I’m often told by my friends that I’m a happy person. And it’s true that I am a generally happy person and that I have an optimistic outlook on life. But, I also think I make CHOICES each day that contribute to my daily level of joy. Many of the suggestions I’ve listed below are things I’ve been doing for 15 + years. They work for me–I hope they might work for you, too! In any case, I figure that it can’t hurt to pass it on.
1. Start keeping a Gratitude Journal. Each night before you go to bed, write down 5 things/reasons you feel grateful. It is truly life changing to focus on the positive in the moments before you go to sleep. It doesn’t need to take more than 5-10 minutes to journal and you’ll eventually come to enjoy and treasure this time of your day.
2. Smile! Seriously. Practice smiling at people you normally might walk by, but instead of averting your eyes, smile! See what happens. You might think that smiling at people is something only Southerners do and perhaps you are right. But, trust me, a genuine smile will open doors and opportunities in your life. People like being around a smiling face–yours!
3. Surround yourself with positive people. This positivity circle can be made up with friends or family members or co-workers you admire and respect. Positivity attracts positivity! It’s a simple law of attraction. Human beings are social by nature so take the time to foster and nurture relationships with the positive people in your life.
4. Be creative every day. If you don’t work in a “creative” field or if your work is raising children, be sure to allot a set period of time each day–it can be as short as 10 minutes–to doing something creative! Remember when you were a child and you opened a brand new box of Crayolas? The sense of possibility that lay ahead of you?! A sheet of white paper transformed into a castle, a maze, a story, a drawing of your family or your future life. Some people I know like to take photographs, others enjoy do-it-yourself home renovation projects, scrapbooking, creating a vision board, drawing, painting, knitting…
5. Spend time with yourself! Reflect back on the activities in your childhood that brought you joy and find easy ways to incorporate them into your adult life.