Good habits are known to increase overall well-being and happiness; whether it’s engaging in exercise, meditation, or eating well, there are still days you may not feel jovial or serene. Everyone could benefit from jump starting their day with a healthy dose of happiness. As silly as it sounds, focusing on the simple fact that you’re alive and breathing can prompt joyousness. While this might sound pollyannaish, there’s truth to the idea that ‘simple pleasures are the best’. Too often we base our happiness on events outside of our control, unattainable physical prowess, interactions with others and material possessions that we can’t acquire. If we base our happiness on what others do for us or on an event or occurrence that we expect will bring us happiness, we may inadvertently miss out on feeling joyful. Here are some easy ways to increase your happiness that don’t require anyone else’s input.
Wake-Up and Focus On What You Have Going For You
- Say out loud something that you’re supremely grateful for… try doing this at least three times per day (morning, noon and evening and before going to bed)
- Read, think or look at something funny at the beginning of your day to start your day off laughing. Laughing out loud is underrated. You don’t need to wait for a night at a comedy club or with that person who makes you laugh all the time. Find something funny online or even on Facebook. There are so many zany people out there who post wholesome, funny material. Once you find a few of those people, follow them online so you can regularly tap into their humor and awaken your joyous self.
- Realize that you were given the ability to breathe! It’s really a miracle to breathe on our own. No one else is required to help you do this and as long as you’re not on a breathing machine, (which in itself is amazing) you have the possibility of doing something worthwhile with your life. If you can breathe, there are infinite things you can do with your time. Next, ponder how amazing it is that you have a mind and can think, eyes that can see and a mouth plus vocal chords to speak. These physical capacities are absolutely mind-blowing with the potential they all have for instigating and perpetuating joy in others and ours lives.
- Watch, listen to or read something that inspires you. Seek out people who’ve overcome a struggle or someone whose message is positive and uplifting. Read the book Unbroken: A world War 11 Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. It is a true story of daring, defiance, persistence, ingenuity, and the ferocious will of a man who refused to be broken. It’s hard to believe people who have been through so much suffering and trauma could be so incredibly positive and uplifting to listen to. When you hear someone who has found something positive from a tragedy you can’t help from feeling humbled and inspired to feel appreciative for the small things (and big things) that are most important in life that we have and sometimes overlook.
- Read something that educates you on a topic that matters to you and awakens your desire to learn more. When you learn something new on a topic that matters to you it immediately triggers a happiness button. You can actually feel empowered and invigorated when you increase your knowledge.
- Find a way to apply this new knowledge to help someone else.
- Create an action plan for the day. Delineate your goals for the day for being productive with your time and include at least one thing you’ll do for yourself and one thing that you’ll do for someone else. No strings attached.
- Practice giving others the benefit of the doubt who offended you or did something you disapprove of.
- Forgive someone who hurt you who did not ask for forgiveness. This is the most difficult to comprehend and yet one of the most freeing experiences. It allows you to let go of anger that eats away at you and use that energy for other activity.
Many say that true happiness comes from realizing the miracle of being alive and from seeing that everything that is in our life is meant to be there, including the challenges and difficulties we experience. If we see every challenge that we have as an opportunity for personal growth and attempt to elevate the experience, we may be able to bring lasting joy from the experience. It may be another opportunity to build on our strengths, skills and perhaps on our giving to others. We may never be fully appreciated for the contributions we make, but could still feel uplifted knowing we’ve done something worthwhile with our time.
Take stock of what you have, notice small things that are going right, look for ways to laugh and things to laugh about, try to increase your knowledge, do something kind for yourself and for someone else everyday. This may awaken happiness deep within your soul. Do everything you can to make today a great and happy day. Wishing you a happy tomorrow!