Embracing Happiness

Embracing happiness is a conscious bargain we need to make every day with ourselves, and here are just a few ways to make happiness a part of your life.

The last year and a half have been terribly hard on all of us, between Covid-19 and quarantine, vaccinations, masks, the interruptions of our normal lives due to the closing of restaurants, businesses and services, racial and religious issues, overseas conflicts and the lingering economic and social issues affecting the country. 

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” ~Denis Waitley

Where do we find comfort in looking forward? 

It’s going to be a conscious bargain we need to make every day with ourselves and here are just a few ways to make happiness a part of your life.

Make a List

Make a list of behaviors and habits of mind that you know create happiness for you. These should be the things that are within your control.  Some examples are:

Being in the moment-stop look at your spouse and tell them how nice they look today or thank them for putting the toilet seat down or closing that cupboard door they usually leave open.

Appreciating the natural world—a personal favorite of mine. How many of us really stop to smell the roses or pause to listen to the birds chirping outside our window? An inexpensive bird feeder and a bag of seeds are the best investment and can bring so much joy as well as provide needed nourishment for our feathered friends.

Communicating with others.  Call up a friend or family member you haven’t talked to in a while and just say “How are you, I was thinking about you and needed to hear your voice. What is happening in your world?”

Showing appreciation and gratitude-thank everyone for every little thing they do—it goes a long way.

Taking deep breaths- not only does it help the mind, but the body. Remember we are made up of cells and our cells need oxygen to thrive.

Dancing, laughing, and singing more often, never losing your childhood enthusiasm. Watch your favorite musical, listen to your favorite song or go out for an old-fashioned ice cream cone with the one you love and share the cones.

Looking for the good—the glass is half full versus the glass is half empty.

Helping thy neighbor, nothing feels better in your heart than knowing you helped someone else—bring in their grocery bags, their mail, their garbage cans to and from the curb. If you make cookies, walk some next door.

Taking small steps to solve problems. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t be hard on yourself, do a little each day and give yourself praise for the progress you made.

Obviously, everyone’s list will be different. It needs to fit you. 

What would be on your list?

Embracing happiness

Positive Mantras

Choose a few positive mantras to keep running through your head.

Mantras have a way of calming us down and helping us appreciate what is right in front of us. 

Some examples might be:

I am thankful for what I have and who is in my life. Some of us have no one, no one to love, and no one who loves us. Some of us are entirely alone.

I cannot control others’ actions, only my reactions to them. Be mindful of your reactions to others. We don’t know what people are dealing with behind closed doors. Remember the wonderful and infinitely funny Robin Williams? We don’t know what he was carrying around with him to lead him to that terrible fate.

Repeating these simple phrases in times of stress can be immensely helpful in keeping the mind where it needs to be.

What principles of life would your mantras cover?

Embracing happiness

Review Often

Post your happiness habits and mantras in visible places so that they are never far from sight.

Maybe get a chalkboard and hang it on your wall or just write it down on a piece of paper. Stop, pause and read it every day to remind yourself of your mantras to happiness.

Before you know it, you will start to wake up in the mornings with a feeling of gratitude for the new day that lies ahead. It will help you handle struggles with more grace and positivity. Most importantly, do your best to give love to all the human beings and animals that are part of your life. We will all have days that will be more of a struggle than others, days with old familiar feelings of sadness that still start to creep in. 

For those days here are some tricks to try:

Meet for coffee with friends or take a walk or a drive down a scenic road, and get out of the same 4 walls you’ve been looking at daily. Take a trip to a museum or a zoo. Nothing makes me happier than fuzzy monkeys romping and playing or penguins zooming like torpedoes through the water.

All in all, you will feel lighter, and more alive when you choose happiness. People will notice the change and will want to spend more time with you hoping it will rub off on them too.

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