Extrovert Happiness

Do we even need to cover how extroverts need happiness? I mean, look at them. They are so outgoing and doing their go-getter things. They don’t need us telling them how to be happy. Right?

Life as and extrovert can have its challenges. For one, everyone expect them to always be ready to perform. News flash: extroverts need down time too. Taking the time to reflect is just as important as social interaction.

This also brings up a good point. Extroverts can be shy. This may throw a wrench in the typical way of thinking, but its true. So how do we tell. It comes down to what charges them up. They are the ones that love to be in a crowd and mostly associate with those they know. They aren’t reaching out, or chit-chatting. When someone new comes over they may stay quiet, but they are not withdrawn. Never assume someone is an introvert just because they are shy.

Extroverts need stimulation, a change in scenery, something to break up the monotony. If you are extroverted then plan several quick breaks when working on a long project. This will prevent a burn out. Something simple as making one lap around the office once an hour can make all the difference.

As with my blog on Introvert Happiness, extroverts need to identify what recharges their batteries. Also take note of what drains them. Not all extroverts are the same. It takes being honest and knowing that we may be different than others. This difference is not a mental condition nor does it make us a freak. In fact, it makes us unique. There is nothing wrong with being unique. We owe it to ourselves to find our happiness.

Until the next blog, live live, be happy, and find life’s happiness.

at1_retired@yahoo.com

Steve Curtis

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Introvert Happiness

A large number of people are introvert and don’t even know it.

“I’m not an introvert. I like people.”

Sound familiar? Introverts are not always at home setting on the sofa setting in silence staring at the walls. I’m doing it right now because I want to. I can have fun… and stuff.

Some people love being in a crowd, while others prefer solitude. Which do you find more comforting? Can a crowd be too big? Can a room be too empty? Some introverts get positive energy from being in a crowd. They may not interact with the people, but being there is awesome. Introverts can also draw positive energy from solitude. There is nothing like the sound of silence that soothes my soul.

Does this sound confusing or contradictory. Just as there are different types of music, there are different types of introverts. Some introverts like quiet times and some introverts enjoy good company. What’s important is understanding where we draw our energy. We need moments to recharge in order to perform our best. This is why some of us go to the club before a huge presentation, while others will go home and nestle with a good book. A drained soul is not a happy soul.

Small talk is not a strong suit for introverts. Interactions with others will leave some of us drained. This is especially true when we run out of things to say and find ourselves listening to others ramble on about how they believe Boy George is such and under rated artist. I just want to hug these people, pat their heads and say, “There, there, there.” Then walk away.

My Navy Command use to throw picnics and it was a mandatory fun time. I disliked being in a crowd. I’d make my rounds, chat with enough people to let them know I was there, then stand at the grill and flip burgers. Yup, that grill master is a hidden introvert. I’m hiding behind that wall of smoke. (Not always)

I remember going to church when I was young. I did this up until my twenties. People walked out of the building all energized and ready to go. I didn’t. I learnt things and I gained insight, but I didn’t get that same power-up experience from being in a hot crowded room. I felt more energized from reading the scriptures in the solitude of my own home. For years I thought there was something wrong with me. But, with everything in life, we come to the realization that it’s OK to be different. It’s about finding what makes us happy.

Always be honest with yourself. Sure, we would love to be the life of the party and have everyone always wanting us to come over. Until we realize that we may like crowds, but not a lot of interaction. We may even get good at small talk, but not the lime light attention. There is a happy balance. Find it and embrace it. Everyone deserves to find life’s happiness; even if we do it in solitude.

Until the next blog, live life, be happy, and find life’s happiness.

at1_retired@yahoo.com

Steve Curtis

Health and Happiness Part 2

Welcome to another fantastic day of sunshine and love. Grab a friend and came along as we conclude our exciting blog on health and happiness… Too cheerful? Yea I thought so too. But, there is a lot to say about a happiness. Mostly focusing on the physical effects, we can see three major benefits. So grab a friend and come along… wait I already said that… “Expletive!” Moving on.

Happy people have fewer aches and pains. This is not to say they are bullet proof. No, people with a positive outlook on life tend to handle pain better. Is it because they are one with the universe and their crystals are aligned with the Virgo constellation? Um… I’m not even sure what that means. But, what I was going to state is that they produce endorphins. As stated in the last blog, endorphin is a pain killer. That my friend, is how those happy hippies are able to handle their physical pain. It is also a good time to mention that during physical therapy, patients who mentioned they were in a positive mental state recovered faster. Move over bionic man, happy man is here. Wow, that really doesn’t have the ring I was hoping for.

Happiness combats disease and disability. Our immune cells have endorphin receptors. I like to think of those receptors as coffee mugs and the endorphin my body produces is their coffee. Java junkies unite! With a boost to the immune system our body handles disease and sickness at a better rate. This is compared to someone who always has a case of the grumpy pants. Ever had a cold or flu that caused aches and pains? Of course, we all have. Being happy didn’t cure the cold or flu. No one ever smiled and suddenly got relieved of all symptoms. However, those that did smile through the sickness did have a faster recovery time. Miracles are instant, healing takes time. How much time depends on our physical health + mental health. I’m not going to say it’s easy to be in a positive mindset when our nose is running and eyes feel like popping out due to sinus pressure. No, it’s a deliberate act that takes practice. Anything worth doing take some amount of work.

Happiness lengthens our lives. The web of internet has a plethora of evidence that suggests that being happy prolongs one’s life. I like it when a newscaster asks a 101 year old person how they lived so long. The best answer I heard was from an old war vet. The newscaster asked her question and leaned in to get her answer. The gentleman started to think. “Well,” he began, “I just keep waking up.” He chuckled at his own words as the newscaster’s face reflected her disappointment. Forcing a smile she turned to the camera, “There you have it folks, just keep waking up.” She missed it. She missed the “expletive” point. The gentleman wasn’t saying “just wake up.” No, he was showing how to find humor in just waking up. Being able to laugh is one of our greatest gifts. Sadly, there are those among us that choose to use this ability to bring others down. Sad! Being able to find a reason to chuckle makes an ordinary situation great. It softens the blow to a devastating event. We will experience a lot of drama and hard times. We will also experience hope, happiness, love, and joy. Which one will we choose to focus on? That ladies and gentlemen is what will determine the longevity of our health.

Until the next blog, here’s to finding life’s happiness, living life, and being happy.

at1_retired@yahoo.com

Steve Curtis

Health & Happiness Part 1

Today millions of Americans are waking up unhappy, stressed, sick, and just plain tired. Doctors are prescribing medications that only numb the brain. Wake up Doc! You are not fixing the problem. However, truth be known, it’s not their problem to fix. It’s our’s. Our health is our responsibility. We can start with a little TLC. If you’ve read any of my blogs, you probably already know that I’m about to explain how our happiness affects our health. Let’s begin.

It is no secret that lower blood pressure is healthy, but did you know that a lower heart rate is too? The average resting heart rate is between 60-100 beats per minute (bpm). Tachycardia describes a condition where the resting heart rate is higher than this. With a little research one can find an undeniable relationship between how happy a patient felt and their cardio stats. When we are happy our mind is at ease. We feel more relaxed. The troubles of this world seem to melt away. OK that may be a little too much, but we are in a better state of health.

One can easily extrapolate that being unhappy will have the inverse effects. Mental unrest, higher blood pressure, and higher bpm. If prolonged one may develop insomnia. This, of course, would add to ones cardio discomfort. Yes, I believe happiness is not only good for the heart, but essential for it’s health.

Did you know happy people get sick less. As Kid Rock once stated in a song; it’s not bragging if you can back it up. I’m sure there’s some expletives in there. We’ll just let them be. Here is the logistical side of why being happy makes one less sick. Most immune cells have endorphin receptors. When we are happy we release endorphin into our system. These hungry little cells love endorphin as much as we love our coffee. In fact, imagine not getting your morning coffee then forced to talk to customers. Blah!

Happiness combats stress. Let’s face it, stress is intense. Blood pressure shoots up, heart rate increases, and our brain beings to race. Guess what! We do not release endorphins while being stressed. So our immune system takes a hit as well. Did you know that endorphins act as pain killer? Of course you did. This is why we feel more pain during times of stress. Keep in mind that some level of stress is healthy. However, as with anything in life, too much is not good.

There you have it folks. Three ways that being happy can improve our health. From our heart, to our immune system, and to our ability to deal with stress, happiness has a huge impact on our lives. This is why it is important to let no one steal our happiness. In doing so, they are stealing our health. We deserve to be happy. You deserve to be happy. Never take it for granted.

Until next blog, here’s to finding life’s happiness, living life, and being happy.

at1_retired@yahoo.com

Steve Curtis

DEcomPRESSION

Everything has a cycle. Yup, that’s my attention grabbing, please read this opening line. From sun up to sunset, spring to winter, inhale to exhale, and who can forget our sleep pattern. Insomniac are probably ranting expletives and I’m cool with that. So, what about our happiness? Does it have a cycle? Believe it or not depression helps with happiness. Think of a balloon; a pretty pink, full of air balloon. Now, suppose we filled it up with air. This represents happiness. Then we release some of the air. You got it. This represents depression. Too much depression and the balloon goes flat and there is no happiness left inside. On the extreme flip side of this scenario, let’s keep adding air. More, more, and more brings our balloon to the point of almost popping. It is stressed the {whoops} out. For the love of science and chaos we add one more breath. POP! Our balloon turns to pink mist.

Maintaining a healthy happiness takes work. In the Who Am I blog we covered self-identification. Finding ourselves is important as finding happiness. We also covered financial happiness in The Wanting Well, It’s ludicrous how money controls our happiness. But it does. Happiness does not come easy for the non-medicated. And let’s be honest, medication just numbs the brain. So… getting back to the pretty pink balloon that we popped. We need down time just as we need times of interaction. Times will get tough and life hits us hard. We need time to mentally digest. This is where taking a long walk or meditating is helpful. To be honest, I prefer both. Meditation is a static exercise where only a small amount of energy is spent. It gives the brain a rest. Inversely, a long walk is dynamic. It provides the brain with a mundane activity that provide minimum stimulus and is a great cardio exercise. It’s literally placing one foot in front of the other and going somewhere only to end up where we started. Or, if we really want to get crazy we can use a treadmill and go nowhere. It’s all about options. There are other activities that can be utilized for a relaxed moment. The key is to find that down time. it’s important. I might go out on a limb and say it’s vital.

Wait! Are you saying depression is good?

In this context, depression is any downward feeling from an inflated experience. In the same manner that stress can be healthy, there is a health amount of depression to have. Otherwise, we would only have inflation and that can lead to mental breakdowns. Just as we breathe, there needs to be a healthy balance between inhale/ exhale, work/ relaxation, and happiness/ depression.

Before we carried away, hopelessness, gloom, and self-discontentment is not the depression that is being refer to. These depressions are extreme and toxic to one’s mental health. And so we’re clear on this subject too. It’s alright not to be happy. I don’t go around with a smile on my face 24/7. If I break a plate, I don’t shout “Ta-da.” as I joyfully sweep up the mess. That would be crazy nuts. Emotions have their ups and downs just like our blood pressure. That’s normal. So please, if you find yourself in a stressful situation, find a moment to stop, calm down, and collect yourself. If you have been on the go all week, take some time to meditate and clear your mind. Mental health is just as important as physical health. It’s all part of finding life’s happiness.

Until the next blog, live life and be happy.

at1_retired@yahoo.com

Steve Curtis

My Focus in Life

Let’s pretend, shall we? It’s a glorious morning. Coffee is fresh, breakfast fills the air as the children quietly scurry to get ready for school. As stated, we’re pretending. The children leave for school, allowing us to go to work. We walk to our vehicle and find a flat tire. Yup, it’s one of those mornings. In the spirit of pretending, we snap our fingers and the tire is changed. Thirty minutes has past and we’re now behind schedule. Traffic is crowded as we make our way. “We’re all running late.”, we exclaim.  An idea illuminates. We’ll inform our boss. After all, we’ll get there when we get there, and not a minute before. With the blessings of our hands free device, we call ahead to let them know we’re running behind. They aren’t happy, but at least they know, and can plan accordingly. We just got our thirty minutes back and are actually on schedule again. Upon getting to work, we are quickly reminded why we don’t wait for the last minute to find a parking spot. Yup! It’s the back 40 acre parking lot for us. Scurrying in with a slight shuffle-trot we find the elevator is out of order. Oh great, we have four flights of stairs to climb. Stressed and breathing heavy from the parking lot excursion, we make our way up the winding, echoing passage. At our desk we are met with a pile of work and a coworker who has the biggest “OMG you’re LATE!” attitude.

This is where we’ll take a breather. A lot has happened to us in the scenario. Let’s start with the children being quiet as they got ready for school. Tell me that not a blessing. Then we had the flat tire. This is where our attitude matters. If we approach it with a tempertamtrum then, yeah, it’s a big deal. However, if we approach it with a “meh, life happens” attitude, then we are more apt to be in a better mood. Moving on to the traffic that wasn’t moving. Driving can be irritating. We all know the best driver is us. Am I right? These idiots don’t know what they are doing. (Might I throw in a slight interjection? Putting others down in order to justify our attitude is not couth in any manner. Yes, some drivers are better than others. That doesn’t make our judgemental statement any less wrong.) What did we do to combat this irritating atmosphere? That’s right we called ahead. Not only did this buy us time, but it alleviated the stress of being late. I even think we smiled a little. At this point we should be stressed, angry, frustrated, and down right nuclear. Nonetheless, we are not. Mostly, due in part to the manner in which we kept composed. A positive outlook on life produces a positive attitude. That attitude in turns affects how we act and react to situation and people around us. It is impossible to be happy all of the time. That would be delirium. What we can be, is professional.

I once found myself in an inspection that completely failed. I tried to fix the program as best as I could but I knew that I was going to take hits. Let’s just say it was worse than that. The Senior Chief pointed out error after error and my blood started boiling as I was embarrassed and aggravated. Then she said the magic words that put me at my breaking point.

“This is no longer an inspection but a training evolution.”

Calmly I replied, “Do you mind if we take a break so I can cool off and collect myself.”

The look on her face was priceless. “I didn’t know you were upset.”

My coworker took one look, “His ears are red as a stop light. Yup he’s pissed.”

The Senior Chief asked about my composure? After all, most people rant, rave, and argue when they get upset. This was quite the opposite to my listening and taking notes. No wonder she thought everything was fine.

“As angry as I am right now,” I stated, “I have a program that needs to be fixed. You have the knowledge to fix it. At the end of the day I’m a professional. Taking notes and staying calm is what I do.”

Without skipping a beat my coworker interjected, “You got that right.” She’d witnessed this action several times in the past

If I had ranted and thrown a fit, would I have learnt how to fix my program? More than likely not. It is vital for us to maintain a positive outlook. Positive outlook does not equate to happiness. However, it does keep us in the right mindset that sets us up for happiness. And that, sets us up for success.

Going back to our first scenario, The coworker with the OMG attitude most likely did not have the right frame of mind to handle our late arrival regardless of the chaos we encountered. In fact we have no idea what chaos others went through to get to work. We aren’t the only ones having a bad day. How wonderful this world would be if we took the time to empathize with each other instead of bulldozing our way through the day.

In closing, I would like to say, inhale the good air and exhale the bad. Breathe from the abdomen. I do this daily for ten minutes or more. Slow abdominal breathing calms the heart rate and lowers blood pressure. Do this while setting at work, in traffic, or while walking through a crowded store. Breathe. Everything will be alright. In the first blog of 2019 I mentioned that we should identify our stressors. Click here to learn more.. This is important if we are to reduce stress. We need to know what those key factors are.  We should always work at being professional. There will come a time when we reach our limits. A quick walk or a bathroom break can make all the difference. While on that break focus on the positive and look for a solution. Fact is,there are answers to every question. What we are focused on is what we will find. Is it good or bad? Positive answers will produce positive results. This is why it is important to stay positive my friends. We are professionals at living. Thus, a professional attitude is needed.

Until the next blog, live life and be happy..

AT1_Retired@yahoo.com

Steven Curtis

I Should Be Upset.

I am here on pay day looking at my bank account. What a glorious feeling it is to see hard work converted into hard cash. Except, there is no cash. I have the exact amount that I did before. “Where’s my money?” Oh well, it’s time to activate Plan B.

What’s Plan B, you asked? This is the kibbles and bits I have thrown to the side. This is not just a savings. This is a saving my buttocks savings. A time will come when unexpected hiccups will occurs. Take today for example. Money was not deposited. If I didn’t throw back a little here and there, I would have a different outlook on today. One simply cannot relax when faced with financial blunders. That is why it is important to plan ahead.

How much should we save? oh good question! The quick answer is three times our monthly pay. If we make $1000 dollars a month, we should save $3000. Do we stop there? No! In the event that you save $3000, continue to put back money. When it rains it pours. The more we put back the better we will be. How much per pay check should we deduct? Another great question! Personally I shoot for 10%. However, if 10% is too steep then try 5%. The key is to put back something or anything. With that in mind, $1 per pay check is not going to save us. We need to use logic.

Money can make us emotional. When we get it we’re happy. When we don’t have it we get worried, depressed, angry, and sometimes desperate. With that in mind, a saving my buttocks savings account is actually a “saving me from an emotional break down” account. Say that three times fast. When we save money we afford ourselves a chance to relax during those “Oh snap! My boss didn’t pay me.” moments.

In closing, money can buy us happiness; not in material things, but in peace of mind that bills will be paid. We need to plan ahead. Prepare for bad times. They will come, trust me. Now here is an important tip. When that day comes. Be happy you saved. Don’t throw your head back and trod off complaining you have to dip into savings. This is not healthy. Being happy is healthy and wholesome for the soul. And, that is what this blog is about. Finding Life’s Happiness.

Until the next blog Live life and Be Happy,

at1_retired@yahoo.com

Steve Curtis