Happy for Others

Today, our Your Caregiving Journey, Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, author of "A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness," joined us for our monthly chat on happiness. Usually, we talk about how to be a happier you. Today, we spoke about how to be a happy you on behalf of others. In other words, we discussed how to be happy for others when your own happiness seems elusive. You can listen to our show via the player at the bottom of the post.

The take-aways for me from today's show include:

--When others have good news and I'm having a bad day, I will remember to step outside of myself in order to congratulate them on their good news. Their good news is not about me or where I am in my life, or an indication that I don't have a good life. Their good news is simply that. And, that's why I can be happy for them.

--That tinge of envy or jealousy we may feel upon hearing another's good news is a reminder that we need to focus on creating some of what we want in our life right now. Perhaps we can't travel to Europe, but we can turn our backyard into a bit of paradise with a kiddie pool and fun patio furniture. A relaxing few minutes in a comfy chair while dangling my feet in a turtle-shaped plastic pool sounds rather awesome to me right now.

--We also can feel good about sharing our good news with others. In essence, we can't withhold our happiness worrying about whether our good news will upset others. At times, we may want to be more diplomatic about sharing by saying, "I have some good news. I want to share it with you because you're such an important person in my life." We also can know that our responsibility is to share good news. We are not responsible for how our good news is received. If others seem to ignore our good news or receive it as if we gave them a cold fish, that's okay. More important: Don't let the story of your good news become the story of how others aren't happy for your good news. That's the way to turn your happy story into an unhappy one.

--Elizabeth shared good advice about our anticipatory worry: Don't put your winter coat on in the summer.

I'd love to hear your feedback to today's show. I also wonder: Does your caregiving situation make it a little harder to feel happy for others' good news? How do you cope?

Program Notes: Our next show, Brain Games, airs tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. CT. And, Anna Stookey will join us Friday at 9:30 a.m. CT (new time!) to talk about the five traits of well-being (hope, gratitude, curiosity, zest and capacity to love/be loved).

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