When you think about “happiness” … you may think of the future in some way. The dream vacation coming up, the promotion you are working towards at work, the baby that is on the way, or the sixth date with someone new in your life. ( Thank goodness, I’m beyond that point!)
But happiness can also be found in the small things of a regular day.
So, today, look for it. Take just a few minutes and apply one of the ideas below and see how it brightens your day. I’m thinking it just might.
One minute of appreciation
Take a minute, sit down and just reflect on what you appreciate and love about your partner, or a friend… or even… a family member! This will fill you with gratitude and redirect your focus to the positive of things.
Express your appreciation
Tell that partner, family member, or friend what you came up with. It will brighten his or her day. As his or her face lights up with a big smile ( you can also see it through a phone call) … you’ll feel happier too because emotions are contagious. (I’ve caught it once or twice myself!)
Take a few minutes to see how you can help someone out
Offer some practical help, some good advice, look something up for them, be encouraging and supportive, or just lend an ear.
Walk and move slower for just a few minutes. Let your thoughts slow down. Use the minutes to enjoy what is happening all around you. Truly take it in with all your senses. There is so much simple wonder missed each day because we are preoccupied with our thoughts and plans for the future. Live in the now!
Be the smile you want to see in your world
Smile more towards the people you meet and you’ll get more smiles back. You’ll feel better. They will too. Actually, it’s contagious and they will probably smile more towards the other people they meet that day. So, don’t wait for other people to smile at you… be the smile you want to see in your world instead.
Make someone else happy
Don’t stop at just smiles, give someone a big hug. Give him or her a small gift of some kind. Ask them their name! Cook their favorite food if they have had a bad day.
Actually, you can start your own day with setting a low bar for happiness. Now, that’s a good thought.
As you open your eyes and wake up to a new day tell yourself: Today, I will have a low bar for happiness!”
I have been using this one for quite some time now and it makes the ordinary day… well, just happier. I take fewer things for granted: my food, the weather, my life… and often pause to appreciate them more.
Be the day you want to see
Don’t wait for someone else to create the day you want to have. Instead, get the ball rolling yourself. Take action and take the first steps forward. Many of us are now wearing “Fit Bits” or similar to measure the day’s activities. Imagine that you are the “creator” of the day you want to experience in mood, accomplishments, and happiness! You are.
Say “Yes” to something new
Maybe try something you haven’t eaten before. Listen to a new song or album. Experience a new author or movie. Go see a new sport. You get the idea. By actively going outside of what is normal for you or your comfort zone you’ll discover new, wonderful things in life quite often.
Get rid of your “should have” thoughts
The should haves in life can really drag happiness and energy down and make everything feel like heavy work. Do you really have to do all of those shoulds on your “to-do” list? Or are you maybe stuck in a rut and are doing some of those things just out of habit?
Ask yourself one of my favorite questions: Will this matter in five years? Or even five months?
By zooming out like this you make it easier to see the true value of doing something. You see it for what it really is. Your questioning makes it easier to simply relax and say no to doing something because you realize that it isn’t that important Do what you deep down believe is the “right thing.”
Instead of letting quick and judgmental words come of your mouth, be understanding.
Instead of snacking on some candy eat a fruit or drink a glass of water. Hard, right?
When an impulse inside of you wants you do something that you know deep down isn’t right for you then pause, be still for a few moments. The impulse will pass and you can easily choose to take the action you know is right in this situation.
Then appreciate that you did the right thing, give yourself a pat on the back, and see how good it all feels. Continue to do this and you’ll help yourself to build stronger self-esteem.
Enjoy your life, enjoy your day! Be Happy!