Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.
– Helen Keller
I want to sit in a morass of self-pity.
But I don’t.
Because for me, feeling that way for too long can be dangerous!
So I get off my ass and do something. I take action and and it starts with a choice.
Although it’s not realistic to be happy 24/7, you can make a choice to be happy (at least at some point in each day).
Below are ten tips on how to be happy everyday. Not all are required, but working through the list can produce happiness at some point everyday:
Read: Positive Affirmation or Self-Help
Keep a few short motivation or affirmation books handy and randomly open them up and start reading. A few of my favorites are: Og Mandino’s The Greatest Miracle in The World, or Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado.
Have you heard of neuroplasticity? Your brain can physically change it’s makeup based on thought and practice. So give it something positive to chew on.
Exercise: It Takes Less Than You Think
Get the blood flowing and go for a walk. 10-15 minutes may be all you need. My goal is to run 3-5 miles three times a week. I don’t always accomplish that, but when I do, I feel happy.
Build Relationships: Spend Time with Friends
Call up a friend you haven’t seen in a while and reconnect. I like to go back through old emails of people I’ve connected with through my newsletter and check in on them, just to see how they’re doing.
Volunteer: There’s Always Someone Worse Off Than You
Not sure where to start? Start here.
Get Outside: Vitamin D is Important
Vitamin D helps regulate phosphorous and calcium absorption into our body. Which means nothing to me but it sounds important. So get some of that.
I hate winter, and during those months when I’m not getting as much sun, I feel down more often. Although this is common, it still sucks. So go outside for a walk or get one of those fancy little Vitamin D lights.
Meditate: Quit the In-fighting
One misconception is that meditating means thinking nothing, clearing the mind of all thought. That’s actually quite impossible, at least for my mortal self. Meditation is more about listening to our mind and not getting involved in the internal debate. For a good starter on mediation go here.
Gratitude: Take Action by Writing it Down
Gratitude is an action. So. Take. Some. Action. Writing is an action. Running is an action. Walking is an action. Helping a stranger is an action. We take care of things we’re grateful for. Including self.
Reset: Start Your Day Over
This one tip has saved my bacon on many occasions. The awareness that I have the power to start my day over at any time.
If I’m having a bad day or just can’t seem to get going, I start over. For me, this entails finding a quiet place to pray or meditate. It almost always involves either a written or mental gratitude list. A heart full of gratitude has little room for sadness.
Take a Nap: It’s Like Resetting Your Brain
If resetting your day doesn’t help, take a nap. Maybe you’ll wake up on the right side this time.
Be Productive: Take Care of Something You’ve Been Procrastinating
Nothing feels better than getting stuff done, even the bad stuff.
It takes courage to face things we’re uncomfortable with. It’s also when we grow the most. For help in this area, check out 7 Common Causes and Proven Cures for Procrastination.
Even sucky days deserve a little happiness. But don’t feel bad if you feel bad. We all do.
If you think everybody else has “it” figured out and is leading a happy life, you’re wrong. That’s just your ego trying to separate you from the world.
So what’s something you did today that made you happy?