Catalyzing Happiness: Creating Your Personal Happiness List

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

How simple Emerson’s words, and yet so profound.  These words have inspired me through the years to notice when I am choosing to be angry, so that I can make the choice to focus my attention on what makes me happy and let go of everything else.

I find that it is not always an easy process. It often takes concentrated effort to give up my desire to be “right” in a situation in order to “feel better” in my body, mind and emotions.

I was happy to have my experiences supported by Gretchen Rubin’s thoughts on the subject. Rubin is one of the most thought-provoking and influential writers on happiness. Her book The Happiness Project is a #1 New York Times bestseller; Happier at Home hits shelves on September 4, 2012.

Rubin shares, Happiness doesn’t come automatically. It takes effort. I hope that making the effort to be happy under ordinary conditions of life (and it does take effort, even under ordinary conditions) will make it easier to be happy when conditions get tougher.”

And, I’ve learned that it helps for me to be prepared in advance of those tough situations. I have made a list of items I can choose to think about which I know make me feel happy.

Some of the items on my happiness list that I can choose to think about when I feel my happiness beginning to wane are:

  • Taking the dogs for a walk with my husband
  • Listening to ‘Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow’ by Fleetwood Mac
  • Sitting on the sand at the beach and looking out at the surfers riding the waves
  • Acknowledging myself for small and large accomplishments I have achieved
  • Feeling myself surrounded and supported by my close friends

I invite you to consider what thoughts bring a smile to your face and lifts your heart. As you identify these thoughts, add them to your Personal Happiness List and mentally carry this list with you at all times. Also, write these thoughts down and keep them somewhere easily accessible.

You may be surprised at how all your minutes of happiness add up to hours of happiness throughout your life!

About Stacey:
Stacey Hall, L.S.H., C.N.T.C., is the CEO and Founder of the Hall Institute of Intuitive Wellness and the best-selling author of ‘Chi-To-Be! Achieving Your Ultimate B-All.’ (  While recovering from a debilitating illness which left her physically exhausted, emotionally drained, and mentally numb, Stacey Hall made a declaration to herself, “I would devote my life to healing my heart. And, as I learned what made my heart happy, I would share what I learned with others to help them heal their hearts, too.” She joins us to share her insights along this journey.

  • Love this post. Wasn’t this quote credited to Abe Lincoln? “Most people are about as happy as they decide to be.” I relate to you, Stacey. After going through my own life threatening illness, I also decided to live in a state of love, joy and peace….no matter what.

    Guess what I found out….happiness is hiding everywhere…and loves when you play hide and seek!

    Off to look for my daily dose!


  • Happy Wednesday Stacey! This is an excellent post! I love the idea of having a happiness list–something to constantly remind us (and keep us in check too!) when we are feeling sad or discouraged. Reading your blog post, I realized that reading happy material, such as the resources on the Delivering Happiness site, could be added to my happiness list!

    Many thanks again for sharing! (I also appreciate a good Fleetwood Mac song. :))