The Potential for Happiness

I do at least one on-line search a day – if not more. Sometimes I visit the Google search page and just stare at the white box until I can come up with something.  It really doesn’t matter what it is – I just like seeing where it will lead.  You just plug in a few words, press the button and wait for the answers to questions you didn’t even know you were going to ask.

I love it.

Tonight was no exception.

My key word of the day: happiness.

And as I typed in the word ‘happiness’ others filled in as suggestions.  One of the choices was ‘happiness project’.  That sounded interesting.

Happiness Project happens to be a blog by Gretchen Rubin, who happens to have written a book by the same name.  While visiting her blog I noticed she has just published another book – called Happier at Home.  I decided to read about the book on Amazon to get more information.  One of the great things about Amazon is that you get a fairly nice preview of books if you choose the ‘Click to Look Inside’ option – which I ALWAYS do.

While reading about the book she mentions a quote by William Butler Yeats and it really hit home with me.  It reads:

Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure; not this thing nor that, but simply growth.  We are happy when we are growing.

Research supports his observation.  Its not goal attainment, but the process of striving after goalsthat is growththat brings happiness.

—–

This is so true.

Think about the times you’ve been the most excited about something – maybe its when you’re planning that big vacation…or decorating for the holidays, or when you’re learning about a new hobby…or preparing for a big move…its the not knowing that is important – because it holds so much potential.

And when there’s potential – there is everything. 

You CAN buy happiness!

By the gallon – (and I’m not talking about ice cream!)

Nothing puts me in a better mood faster, than a beautiful blue sky; it’s an instant mood lifter for me.

But sometimes the sun just doesn’t cooperate and we’re stuck indoors more than we’d like.

Don’t get me wrong, rainy weather has its place and weather that isn’t desirable for outdoor activities can create the perfect atmosphere for indoor activities – like reading, working in the studio, watching a movie or completing whatever indoor project you’ve got going on.

But when we do find ourselves ‘stuck’ indoors, we might want to consider creating environments that are conducive to creative flow. It’s hard to stay motivated (and optimistic, even) when our interiors ‘bring us down’.  One of the best ways to do this (and by far the least expensive) is…

Paint!

Now, I know some of you would rather deal with a dark and gloomy room than have to pick out a paint color – but don’t let the process intimidate you!

It’s easy!

Just keep telling yourself…paint equals happiness!

(And where else can you buy happiness for $23.99?)

For me, I wanted to create the feeling of more light…of being outdoors (under a blue sky preferably).  My house has a lot of windows but very little natural light (remember, I live in a small forest) so…I decided to lean towards the ‘cooler’ end of the color spectrum because those colors tend to ‘feel’ lighter as opposed to warmer toned colors.  I’ve tried warmer tones before but they tend to weigh me down a bit because of the lack of light coming in (but this is just my experience) you may find the warmer tones work perfectly for you.  Warmer tones are very pleasing and offer a relaxing feel ; whereas cooler hues tend to have a more energized feel about them (but again, that’s how they affect me).

Okay…so when you walk into the paint department – don’t look at all the cans of paints and all the paint chip boards with the thousands of pretty colors (that will just overwhelm you) – go directly to the paint manufacturer’s display and look at the folders of paint ‘collections’ – think, Olympic Paint’s Grandeur Collection, as one example and focus on the folders only.

And here is how I approach selecting a color…

Find a folder that immediately gets your attention – not one color – but a collection of colors.  It will be the one that you are attracted to immediately.   And by ‘attracted to’, I mean  – the one that speaks to you on an emotional level.  And by emotional I mean – those colors that make you feel good in some way.  That feeling could be happy, or peaceful, or pensive or creative…whatever it is that makes you ‘like’ how you feel…a color you could live with and enjoy being around for a long time. Hint:  the collections’ names themselves are a big help.

The important thing to remember is…don’t pick a color based on what you think would work – i.e. …”I think a nice shade of blue would work”.  Remember, we’re not thinking here…we’re feeling.  

In other words, keep an open mind to seeing (and feeling) all the possibilities of that hue.  And here’s the thing…they aren’t just different colors – they’re actually different moods, different emotions, and they all are capable of eliciting different responses.  By you.  And you’re the one who matters.

Sound too new-age-y for you?

I’m not making this stuff up.

Just do a search for ‘psychology of color’ to see what I mean.

(And, please, if you can) try not to pick a color based on a bedspread (or other similar item) – you can easily change a bedspread; re-painting an entire room, on the other hand, not so much.  (I’m learning this the hard way.)

And the best thing about these paint collections …not only will you have the main color for your walls, you’ll also have the complimentary colors right there already picked out- wonderful references for when you’re shopping for new things for your newly painted room (and that is the point, right?).  You have all the colors that look fabulous together in one place.  Now, you can pick out bedding, or art, or lamps, or rugs – just keep the folder handy for your next shopping trip.

FUN!

And you can purchase really small containers of these colors for about $2.95 (at Lowe’s, anyway) so you can try them out before you commit.  Or you can simply use these colors as a starting point – the collection can become much larger – that’s what all the rest of those paint chips are for in the display…just let a technician know what you’d like to do…lighter, darker, etc. They can help!

Here is an example of what paint can do for a room – shown with window lighting. just imagine what more lighting would do!