Gorge Happiness Month: Free events highlight ways to let go, have fun and create mindfulness

Photo courtesy of One Community Health

Photo courtesy of One Community Health

One Community Health’s third annual Happiness Month in the Gorge is in full swing with a variety of events, opportunities to engage with yourself and others, and actively discover or enhance your pathways to happiness.


Gratitudes: Find time each day to list three things for which you are thankful. This can be written on paper or just in your thoughts. These may be as simple as a yummy lunch, an extra-soft pillow or the sunshine today. Or it can be grander. You decide. It’s the act of gratitude that counts.

Acts of Kindness: This can be as easy as smiling at a cashier, saying thank you to a co-worker, or complimenting a stranger. Once during the month, look for a way to volunteer or help the community.

Moments of Silence: Sit silently for just five minutes per day. This means turning off the TV, computer, radio and cell phone. As you sit, observe the thoughts in your head, the sounds you hear around you or other sensations that come and go. Keep your eyes closed if you want, or just look at one thing about three feet in front of you. Don’t beat yourself up if you mind wanders — just notice it and come back to observing and listening.

And there are plenty of ways to get involved: Businesses and organizations can partner for programs, educators can find a variety of resources via the website, and anyone may form a group — or join one — to check in with others on how they’re doing with daily activities. A Gorge Happiness calendar lists each of those daily activities and can be found at www.GorgeHappiness.org.

Participants can additionally take a happiness index survey to show how you compare to others in the world and areas you can boost; take the survey at the end of the month and see how things might have changed. Create a personal profile to see the two scores together and contribute to a Gorge-wide score.

Free upcoming events include:

Oct. 9 — Letting Go, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Hood River Library. If you are holding on to ruminating thoughts, grudges hurts, limiting beliefs, etc., this workshop offers mindfulness practices to help.

Oct. 10 — Happiness at Work Panel, 6:30-8 p.m. at the Hood River Library. Happier people are more productive. A panel of Gorge companies will share what has worked (or not) for them both personally and as an organization.

Oct. 11 — What’s Your Love Language, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Hood River Library. Learn basics of core values and the “five love languages.”

Oct. 12 — Across the Political Divide Workshop, 7-8:30 p.m. at the Stevenson Library.

Oct. 13 — Family Game Day, 4 p.m. at Hood River Hobbies.

Oct. 16 — Gratitude Art Project, 6-8 p.m. at The Dalles Library. With local artist Jenny Loughmiller; decorate a heart to add to the Million Hearts Project, a traveling installation.

Oct. 17 — A Conversation on Happiness, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Hood River Library. Hosted by Lucy Mason.

Oct. 18 — Change Your Thoughts, Create Your Life, 8:30-9:45 a.m. or noon to 1:15 p.m. at the Hood River Library. With Marla Goldberg; what is possible when we question our thoughts.

Oct. 18 — Happiness for Kids by Play Works, 4-7 p.m. at Mercado del Valle (downtown Odell).

Oct. 25 — Happiness Project Book Club, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Hood River Library. Read “The Happiness Project” (or just October chapter) and join in the discussion. More at GorgeHappiness.org.

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