Ask anyone what they desire in life, and more often than not, the answer comes back as some variation of “be happier.” The pursuit of happiness has been around since time began, the topic being a discussion point since the days of Plato and Socrates.
Is happiness truly so hard to find?
Thankfully happiness is a lot simpler than most people think. By creating some new micro-habits in your life, not only will you be happier, but the people around you will likewise start feeling those same warm fuzzies. Where do you begin?
1. Start your day off right. When you wake up, think of something for which you’re thankful. By beginning in gratitude, you set your mind in a positive place before you even get out of bed.
2. Follow-up with a morning routine that inspires. Listen to a podcast over breakfast, read a chapter out of an inspirational book, listen to music that makes your heart soar, take time for yoga or meditation. Embrace whatever you need to do to launch yourself into the day feeling upbeat and inspired.
3. Stay in the moment. Rather than get caught up in the trials and tribulations of the day ask yourself where you are right now. Turn off the electronics and take a moment to breathe. Find that inner calm, and remind yourself that right now, right here, you are OK. Focus on what’s in front of you and let the future go.
4. Listen more. By taking the time to listen to what someone else has to say, both of you benefit. Listening is what leads to genuine intimacy and deeper relationships, and makes the person doing the talking feel a surge of happiness of their own.
5. Sharpen your saw. The old story goes that a man walking through the woods sees someone laboring mightily to cut down a tree. As he watches, he points out that the process would go much faster if the woodcutter were to sharpen his saw. The woodcutter replies, “I realize that, but I don’t have time to stop.” By stopping to sharpen your saw – resting and recharging – you’re capable of so much more later on. Take breaks that give energy back not only to your body but your mind.
6. Hang around, happy people. We’re affected deeply by the mood of those around us. By gravitating toward people who make us feel good, we help our mood.
7. Take care of yourself. It’s hard to feel happy if you’re not feeling well. Micro habits work particularly well here. Drink more water. Get up and stretch. Add more leafy greens to your diet. Whatever you choose, know that you’re benefitting more than your body, but also your mind.
There are many ways to find happiness. While you may start with this list, be sure to explore ideas of your own. Remember, you don’t have to do great big sweeping things to change your attitude – just practicing small micro-habits is enough to change your life positively.