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The past six and a half months have tested my “gangsta.” Some days I wake up, and I am the happiest I have ever been, and other days, I am sad, crying, and feel like life is getting the best of me. Postpartum has really been something that I thought you conquer one day, and then bam you are done. Still, being in it, I realize that it’s an everyday challenge you have to do to ensure that you find happiness in every moment.
I had a lot happen in such a short period. I got married, got our puppy, Cooper, got pregnant, got a house, and had Noah. Then RONA! Enough said! But through it all, I have learned that finding happiness doesn’t have to be this overt action or thing that happens. It can be something like watching YouTube videos or talking to my family on facetime. Everyone wants to be happy. Even animals are instinctively driven toward comfort and away from discomfort.
There are many simple and easy things you can do each day to increase the odds of feeling happy. You’ll enjoy doing them! They’re self-rewarding behaviors.
Take control of your happiness with these ideas:
- Listen to music that you love. There aren’t many things that can influence your emotions faster than hearing a song that you love. You can find just about any song you please online for free these days. Set aside a few minutes each day to listen to a song or two that boosts your mood.
- Be grateful. It only takes a moment to think of the good things in your life. You probably have food to eat, a friend or two, or a place to sleep that’s out of the rain. In fact, you probably have more than that. Remind yourself of the good things you have instead of focusing on the things you lack.
- Spend some time outdoors. Sit in the sun, take a walk, or work in the garden. Your mind, body, and spirit need a little sun and fresh air each day. It can do wonders for your outlook on life.
- Think happy thoughts. Your thoughts lead to your emotions. If you think about something stressful, you’ll feel stressed. Think about something that makes you happy, and you’ll feel more satisfied. What are your happiest memories? There’s no harm in spending a few minutes thinking some happy thoughts!
Take it Day by Day
- Make progress. Studies have shown that one of the most potent ways to increase happiness is to progress toward a goal. It could be doing one extra push up, learning a new word in Italian, losing a pound, or learning a new scale on the piano. It doesn’t take a lot of progress to feel good.
- Spend time with others. Back in the day, it was hard to find time to spend by yourself, but we’re more isolated. We chat with people online, text, and spend a lot of time alone. It’s essential to have a meaningful face-to-face conversation once in a while.
- Forgive quickly. It’s very challenging to be happy when you’re holding a grudge. Forgive quickly and easily if you want to be more satisfied. That doesn’t mean you have to give the other person another chance. Forgiving someone doesn’t have to include the possibility of a repeat performance.
- Be optimistic. An optimistic perspective produces a happier mood than a pessimistic outlook. It’s essential to be realistic, too. Foolish optimism might feel good at the moment, but the pain is on its way. Have a hopeful, but reasonable, outlook on life.
- Exercise. If you’ve been sitting all day, going for a long walk or a bike ride changes how you feel for the better. Being sedentary is hard on your mood. A little exercise can definitely boost your happiness.
- Relax. Relax at least once each day. You could close your eyes and sit in the sun. Meditate. Take a nap. Do a little yoga. It’s up to you. Stress is an obstacle to happiness.
You don’t need a million dollars, a yacht, or a full-time housekeeper to be happy. A few simple behaviors done daily can move you closer to feeling happy each day.
What are you prepared to do today to enhance your happiness? Make a plan and add to your positive emotions.