

      ~ Kathryn

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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Nell,

      I tried to put as much positivity in this hub as I could! I knew that it would be an important topic, one that most everyone has to deal with at one time or another. I also wanted to compile the things I have learned and reflected on, so they wouldn't go to waste. There's something so satisfying about turning words into an article, don't you think?

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment, and I hope you have a stunning weekend!

      ~ Kathryn

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      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Lovely to spend some good time with parents. Glad you enjoyed it all. Hope your weekend's good too. Ann

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      A year ago, my sister was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. The doctors gave her only 2 months if she didn't get chemo and radiation, two years if she did. She opted for the treatments because she wanted to be around to help her grandchildren. The treatments worked even better than the doctors expected and now she is looking at the probability of going back to work.

      What I admire most about her whole ordeal was the fact that she stayed positive throughout. She always had a smile, even when she was in pain. She always encouraged others to look at the bright side and to appreciate every day as though it were our last.

      I learned from her that happiness is all about perspective. We can laugh or we can cry. We hate our lives or we can love it. It is all in how we chose to see it.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Donna,

      Thank you so much for telling that beautiful story of your sister. Reading it gave me goosebumps! Yes, I think a lot of being happy is about perspective. I would much rather be smiling than be grouchy and down. But what a spectacular woman your sister must be, to smile even when she is in pain, and going through something that many of us cannot imagine facing.

      Thank you so much for reading this, and for your inspirational story. I'm glad your sister did better than the doctors thought. I wish her well.

      Have a wonderful evening!

      ~ Kathryn

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      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      Thanks, Kathryn,

      I agree, Carol is an amazing person. I am humbled in the light of her generosity of spirit.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Very nice hub, Kathryn! I agree with your brother.... 10 minutes is more than enough time to waste on being depressed. But it's easy for someone else to say when they are not in your shoes. I went through several difficult times in my life... and it was always because of the same person (my mother).... but on the other hand, all that time, I was blessed with a very kind husband and 2 very nice children. At one point, I realized that I was the one who allowed her to take that away from me; it's a matter of perception. So instead of concentrating on something that I can never have because it doesn't depend from me, I try very hard to concentrate on the nice things in my life. It changed my life :-)

      I sincerely hope that you are in a beautiful place now :-)

      Have a wonderful weekend :-)

      Voted up, interesting and awesome!

      PS : I love your pictures :-) And I love cats :-))) I have two of them!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Joelle,

      Yes, that is one of those things that completely makes sense, but is sometimes very hard to do. I have had a difficult time sticking to being sad only for a short time.

      I'm so glad that you came to that realization, when it came to your mother. And I'm glad that you had supportive people in your life, as well. Once we realize we can't control some things (especially when it is regarding someone else), being happy is a little easier.

      Since I wrote this, life has improved immensely. And 1 week from now I will be moving back to CT, where I lived for a few years before I came to Boston. It will be very good for me to get into a new environment, and to live on my own again. It will be an adjustment, but I have gotten used to things the past 3 months, since my boyfriend of 4 years broke up with me. I have found my happiness once again, and I am even remaining friends with Andy. Sometimes the breakdown of a relationship isn't really anyone's fault, and he has been such a friend throughout the years.

      Haha, I just realized I said CT. You're from Canada, so I can't assume you know that it means Connecticut. Oops, sometimes using abbreviations backfires.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and for voting it up.

      Thanks, I'm glad you like the pictures. I enjoy taking them, and finding great ones to use in my hubs. It's nice to see them when I view my articles every once in a while, too.

      The cat in the photo here is my mother's cat. She is not friendly to me (I think she's jealous, because I am my mother's real daughter, lol), but I love taking pictures of her, and playing with her. The place I am moving to next week has a cat, which makes me really happy. I adore cats, and having one around me is one of the biggest mood boosters in existence for me! It's awesome that you have two cats. I had a few when I lived in Virginia, but I had to give them away when I moved.

      You have a great weekend, too! I had today off, so it seems like the weekend should be halfway over. I'm glad I still have two days left, because I have a lot to do!

      ~ Kathryn

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Good positive thinking :-) You have two more days in your weekend :-)))

      Good luck with your move next week!

      Joelle

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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Joelle,

      Thanks!

      ~ Kathryn

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      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Life is so short, so fragile, and such a gift...wasting it on something other than being happy is losing time to be exulted.

      This is such a well done piece of writing...I hope that many stop and read and learn...

      Angels are on the way this morning. ps Shared and voted up up and away

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Patricia,

      I agree. Life is too short to waste on negative feelings. They come along every once in a while, and sometimes they are hard to let go of, but life is full of so many things to make you happy and thankful.

      Thanks, I'm glad you like it. I put a lot of thought, reflection, energy and effort into this one. It was a useful part of my own turning point in life, in which I acknowledged that only I have the power to make myself happy.

      Thanks for everything, and I'm glad that the angels take care of you, too. It's so nice to see you around.

      ~ Kathryn

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi,

      Whenever the sad little girl in me wants to dwell in the gloomy past, I make her come out in the sunshine and smile. The sunshine of love from others helps me to smile and slowing I feel the happiness bubbling inside like a great blanket of love has covered and warmed my heart; then I am ready for the world once again.

      Your happiness will glow from within, and spread to your ever awakening hours; until you will no longer need to think about it, because you will be happy once again. Your spirit will soar as you count your blessings. I send you happy thoughts and beautiful dreams. And, I wish you the very best in your future career.

      Bobbi Purvis

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Bobbi,

      Thanks for your beautiful and thoughtful comment!

      I have found much happiness lately, especially in the small things. When I do get down, it is not usually for long, and family and friends cheer me up again. I have much to be thankful for.

      Thanks, I appreciate the wishes. I have high hopes for my future.

      Have a great night!

      ~ Kathryn

    • cuttler profile image

      Cuttler 3 years ago from HubPages

      I will definitely be coming back to this hub whenever am sad or down. I wish I had seen this last month when I was struggling in my new work environment with nagging co-workers and a stressful boss. I usually listen to soothing music whenever am down or sad but the suggestions you have are just amazing. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and shared as interesting awesome and just plain beautiful

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Cuttler,

      That sounds like an uncomfortable situation to be in! I hope it has improved since then.

      Music is always a great mood-booster for me, too.

      I am so glad you enjoy this, and will refer to it when are sad or down. I hope it is helpful. I know that looking at this has been an incredible help for my own self, too.

      Thanks for the votes and share, and for taking the time to read and comment.

      Have a great day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I just added a link to a wonderful post on 12 benefits of smiling, written by Sarra Garrett. It is to the left of my photos of my mother's black cat.

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 22 months ago

      a stress buster hub indeed

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      Kathryn 20 months ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Sujaya,

      Yes it is. Thanks, I hope you enjoyed it.

      ~ Kathryn

    • ezzly profile image

      ezzly 20 months ago

      Wonderful and inspirational hub, thanks for these tips, especially important during the cold winter months when we are indoor more and there is no sun to boost us!

    • suzzycue profile image

      Susan Britton 18 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I also needed to read your hub this day. You have a lot of encouraging words. You helped me with the passing of my friend Marylou and so did a lot of other Hubpages friends to which I am grateful for all their advice. In 9/11 my Father passed away married to my Mom for 67 years and she has Alzeimers. I have also lost my job. But I am not writing this for your pitty. I am writing this to say I am happy,healthy and strong, to have new beginnings, new opportunities and new challenges. No one likes a big challenge more than me. I am a fighter and I will make it and so will you @Kathryn Stratford. Make 2016 your best year ever, I am going to:) As long as we have our health we have inside us what we need to keep going.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 17 months ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Ezzly, You're welcome, and thanks for checking out my article. It's definitely important during the cold Winter months! Have a wonderful weekend.

      ~ Kathryn

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      Kathryn 17 months ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Suzzycue,

      I am glad you read my hub. I am sorry for your struggles, but I am happy to see that you are strong, and that you are gaining encouragement and help from other writers. It is good that you are looking at what you have to be thankful for, and I wish you well. Many times new beginnings and opportunities can be exciting, and maybe this will lead to an even better, more meaningful life.

      Yes, I am making my 2016 a great year. My only 2 resolutions this year are to enjoy the moments of life (big and small), and to cherish them. And also to reconnect with friends, and to maintain the ones I have now. Those are two very meaningful goals, and will give me a very positive focus in the year ahead.

      Have a wonderful weekend, and may this year be the year of new positive beginnings :)

      ~ Kathryn

    • ezzly profile image

      ezzly 17 months ago

      Wonderful article, it's true many people don't count their blessings ! And I always buy myself flowers, such a good boost for a little price ;)

    • Happylovejoy profile image

      Kawai 17 months ago from Singapore

      Great read..I totally agree that we need to experience the bad to appreciate the good in life..I also think we can achieve real happiness simply by changing the way we think and how we respond to situations in our lives..wishing happiness to all..=)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 15 months ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Ezzly,

      Thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment. I agree, flowers are a fantastic pick-me-up!

      Happylovejoy,

      Thanks. I completely agree with you. Our mindset and how we react to everything can really affect our mood. I wish you and everyone happiness, too!

      Have a wonderful day.

      ~ Kathryn

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