Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – it shouldn’t be that hard, right?
Well, if you’re like most people, you’ve got 2/3 covered on most days, but that last one? It can be a bit trickier.
Happiness can seem pretty evasive, especially when we are going through difficult seasons, dealing with difficult people, or when we’re just feeling stressed and overwhelmed. In those times, it’s especially important to resist the urge to wait for happiness to happen to us, and instead actively find ways to experience more happiness.
How do we do this? So glad you asked. Today, I’d like to share a list of ways you can make your day a little happier, regardless of what you’re going through right now.
“Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day.” – Alice Morse Earl
1. Write down your intentions for the day – When you wake up in the morning, think about how you want your day to go. It’s much easier to have your day go a certain way when you choose what you want to focus on and what you want to feel throughout the day. These aren’t necessarily your to-do list tasks for the day; rather, they are a reminder that you will never get this 24 hours again, and an encouragement to make the most of them in a way that feels good to you. Come back to your intentions throughout the day and re-focus on them as often as is helpful.
2. Commit to self-care – As your Self Care Bestie, it would be pretty crazy of me not to mention this, right? Choose one act (at least!) of self-care today to refresh yourself. Ask yourself the question: “What do I need today?” or “What would feel good to me today?” or “What am I longing for today?” Putting it to yourself this way heightens self-awareness and challenges you to think of new or different ways to love yourself, which is always a good thing!
3. Focus on one thing at a time – If there’s one thing I know that can increase your happiness and enjoyment of each moment, it’s this. Choose one task at a time and keep your mind where your body is. It’s SO easy to slip into rumination about the past or worrying about the future when you’re doing your mundane daily tasks like taking a shower or drivings somewhere, but really try to focus on JUST the thing you are doing at any given moment. Your brain wasn’t wired for multitasking, so see how it feels to return again and again to the present moment task and give yourself to it fully. For example, notice how the shower water makes you feel, and the sound of the water hitting the tub. Bring to mind how you are blessing your family by driving your child to their school or activity. This takes practice, but it will pay happiness dividends galore in the long run!
4. Practice compassion for difficult people – Oh my word, this is a toughie. But it really can (and will) make you happier. When you encounter difficult people and difficult emotions, find a way to put yourself on their level instead of judging them, even in your thoughts. Remind yourself that you aren’t that different from this offensive person, actually – you are both flawed human beings showing up doing the best you can day in and day out. Maybe they’re having a bad day or going through something you know nothing about. Pray for them, or extend loving kindness to them through meditation. Or both.
5. Calm your mind – Periodically bring awareness to how you are feeling throughout the day. I like to set mindfulness reminders on my phone. Every few hours, my phone reminds me with a little chime to check in with myself. It seems that no matter how hard I try, my thoughts can carry me away at times. It happens! When I hear the chime, I stop my current task, take 3 deep and slow breaths, and notice how I am feeling. This is also a good time to ask yourself “what do I need right now?” or “what ONE thing do I need to do right now?” With practice (and a handy reminder from your phone!) you will notice yourself feeling more calm (and happier!).
What are your favorite happiness hacks? Please feel free to share them with us in the comments, on my latest Instagram post, or in our Facebook group, Self Care Besties! I wish you all a happy, healthy, and peaceful week ahead!