Oh, you thought I meant his/her happiness? As in making your honey happy with cards and flowers or wearing that sexy lingerie or going to that incredible restaurant? Not! All that’s very nice, however, you being happy is the best Valentine’s Day gift.
Because let’s think about it: what are you like when you’re happy? For one you’re not complaining about every little thing. You’re not seeing problems and hassles everywhere. And you’re certainly not blaming anyone for anything, especially not your honey. And whining? When you’re happy, you’re “fuggetaboutit.”
When you’re happy, you’re a joy to be around. Not only that, you are more appreciative and grateful of your world, your life-and your sweetheart. Because happiness does that. Just like when you’re depressed all you can see around you are more reasons to be depressed, when you’re happy all you can see around you are more reasons to be happy.
When you’re happy, you look at your sweetheart with happy eyes. You see only his/her wonderfulness, those qualities that you fell in love with in the first place. You think about how much you enjoy being together, the deliciousness of your life together. You are naturally more cooperative, affectionate, enthusiastic.
Could anyone ask for a better Valentine’s Day gift than that?
So, just for one day, kick your happiness into high gear. Deliberately refrain from voicing any complaint, from blaming your partner for anything, from nagging, whining, silent treatment-ing, stone-walling, and whatever else is on your list of subtle and not-so-subtle ways of expressing your unhappiness with some aspect of your honey’s behavior.
Indulge yourself in great appreciation for all that your sweetheart is and does. Do it loudly, with word and caress. Voice your appreciation to others, right in front of him/her. Declare your delight proudly.
I guarantee it will be a phenomenal Valentine’s Day, and that any tangible gift you offer in addition will fairly glow with your unequivocal appreciation.
If you want to extend your amazing day of Valentine’s happiness, just continue the process. Not that you must forever “hold your peace” in terms of complaints and the like, but that you think first. That you put yourself in a “let’s find a solution” frame of mind, rather than a whiney, nagging, blaming frame of mind.
Friends and family don’t need to be left out of the Valentine’s happiness. On the contrary, the happier you are around those you care about, the happier they become. Happiness is contagious-as research has demonstrated. Happiness feels wonderful to all concerned, you and them.
Just to be clear, happiness isn’t a matter of plastering a smile on your face. It’s finding reasons to smile, legitimate reasons, all through your day.
The easiest way to do that is to look for things that you appreciate, things you value and are grateful for. For me it’s as easy as appreciating that I am safe and dry in the midst of bad weather; appreciating a dear friend’s kind words; remembering the feel of my sweetheart’s hand in mine when he’s not around. Appreciating the computer that allows me to write these words. The ideas that come, and people to share them with. There is so much, in the space of but one minute, that can be appreciated.
Happiness truly is the best Valentine’s Day gift ever–to yourself, your honey and everyone else.
Noelle C. Nelson, Ph.D. is a relationship expert, consultant, speaker and author. Her latest book is “Happy Healthy… Dead.” For more than a 20 years, she has helped people live happier, healthier lives through appreciation–at work, at home and in relationships. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: http://www.noellenelson.com.