How happy are you? Would you say that you are generally a happy person, or do you sometimes struggle to get to that state? Happiness is a state of mind and is not dependent on external factors.
Here are some tips that just might help you get to your happy place.
Being Mindful and Grateful
What if you incorporated some mindfulness throughout your day? Daily mindful rituals can help you reconnect with your spiritual side. Mindful means that you are conscious or aware of something, or being present. Being mindful helps you let go of distractions so that you are present, and not participating in mindless routines. Incorporating gratefulness into your thoughts and actions can also make you feel happier. Below, are some mindfulness rituals that you can incorporate into your day without much effort. Pick a couple or come up with some on your own.
- Take a bath before bed, and imagine washing away all of the stress or negativity of the day and think about positive things that happened.
- Send a thank you card or make a phone call to someone every day. Think about how important that person is to you, and how grateful you are for the relationship.
- Take a 10-minute walk every morning before work. Leave all of the electronics at home. Use this time to listen to the birds, look at the trees and smell the air.
- Write a journal entry every night before bed, or in the morning. Use it as a time to reflect or to record ideas. Use journaling when you are stuck or having trouble starting something.
- Keep a gratitude journal and write down everything you were grateful for that day.
After a week or two, see how much more grounded and focused you feel. Just like anything you start in life, consistency is key.
Being angry and holding grudges can have a very heavy, negative effect on a person. Unfortunately, there is usually more than one or two people that we feel have wronged us or done something to make us sad or angry. How do you let go or these emotions that are holding you back?
- Make a list of names of people you feel you haven’t forgiven for a particular reason. Really give it some thought and be patient with yourself because it may take a while to remember situations from a long time ago.
- Close your eyes and relive the situation. Imagine what was going on and see the environment as if it were actually happening.
- Feel your emotions. While your eyes are still closed, think about how you felt at that moment–angry, sad, painful or embarrassed. Only spend about two minutes on this exercise for each person. Don’t get carried away.
- Next, see that same person through compassionate eyes. Ask yourself what you learned from that experience. How did it possibly make your life better?
- Then, forgive and move on.
The Mindfulness exercises above will help with this, but there is another part to being in the present. Too many times we hold ourselves back because we compare our ‘today’ selves with our ‘future’ selves. We feel like the future will be better. We tell ourselves to wait until…we have more money, we are back in shape, we have a better job…(fill in the blank) before doing something we want to do.
- Stop comparing ourselves to others and to our ‘future’ selves. We don’t know exactly what the future holds, but we always assume it is going to be so much better than it is today. Most likely it will, but comparing yourself to that awesome person in the future causes us to feel bad about what we are lacking now.
- If you want to compare yourself to something, then compare your ‘today’ self to your ‘past’ self and be grateful and proud of how far you have come!
- Look at everything you have to be grateful for in your life and then take a step forward. When we have a feeling of accomplishment, we feel better about ourselves. Look at what you have accomplished and then just take a step forward toward a goal. It doesn’t matter how big a step or if it is even the right step. Just start somewhere and make a commitment. Stay on track and don’t change your mind. You will eventually accomplish your goals. Before you know it, you will become that awesome ‘future’ self!