“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
– Dalai Lama
As with most people, I made a New Years Resolution to be happier and more positive in 2013, and so far, I think I’ve done pretty well!
When I stumbled upon the book, The Happiness Makeover, by M.J. Ryan, on the discount rack at Barnes & Noble I figured I would go for it. $6.99 for a happiness makeover? I’ll take it.
I want to say this up front: I’ve never been one for self-improvement and self-help books. My mother on the other hand, reads them like they’re going out of style. I still remember thinking she was crazy when she wanted me to read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in high school. Little did I know, I’d end up reading it 5 years later. Guess she might have been onto something!
I’ve slowly gone through The Happiness Makeover when I have some time to really focus. I’ve found the best way to self-improvement books like this are best read slowly and in small chunks in order to get the most out of the messages.
I’ve seen a noticable difference in my level of happiness since I’ve started to incorporate some of the techniques and methods into my daily life. Every once in a while my boyfriend will give me a look and say, “Is this another one of those happiness things?” Yes, yes darling, it is.
After I read the Inc. article 9 Daily Habits That Will Make You Happier by Geoffrey James, I decided to put together a list that encompasses when I’ve learned from The Happiness Makeover along with techniques I’ve picked up in my day-to-day life.
Some of the methods seem simple and futile, while others might seem silly. What’s important is trying different happiness methods in order to figure out what works for you and what impacts your happiness level the most.
These are just 8 of many ways you can give yourself a daily happiness makeover:
- Smile: You never realize the power of a smile until you receive one from a stranger when you’re having a bad day. Make a point of smiling at strangers, just because. You’ll feel better, and you might just make someone else’s day while you’re at it.
- Accept “Que Sera, Sera”: The Spanish have a way with words, I must say. This Spanish phrase means, “what will be, will be.” We need to accept that no matter we stress, it won’t change the outcome of things we can’t control.
- Establish a Morning Routine: It’s important to find a way to center yourself every morning. This allows you to better take on the day and be the best you possible. Some people need to meditate, some need a morning cup of tea, some read the news paper, some workout. Find your morning routine that will help you relax and prepare yourself for the day.
- Implement the “Thankful Exercise”: Find a time every day (I prefer right before bed!) to write down or share with someone else something you’re thankful for that day. Every night before bed my boyfriend and I share what we were thankful for that day. This exercise makes it so that no matter what happens that day, you’ll be able to keep it in perspective and be thankful for the good things in life.
- Realize Everyone Has Their Own Battle: While all the rude people in the world might seem to have it out for you, the majority of them are just lashing out about something going on in their lives. You never know what other people are dealing with. I like to think people are innately good, so take a step back and realize people who are lashing out are probably in pain and using you as a punching bag, and know we’ve all been there one time or another.
- Treat Yourself: Coming from the person who counts calories religiously, it’s important to treat yourself. For me, that means a little (measured 1/2 cup) of ice cream or piece of chocolate pretty much every day. It’s important to enjoy the little things in life, without over indulging. That way, you get the best of both worlds without the guilt.
- Trust Your Gut (Instinct): You know that little voice inside of you that’s telling you to/not to do something? Listen to it. Suppressing your gut instincts will only lead to anxiety and most likely negative repercussions in the long-run. Don’t settle or become passive because you don’t want to “make waves.” Stand up for yourself and realize your gut might just know what it’s talking about.
- Exercise: This is by far my favorite way to increase my happiness levels. Whenever I get some working out or running I feel exponentially happier and better about everything in life. It’s like having a daily colored-glasses session. Just 20 minutes of moderate exercise a day can have a positive impact on your mood for up to 12 hours according to this Self article.
I’m always researching new ways to be a happier & healthier person. How do you give yourself a daily happiness makeover?
~ Miss Soucie