Five things you can do today to be happier
Five things you can do today to be happier
Everyone wants to have a happy life, right? We want to enjoy this journey we’re on. And, the great part is, that even in a world where so many things are out of our control, having a happy life is not. It is completely up to us, dependent upon us, and determined by us.
Happiness is a decision.
Mirriam-Webster defines happiness as, “the state of being happy,” with synonyms like contentment, satisfaction, cheerfulness, light-heartedness, merriment, enjoyment, and joyfulness.
Though it helps, having a happy life is not dependent on circumstances. It’s dependent on us. It takes making a lot of little decisions throughout each and every day that culminate in a feeling of general happiness.
And while there’s soooooooo many ways to feel happier, here are my five tried and true ways to find a little extra happiness in the midst of everyday life.
Five Ways To Be Happier Today
1.) Take a few minutes to reflect on your blessings. There are so many blessings around us every day, but so often we fail to recognize them consciously. Do you have food to eat? Do you have clean water to drink? Do you have some kind of shelter from the elements? Do you have children? Do you have family? Do you have friends? Do you have a church you’re connected with? Is the sun shining? Has there been rain that waters the grass and makes things beautiful? Was the sunset beautiful? Did you get to hear your grandbaby’s laugh? Is your heart still beating? Write these things down. Be conscious of your blessings and keep them at the forefront of your mind.
2.) Open the shades, lay down on the couch or bed, and watch the wind play in the leaves for 2-5 minutes. Don’t think about anything, don’t worry about anything. Just enjoy. It sounds silly, but seriously, consciously taking the time to do this brings rest and a sense of well-being to the soul. Have your doubts? Try it!
3.) Speak out your history with God. Have you seen Him move in your life? Tell someone about it or reminisce about it with someone who experienced it with you. Have you seen Him answer prayers? Have you heard His quiet whisper across your heart? Has He met your longings that are so deep that they literally ache within you? Has He provided for you when you needed to see His provision? Has He sent you encouragement when you needed it? Spend some time thinking about your history with God and speak it out loud. Even pray it back to Him. Reminding ourselves what He has done in our lives gives us hope for the future and contentment for today, knowing that He is working and moving, and can and has intervened in our lives.
4.) Recognize decisions. So often we fly through our day buzzing from one thing to the next, always in a hurry, always needing to be productive, always rushing, rushing, rushing, and more often than not, taking things as they come instead of living with intentionality. However, in the midst of our days, we have the opportunity to make hundreds of decisions (read my post about it here). When those decisions come up, recognize that you have a decision to make before making it. Take even a split second to think, “I just stepped on that toy I told my daughter a million times to put away and my foot is killing me! Now I get to decide how I speak to her about it.” Or, “I’m running late, and that woman just cut me off in the parking lot, now we’re walking in at the same time. I have a decision to make about how I’m going to respond to her.” Or, “I’m hungry. There’s an apple in the fridge and a bag of chips on top. I have a decision to make about what kind of nutrition I’m going to put in my body right now.” Be aware of the decisions you face throughout your day and consciously make good decisions. Seriously, consciously and intentionally making good decisions, makes me happier and gives me a sense of empowerment as I take action to change my life for the better.
5.) Lastly, and this one is huge, and yet so difficult – disconnect. Not from people (this usually has the opposite effect of happiness) but from technology, from social media, and from being constantly “on.” Leave your phone in your purse or in the car, take a break from social media (maybe even take the app off your phone!), turn off the news, and just live in the moment. Enjoy your time with your loved ones. Actually live your life instead of just photographing and posting about it! Stop checking your email and check-in with those in the same room with you. Stop searching for recipes on Pinterest, and instead, pull out an old family-favorite, and spend the evening baking with your family. Turn off the news that thrives off fear, shock, and worry, and enjoy the world around you. Unplug from technology and plug into those you love.
We get to decide to be happy. It’s up to us. We are the determining factor. The decisions we make, what we choose to think about, how we choose to respond, what we focus on – it all determines our happiness. So, dear friend, stop waiting for the stars to align, for a set of perfect circumstances, for that job, bank account, relationship, child, or goal weight that you’re counting on to make you happy – and make the decision to be happy today! Happiness is within your grasp and just a few decisions away!
And if you’re not feeling happy today, try these five ways to be happier, and see if you don’t feel more peaceful and happy by the end of the day!
This is the second blog in an eight week series on happiness. To make sure you don’t miss the next six, sign up for my newsletter!