Strive to be Happy This Holiday Season

I  am always on the lookout this time of year for stories that will inspire Intent readers to be Before Than Before. And as my mother used to say: Be careful what you wish for. Just today, one such story came across my desk. It was about a book by Jenn Flaa entitled, The Happiness Handbook.

Truth be told, I did wonder what qualified her to be a happiness expert. Well, for starters, apparently she’s quite happy herself. Perhaps it’s because she’s had such a diverse career. She was a satellite engineer turned CEO and entrepreneur who decided to give it all up and turn ‘rocker chick.’  I guess that would make anyone happy. But Jenn also has a system and a formula – a three-step process — that I asked her to share with me so I could share it with all of you.

Of course, the holidays may not always be so happy for everyone. Indeed, the season can be fraught with challenges as many of us also experience anxiety or even depression.  We call it the holiday blues, but sometimes these somber, unsettling feelings can stretch into the New Year or beyond, sneaking up on us at the most unsuspecting moments.

Enter über happy Jenn Flaa. “In a perfect world,” she chirps, “everyone would be happy all the time.”

“But wouldn’t that be a little, well, strange? “ I asked.

“Not at all!” she insists, as she guides me through a fun process that she espouses to identify, articulate and receive what makes people happy. Most importantly, she teaches them the… wait for it… happy dance! “The truth is, finding happiness is a lot easier than most people think.  It’s not an overnight process, but it’s attainable – even during the most stressful times. ”

Fast fact …According to Jenn, most normal, healthy men are hardwired to make women happy. (Nobody you know? Not to worry. Read on.) When they get it right, all is well in their world and they feel like winners and that translates to everything they do. (Still not ringing a bell? Please continue!) “So if you take the premise that men want to make us happy and need feedback that they got it right,” she continues, “that means we  women have only three responsibilities in our relationships: 1) Decide what makes us happy. 2) Communicate that clearly and precisely to the other person(s), and 3) Happy dance when they get it right.”

Jenn firmly believes that men are primarily visually motivated, so a ‘happy dance’ speaks louder than words. That little shaking of your, er, booty (her word) actually breaks through and signals the inner cortex of ‘man brain’ and rings the ‘I’m a winner’ bell for them!

“It may take some time to decide what makes you happy,” she says, “but once you’ve come up with some ideas, write them down, spell them out!  The next step is to either provide that for yourself, if you’re in an alone phase of your life, or communicate it to others. Then take a moment to think about how you look and behave when you are happy.”

“And how exactly does happiness show up in your body?” I ask.  “I mean, how would the bringers of happiness know that they have done a good job?”

“You must show them that what they’ve done makes you happy — otherwise they’ll never know and may never do it again,” she quickly responds.

This inevitably brings us to that happy dance.  “Do you let the happiness tingle and energize your whole body?” Jenn questions. “Well, a happy dance is pretty much however you choose to shake your booty.”

Now, pay attention Intent readers… Does your happiness bringer cease all happy-making actions? Or did their face light up and they continued even more happy-making actions?

I just knew Jenn would have the answer. “If you’ve been withholding your happiness, your happiness bringer may now be in a state of shock. So, don’t stop the experiment. Try it a few more times and watch their response.” She paused and smiled. “These steps towards happiness are good all year-long, but if you are experiencing the holiday blues, now is the perfect time to try them out!”

Quite frankly,  if I did a happy dance, my husband, The Lawyer, would not only be in a state of shock, he’d probably have a heart attack. But there’s no harm in trying, right?  Especially if I also promise not to complain about anything ever again. Then he’d be the one doing the happy dance.