Homemade Happiness

My sister-in-law makes the most amazing homemade, hand-knit sweaters of all time.  From the moment I tried my first one on I was instantly in love.  The weight of the sweater, coupled with the softness of the yarn and the wrapping of the design made me feel like I was participating in the biggest hug of my life.  I couldn’t believe the way it make my body feel.  It was like nothing I had ever seen in a store or anything I possibly thought money could buy.

I stumbled across an article one time on Medical News Today about weighted blankets and their health benefits.  If you are someone who experiences anxiety, these weighted blankets or my sister-in-law’s sweaters may be for you.  Did you know that the heaviness of these blankets imitate the deep pressure touch that has a soothing effect for people’s moods.  In reality they mimic a hug which we all know releases oxytocin which is the hormone responsible for lowering our blood pressure and slowing our heart-rate which provide us with a feeling of relaxation and happiness.

It also releases serotonin which is a chemical in the brain responsible for improving our moods.  Other ways weighted blankets may help is reducing or managing the symptoms of autism, PTSD, sleep disorders and nervous system disorders.  These benefits are much the same when you wear these sweaters that my sister-in-law knits.  Just wearing it will improve your mood.  I promise!

So many of us could use the benefits that these weighted blankets or my sister-in-law’s sweaters.  Today’s society is constantly looking for happiness outside of themselves.  They will be happy when they get a bigger house.  A nice new car is what will bring them some joy.  A promotion would be their answer to happiness.  A different mate will make them happy because this person is different—they are their “soul mate”.

We all make excuses for our own sad states of happiness.  We think that happiness is hidden somewhere and that life is a treasure hunt and we are on a mission to find this treasure.  It has to be hidden some place in our worlds!

You are right.  Happiness is hidden within each and every one of us.  It’s homemade.  We hand-knit our own happiness.  We can’t buy it at a store.  We aren’t going to get it if our husband or wife change.  It probably won’t come if we get that promotion that we’ve been looking for at work.  We won’t find it in a different life partner.  We will only find it if we put the effort into knitting our own happiness.

Society has brainwashed us into thinking differently.  The world of advertisements make us believe that happiness is something we can buy.  Hollywood has hoodwinked us into thinking our happiness is found in the budding of a new romance or that our prince-charming is waiting for us somewhere in this world and we are up for the challenge of finding him.  Sadly, we aren’t going to make anyone happy until we are happy with our selves.

I am the biggest promoter of my sister-in-law’s hand-knit sweaters, I brag about them to everyone I meet.  I wish everyone could experience the joy that this sweater brings my body.  It really is a big hug.  Who doesn’t love a hug?  However, I am also a big advocate of finding happiness within yourself.  For some reason we like to create our own turmoil.  We want to invent fears, anxieties and stress that really shouldn’t exist, but we fixate on things until we make ourselves crazy.

Just like taking time to hand-knit a sweater, we have to start taking time to fall in love with ourselves and see in ourselves the way others probably see us.  Why are we our own biggest critics?

Meditation is a great way to knit yourself some happiness.  It gives us time to form a relationship with ourselves and learn just how wonderful we really are.  It helps us see things in our lives without fear and anxiety clouding our judgment.  All the worldly aspects that we have been chasing after, start to reveal themselves for what they truly are.  Impermanent objects that only bring our egos happiness for a small amount of time.  These things aren’t permanent.  Nothing is.  Only our own spirit that inhibits our body is the single most important and everlasting object that we have to work with.  We might as well try to bring our spirit the most happiness we possibly can.

Happiness is truly handmade.  It is not something you can buy, or that someone else will ever bring to you.  It is inside of you.  Sometimes you just have to sit by yourself and feel the amazing strength of the love of the Universe.  Once you feel this love, you will want more and more of it.  Just like these hand-knit sweaters.  My sister-in-law lovingly knit three sweaters for me and still want more!