7 Daily Habits Guaranteed to Make You Happier
Who do you normally not thank? Perhaps it's somebody who is doing a service you've paid for, so you don't think it's necessary to say thank you. Go ahead and say it. Instead of just telling your partner, "I love you," thank him or her for something you usually take for granted. Thank a stranger for wearing a colorful outfit that brightened your day! It takes 15 seconds, but the impact will last much longer.
2. Honor yourself for something you did today that reflects the best of who you are.
Normally, we go through the day gathering evidence of our failures and overlooking our inner triumphs. "I shouldn't have done that. I shouldn't have said that. I shouldn't have eaten that." This is such an unloving thing to do. Honor yourself for something you did that reflects your best self. "I was about to be sarcastic with someone, but instead I took a breath and said, 'I understand how stressful this has been.'" "I noticed that a woman dropped a shopping list on the floor of the store, so I picked it up and gave it to her." "I was stuck in traffic and instead of swearing, I used the time to listen to an uplifting recorded lecture."
3. Forgive yourself for something you did today that reflects less than the best of who you are.
Every day, we each do things we wish we hadn't or we realize we could have done better. Again, instead of using what you notice to criticize or punish yourself, note what you'd like to improve. Hold the thought of whatever it is you're unhappy about, and have the intention of washing it with forgiveness.
4. Feel compassion for someone you would normally judge.
During a typical day, you will inevitably encounter people who annoy, irritate or anger you: the person driving too slowly in front of you, the less-than-articulate customer service representative on the phone, the grumpy co-worker. Just for one moment, try to find a compassionate place from which to view them. Remember: You can feel compassion for people and still not think that what they did was correct. Simply think: "I'm sorry for your unhappiness. May you find peace." Just by offering this thought, you will instantly raise yourself up to a more peaceful, loving vibration.
5. See something you would normally take for granted as miraculous.
There are a million everyday miracles we miss because we aren't paying attention. Choose just one and experience it for the astonishing wonder that it is. Take 30 seconds to emotionally immerse yourself in it. Notice the beauty of the tall, graceful tree outside your window; appreciate the fact that your hand can move if you simply think, "Move"; watch a bird take flight and marvel at its freedom; walk through the supermarket and feel amazement at the abundance of food gathered there for you. By placing your attention on the sublime hidden within the ordinary, you'll lift your consciousness.
6. Express your love in a way that is unexpected, or to someone who isn't expecting it.
Call or text someone and let that person know you love him or her. Write an old high school friend that you were thinking of him or her with gratitude. You must have 365 people in your life, so you can reach out to someone every day. Leave a note. Buy flowers. Say something you normally wouldn't say or do. Be creative!
7. For one full minute, stop whatever you are doing. Be deeply grateful for the gift of this day and of your life.
Even if you forget to do any of the other actions, I recommend you try practicing this one. I enjoy doing this first thing in the morning. Each time I proclaim, "Today, I am alive!" I'm recalibrated to the highest truth, and no matter how long my list of tasks, or what challenges await me, I've already put it all in perspective.
Reprinted with permission from The Choice for Love: Entering into a New, Enlightened Relationship with Yourself, Others & the World, by Dr. Barbara De Angelis, published by Hay House (February 2017).