Have you ever felt like happiness seems to be hiding behind all the projects or family plans we have going on during our day, that as soon as you get them done you can relax and be happy? Why do we allow our happiness to be controlled by our daily outcomes? Why can’t we be happy all the time? These are questions I have asked myself or had clients ask me. I would like to share with you a few exercises you can do that are proven to help increase your happiness, no matter what we have going on or what happens during our day.
Exercise 1: Count the Good Things
Items needed: Private journal and a nice pen.
Before you go to bed at night, take about 10 minutes to think about all the good things that have happened during your day. Write them down in a list and beside each one tell why each of those things happened. Then think and write about how these events impacted you in a positive way, how would they have impacted you if they didn’t happen? Then write down 3 things you can do to continue living in a state of thankfulness. On the following days, write down all the good things that happen or how you have changed a bad situation into a more positive one.
Exercise 2: Care and Share
Items needed: Thank you card, nice pen, maybe scrapbooking (if you are into that)
In this exercise, think of a person that has done something that changed your life in a positive way. Someone you have never really thanked properly. In a letter or card, write to them thanking them for the exact thing that has changed your life. Be as specific and detailed as you can. Don’t just put it in an envelope…reread what you wrote and polish it up if need be. Rewrite it on a homemade card or something you scrapbooked for them, or simply write it in your best handwriting on some nice paper. Next instead of putting this into the mailbox, you can hand deliver it to your influential or inspirational person. Being there face to face is very personal and will bring you amazing happiness just to see the facial expressions they share. A true way to connect. If you are unable to meet with them face to face, SKYPE with them and read them the letter and then send it to them in the mail.
Exercise 3: Be Creative with Your Signature Strengths
Items needed: Piece of paper, pen, commitment
Signature strengths: Humor, Bravery, Self-regulation, Persistence, Kindness, Love of Learning, Creativity, Forgiveness and Mercy, Fairness, Spirituality, Integrity, Perspective, Social Intelligence, Humility and Modesty, Vitality, Hope, Leadership
Write out your signature strengths from above. Think of ways you already use those strengths and brainstorm on the ways that you can use them more in specific ways. Then commit. Commit to using your signature strengths during the week. When you complete one of your strengths, check it off and if you feel comfortable, share it on social media or with a friend.
For more information on signature strengths see https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/
I understand that our days can be hectic and one more thing added to our list is almost too hard to bare, but from personal experience, I can tell you, I am a much happier person when I take time to cultivate my seed of happiness. Some of these exercises will take about 10 minutes to complete and some longer, but choose which one of these fits best in your life and commit to it. Take the time to do these exercises and it will fuel your happiness and those you encounter. Plant a seed of happiness today in your life and watch it bloom in as short as 7 days into a genuine and authentic joy.
Have a happy day!