I strive to be happy every day, no matter what is happening around me. The main thing I do is search for the good things in each day, and think about all of the things I appreciate and am grateful for. I’ve gotten through many difficult times by meditating, using the mantra “om”, and doing yoga and tai chi. Of course, prayer is another way to rise above adversity.
There are many ways to achieve happiness, and we all have our ways. But I’m always interested in knowing more about how people get happy. Every day is another chance to form new habits. Age doesn’t matter.
Before I share with you the habits that bring joy, I want to quote a powerful reminder of what truly makes us happy. In “The Simple Guide to Being Wonderful” in Spirituality & Health magazine, Emma Seppala, PhD, concludes:
“So what does the research show us? It shows us that we will gain only momentary bursts of joy from all the pleasures we are seeking in life, from sex to money. The long-lasting fulfillment we seek comes from living a life of purpose, of meaning, of compassion, and of altruism. It comes from hebeing there for others, helping where we can, loving one another despite our differences, and making others smile. Forget the stories you have heard, forget the cultural lenses you have been subjected to: You already know what leads to true happiness. You already know what you will know on your deathbed: that a life well lived is a life in which you have shared an abundance of love. That the only aspiration to have is to be a wonderful person for someone else.”
Last year, Natural Awakening magazine had an article, “Happy All Day: Simple Daily Practices for a Happier Life” by Judith Fertig. I saved it to remind me of the daily habits that help us to feel happy. I’d like to share with you here the points that she made.
Daily Habits for Happiness
- Simplify – Turning off our cell phones, computers, and other distractions at home allow us to fully focus on our loved ones. Time to enjoy and appreciate each other, what we are doing and everything around us increases our happiness.
- Exercise – We were not made to be sedentary. Exercise lifts depression and increases energy. Exercising outdoors is especially calming because of the effects of being in nature.
- Meditate – Meditation is calming. It also helps us to realize things we’ve been too busy to think about, and to come up with ideas and creative solutions to problems.
There are a lot of books and articles available about mindfulness nowadays. Becoming more fully awake and present in the moment grounds us in the now. Try spending just a few minutes being mindful each day, the first thing in the morning or the last thing at night. Ways to do this are breathing techniques or body awareness. This includes watching our thoughts as separate from who we really are.
Rather than judging yourself, embrace
your true self.
Flipping the Switch
“Flip the switch” from negative thinking to positivity. Start the day by taking some deep breaths and being positive and grateful for ten minutes. Focus on the good things in life. It will not only benefit you but also those around you.
Here’s a great affirmation to incorporate into your day. Life coach Cheryl Richardson posted a printable version on her website here to put where you can see it every day:
Happiness at Work
Shawn Achor, founder of Goodthink, Inc., and author of The Happiness Advantage, researched happiness in the workplace. The Harvard Business Review published his results: “Creativity triples and productive energy rises by 31 percent. Sales rise by 37 percent and the likelihood of promotion rises by 40 percent.”
Here are some tips from his book:
- Journaling for two minutes about one positive experience we’ve had over the past 24 hours allows our brain to relive it.
- Exercising, including 15 minutes of cardiovascular action a day, teaches our brain that our behavior matters and improves our mood.
- Meditating for even a few minutes at a time relieves an overloaded brain and allows it to focus on one thing at a time.
- Writing one quick email in the morning praising or thanking someone we work with or just to make them happy will make us feel a sense of social support, a great predictor of happiness.
Happiness in the Community
Starting a community happiness group can be a fun way to build some of the habits recommended in this article. Group members can exchange ideas and success stories, and support each other to stick with their goals. A free starter kit is available here.
Kristi Ling, author of Operation Happiness: The 3-Step Plan to Creating a Life of Lasting Joy, Abundant Energy, and Radical Bliss, offers these 10 Habits of the Happiest People:
- Be deliberately optimistic.
- Prioritize mindfully, based on your happiness and well-being.
- Keep uplifting resources on hand.
- Put yourself first in order to be there for others.
- Be a seeker of happy things.
- Don’t take things personally.
- Examine the worst that can happen to put things in perspective.
- Practice loving kindness.
- Be aware of your energy and fine tune when necessary.
- Be wary of media consumption.
For more tips, see “The 10 Daily Habits of Happy People” on Wonder Forest.
What makes you happy? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
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