During rough times like these, the idea of cultivating personal happiness might seem trivial — selfish even. But, it might just be more important than ever before.
We live in a world where we are bombarded with negative news daily and are currently enduring a seemingly never-ending pandemic. However, I believe that amid such great sadness, we can still find silver linings. Individually, we can shift the collective atmosphere to one of optimism and hope. If we each commit to coming out of this season better than we went into it, then our well-being and overall quality of life will be better for it.
Your happiness is YOUR choice and YOUR responsibility. Here are three simple habits you can implement immediately to infuse your life with happiness:
PRIME YOUR DAY
So many of us are guilty of reaching for our phones as soon as we wake up. Instead, I challenge you to set the tone for your day by designing an intentional morning routine. One way to start your day is with meditation. Starting your day with just five to 10 minutes of meditation will help to clear your mind. Try meditating in the morning shortly after waking: the immediate, heightened inner clarity it provides will set you up for the rest of the day.
Be intentional about the news you choose to consume. It is important to stay informed, but be mindful of how much time you dedicate to listening to ‘doom and gloom’. Limit your social media feed to positive accounts. Research suggests that people who limit their time on social media tend to be happier than those who don’t. Also, as best as possible, try to reduce interactions with the Negative Nancie’s. The more optimistic people you have in your life, the greater impact their positivity will have on you. A system I created and that works well for me is learning to make happiness-enhancing decisions. Before you engage with someone or go into a certain environment, ask yourself: Is this interaction bringing me closer to joy or further away from it? Try it!
SEEK THE POSITIVE
Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. It is hard to complain and be grateful at the same time. Yes, life may be difficult right now, but going through the day focusing on the positive reorients the brain to the possibility that things are better than we think.
Right now, stop and take inventory of three new things you are grateful for:
I’m grateful to be alive.
I’m grateful for the ability to read.
I’m grateful for my vision.
I’m almost certain this exercise made you feel better! Perspective is everything on your journey to happiness.
You have to strengthen your happiness muscles daily. Your happiness depends more on the frequency of happy events, not their intensity. Incorporate these habits into your day for the next 21 days, and the return on investment will be invaluable. Cheers to CHOOSING your happiness!
Photo by Alexandre Lecocq on Unsplash.