Happiness is a choice. I believe that with everything in me. However, I might be one of very few people that does. At any given moment, we have the choice to spread joy and kindness to others, to create a positive ripple in our surroundings, or we can be pessimistic, annoyed, angry and mean.
It’s up to us.
It’s not always easy to choose happiness, but I think it’s a lot easier than we think.
Here’s a few ideas about how we could choose happiness.
- Play with your kids
Today I was getting dressed for the day when my 4 year old daughter Adelynn ran up to me…. “Mommy! I need an apple! I need it for my Unicorn!”
Adelynn has the most vibrant imagination. She speaks her own language half the time and is always telling me about her friends, brothers, sisters, pets… most of them I can’t see! She showed me a large folded up blanket on the bed and insisted it was her Unicorn friend Leesa (I think this is a cool way to spell Lisa…)
If there is anything I’ve learned the past few months hanging around with a 4 year old, and a 1 year old (Her sister Felicity is 18 months old) it’s that there is nothing that they can’t imagine in their little heads. I realized recently that I’ve totally forgotten what it was like to imagine things, places, pets and friends like I used to when I was a little kid.
So I got Leesa an apple, from my pocket 🙂
- Go pick some flowers
We moved down to Virginia about 3 months ago, and one thing that is very evident down here is the abundance of natural beauty. There are flowers everywhere… there is greenery everywhere! I remember when I lived in NY and we bought a beautiful magenta colored hydrangea plant. Well… that poor thing died within 3 weeks. Last week the girls and I were walking in our neighborhood (another great thing to do to induce happiness… see #4) and I noticed all of the beautiful colored hydrangeas! Blues, purples, magentas… just gorgeous! Last weekend I walked around my yard and snipped a beautiful little bunch of bright blue hydrangeas and they are sitting on my desk alive and vibrant as I type this. My mom (and her flower wisdom!) says that they love the salty air! Who knew? They make me so happy.
- Send someone a card
I am old fashioned I suppose but I still use pens and write things down. Sure my hands cramp up, but that’s okay! Last week I was getting ready to write out my normal rent check. Every time I mail it to my landlady, I just send the check in an envelope by itself… but something in me this time said to send a card. I went into my desk and found a beautiful little stationary blank card and wrote my landlady a letter. I told her how much we love the house, how I’ve got a beautiful office area set up, how we love the neighborhood, and of course, a check for her. I can guarantee that it will make her smile. It made me smile to write it!
- Go for a walk!
I want to say weather permitting… but even still, if you own an umbrella or some fancy rain boots, get your booty outside and go for a stroll! Me and the girls started walking around the neighborhood we live in and I’m just in LOVE with our area! I had no idea, but the Lafayette-Winona district that we live in, in Norfolk VA is actually on the National Register of Historic Places! How cool is that?! Not to mention the houses around here… they are all so beautiful! There is such an awesome eclectic feel to all of them, they aren’t cookie cutter homes at all. I get all these ideas when I walk around our neighborhood of things I want to try at our house, I see all these beautiful gardens, flowers, meet nice people who are willing to chat for a minute! I even found out there’s a house a few blocks over, that is a legit castle! With those castle peaks and all! Craaaazy!
- Create a ‘Love List’
This is something I’ve always encouraged people to do… it’s super easy and it’s an awesome way to see the power of our thinking, and how The Law of Attraction works. A Love List is basically a list of things that you love! You can set a timer for 60 seconds and just start writing down everything you love. Like this!
- My mom
- My sister
- Family picnics
- Going to the beach
- Swimming in the ocean
- Picking out seashells
- Palm trees
- Flying in airplanes
- The bright sunshine
- The moon
- Star gazing
- Tarot cards
- The high priestess
So… there’s a quick example. If you look, you’ll see how there gets to be a theme, and how we bounce around… but it’ so cool to see a train of thought at work! I used to keep a running Word document up at all times when I had my corporate job. I would just think of something I loved and add it to the document. By the time I was ‘done’ (we’re never really done!) I had like 600 things on that list!
- Light a candle, or incense or a fireplace
It’s turned into quite the ritual with me, but whenever I sit down at my desk to do something, I pull out some incense. I also LOVE candles. I could spend thousands of dollars on candles… they never get old.
To me, my house feels so inviting when there is a pleasant smell whether it’s a candle, a fire in the fireplace, or incense burning. They say that our sense of smell is a wonderful way to jog the memory. The incense I have is Pinon … and on the box it says ‘Incense of the West’… now that just makes me think of huge forests, camping in the woods, cozy nights… It’s wonderful. I go into my bathroom and it smells fresh and clean because of the pretty candle I have burning… When we lived in our house in the mountains, one of the best parts was the MASSIVE stone fireplace we had. One of my favorite things in the world is to sit in front of a nice fire.
- Look at old pictures
Photo albums (that aren’t on Facebook!) actually do still exist… although they are harder and harder to find. I remember last year wanting to buy a photo album for a new mom and it wasn’t the easiest task! However, I did find one (thanks Hobby Lobby!). Then when Adelynn had her 4th Birthday I also made her a photo album because she LOVES to look at pictures. If we have somewhere to go and I want her to sit still, I give her my phone and let her flip through the image gallery. Sometimes, I’ll go on Facebook too and pick a year, and go through pictures. It’s so neat to see how things change, and how much they may even stay the same! My mom has amazing old photo albums… some of them look more like pillows than albums! That used to be one of my favorite things to do when we were kids. I remember cleaning out underneath my bed one day and finding an old yearbook… and losing about 2 hours down memory lane.
- Play with colors!
One of my best friends, Sam, has been so ahead of the ‘mindful coloring’ craze! That girl is the same age as me, and has been playing with crayolas all her life. She’s very wise. For Christmas, Santa brought Adelynn a HUGE coloring kit, with markers, crayons and colored pencils. I have to say, one of my favorite parts of the day is when Adelynn and I sit down at the dining room table and color together.
We both get very caught up in it, but it’s also very relaxing! I can almost feel the calm radiating across the table. You don’t have to be an “artist”… but you could also just go pull out some watercolors and paint the blue hydrangeas (see tip #2!) on your desk, or sketch a picture of your new favorite Tarot card! Creative expression is nothing to judge, just let it flow and see how it puts you in a wonderful mood!
- Laugh out Loud!
Two words. Pandora Comedy. Yup, it’s a real thing. It’s actually one of the greatest things I can talk about. My husband and I have road-tripped all over the east coast, and it’s what gets us to and from our destinations alive, awake and energized! I remember driving to Florida from NY in the middle of the night. It was about 2am and I was zonked out… then I heard my husband Jeramie laugh so hard, his seat was shaking, and I woke right up! I looked over, and saw tears in his eyes because of what Kevin Hart was ranting about on a comedy skit. When I was working in the corporate world, I would listen to Pandora Comedy on my earbuds at my cubicle… more than one time my co-workers would look back at me to see if I was okay because I was trying not to snort from laughter. Laughter is the greatest cure to anything!
I’ll be brief…. But meditation is a topic I love to talk about. Now we can call it meditation, or mindfulness, or any other term you want… but basically we are just looking to sit in peace for a bit and let some of the noise in our head simmer. Actually, all of the above tips could be used as a form of meditation. For me, I love YouTube. I usually will go on there and look up some kind of ‘meditation music’ or instrumental music, or tibetan song bowls… whatever you like, and sit with that for 10 minutes or so. Even 5 minutes… Just enough time to feel yourself calm down a bit and reconnect. The goal isn’t to ever stop thoughts… they never will 😉 The goal is to just heighten the awareness a little bit, to find some inner peace, to accept yourself more and to just Be. Don’t expect a lot to happen, just go in with an openness and you’re good to go. I’ll tell you, I used to be the ‘crazy’ person at my day job. I would reserve a conference room for 10 minutes and go in with my earbuds and meditate in a leather office chair. I think that was a huge factor as to why I was also the designated ‘happy person’ at that job too!
Well there we have it friends!
10 easy to do, no money required (except maybe for a postage stamp and some crayons) ways to be happy. Do them all today, do one this week, or ½ of one this month and you’re in good shape!
Happiness is a choice… choice is yours!