How do you feel when you wake up in the morning?
Do you dread getting out of bed?
Do you feel like you are living out the movie “Groundhog’s Day”?
Are you hitting the alarm clock too many times?
Are you looking forward to your day?
Are you happy?
Happiness isn’t just something that lucky, rich, successful people feel. I know a few successful people that are very unhappy. Happiness is not really related to your pocketbook or even your circumstances. Happiness is a skill. It takes practice in the way you think and how you view the world. Everyone has the opportunity to practice happiness.
Here are 9 ways to practice happiness today:
1. Be grateful. We all know there are benefits to gratitude, but how much practice are we putting into being grateful? Of course, there are many “things” we can be grateful for, but gratitude is more than having all the things we want. Gratitude is a way of viewing life, regardless of what we have or do not have.
Take a minute and think about what you are grateful for: think about this several times during the day. Practice looking at life with gratitude glasses, and seeing what you find. You will certainly find that you enjoy the moments of your day more. You will find that the little things are more meaningful. You will find your mind finds the good, and enjoys it a little bit more. If you get a chance today, sit with your gratitude. Savor what you have. You will feel an increase in your happiness.
2. Be yourself. Stop trying to be like someone else. Focus on the things that make you unique and special and love those things about yourself. We are each unique and different for a reason. We were made that way. Each of us come with beautiful traits and characteristics.
Our differences are what make the garden of humanity so beautiful.
When you start out your day, focus on the strengths that are yours, and stop comparing yourself to your neighbor.
3. Stop the negative self-talk. You know what negative self-talk is: it’s that record in your head that tells you all the things you aren’t doing well. You aren’t spending enough time with your kids. You aren’t serving others enough. You aren’t friendly enough. You aren’t happy enough. Basically, it’s the voice that tells you: You aren’t enough!
The interesting thing about that voice, is that you are the one holding the on/off button. Sure, it takes practice and awareness, but you are the one who lets it continue. Shut it off. Turn it down. Stop the negative and focus on the positive.
4. Laugh. We always say that laughter is the best medicine. Well, research actually shows that laughter has huge impact on how we feel. It is a powerful antidote to how we feel and how we manage stress. It helps our bodies heal and renew. So, sit down and watch that corny show. Smile. Laugh out loud. You will feel the benefits.
5. Hug. There is healing and uplifting power in physical touch. It has the capacity to calm our anxiety, help us heal more quickly and even release emotional pain. Physical touch has even been shown to lessen the effects of fatigue and irritability. So, if you’re tired and worn out, you likely need a hug! Reach out and share the love.
6. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I cannot count the number of times that I have allowed one negative event to color my entire day in negativity. One small rock in the road does not a mountain make. Let the small stuff be what it really is — small. I know this is easier said than done. Really, I know. But choosing to let the little things rule your day will make all your days less than happy. When something bad happens, ask yourself, “Will this matter tomorrow…or next week…or next year?” Putting the small things in perspective allow you to live a fuller, happier life.
7. Move. Physical activity really does improve your mood. It helps you blow off steam and leaves you feeling more relaxed and happier. You naturally feel better about yourself and exude more confidence. So, when you need a boost, move. Get up. Do some jumping jacks. Go for a walk. The chemicals released by being active will make it worth it.
8. See mistakes as opportunities to learn, not signs of failure. This is one that I really struggle with. I have perfectionistic leanings…so mistakes are seen as “fails”. But, the research shows that truly happy and successful people see mistakes as opportunities for growth. I am constantly drawn to this quote by Thomas Edison:
When you make a mistake, see it as an opportunity to become better, not as a sign of personal weakness. I am working on this one, but it makes sense. We all make mistakes daily. They are great opportunities to learn and become a better people.
9. Give. Take a minute to do something for someone else. Spending a little of our effort, time and money in true giving has been shown to be beneficial to our health and happiness. It feels good to make someone else a priority. It leaves you feeling warm and happy! Give it a try: you will find yourself wanting to give more often.
How many of these have you tried? Do they make a difference in your happiness?
Challenge for the day:
Go and do. Try one of the above and see how it makes you feel. Then, come back and let me know!
Have a very happy day!