Happiness really is a choice! I’m an optimist. I think I was probably just born with this personality type but I also believe that people who are seeking happiness can adopt some of the traits that optimists tend to come by naturally. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know that I love lists so here’s 5 ways to feel happier today:
1. Start a gratitude journal! Yes, I’ve written about this before and I’ll continue to talk about this practice for the rest of my life. Each night before you go to bed, write down a list of the 5 reasons/people/things that bring you happiness and a smile to your face. The reasons can be as simple as, “my daughter ran into my arms after school and gave me a huge hug” to “I took a walk with a good friend” to “I found the most delicious tomatoes at the Farmers’ Market.”
2. If you are a parent–and I imagine that most of you reading my blog are indeed parents–start infusing happiness into your daily vocabulary. Start by saying adding phrases like “aren’t we lucky” and “I feel grateful today because…” Kids pick up on our speech patterns as well as our mannerisms and attitudes. How great would it be for us to raise the next generation of optimists? To think that our little people will go into the world thinking that they really can make a difference, that their lives matter, that their individual contributions can indeed change the world?!
3. Accept where you are today. Right now. Realize that even in life’s saddest or most difficult moments, there is an opportunity to learn something. Many people say that we learn more from the times we fail than the times in life that we succeed. Happy people tend that ask themselves questions like, “What can I learn from this?” Happy people use their energy to focus on where they want their life to go from here on out. Create a plan, set goals for yourself, and most importantly, follow through!
4. Do something creative every day! Draw. Paint. Write. Scrapbook. Sculpt. Take photographs. Creativity fuels an optimistic spirit!
5. Take 2-5 minutes each day to be still. To sit and daydream. To wonder. Sitting quietly or meditating for even short periods of time has been proven to reduce stress and increase levels of happiness! Studies have shown that meditation can even help you control your eating habits and reduce chronic pain.