Happiness is more than a feeling of positivity or contentment. It’s a full-body experience that has the power to change our world. In our finding happiness quest, let’s add several practices to our everyday lives.
Recognize Negativity Bias
Most of us accentuate the negative and forget the positive. Recognizing this tendency is the first step to overcoming it. Then, we can practice compassion, reframing and gratitude as we replace negativity with positivity.
Connect With Uncomfortable Emotions
Repressing difficult emotions may make us feel better in the short term. But denial and toxic positivity suppress our immune system and dysregulate our nervous system. Instead, we support happiness when we process all our emotions. With self-compassion, we can acknowledge our feelings, pause and breathe, and decide what we need to recover.
Enjoy the Moment
We often spend so much time anticipating the future and waiting for the next big thing that we miss the blessings of today. Remaining in the present moment helps us cultivate gratitude, joy, and happiness.
Meditation allows us to pause and reframe negative or difficult feelings and thoughts. We can find happiness through meditative practices. For example, try deep breathing, taking a moment of silence, moving with purpose, listening to music, unplugging from digital devices, or envisioning a happy place.
Indeed, we can’t avoid all stressors. However, we can notice, reduce and manage the harmful stressors we face. For example, we may decide to pre-plan weekly meals, delegate chores and learn to advocate for ourselves.
Remember Our Accomplishments
Comparing ourselves to others will steal our joy and happiness. Instead, we can remember everything we do well and celebrate all the little wins.
We are social beings who need connection, and spending time with friends can boost our happiness. To find friends who encourage, uplift and support us, we can join professional, social or civic organizations.
Being thankful for big things like a promotion and small things like warm sunshine improves our mood. So, let’s develop the habit of recording our gratitude in a journal and sharing our list with others.
Tune Into the Body
Our bodies support our hearts, emotions and well-being. In fact, it’s almost impossible to feel happy when we’re tired, hungry or in pain. That’s why we want to prioritize regular physical self-care with sleep hygiene, a balanced diet and movement.
Grudges hold us hostage to the past. But offering forgiveness frees us to feel lighter, more joyful and happier. So, if possible, let’s talk through our feelings with the person who offended us or write a letter we then burn or shred.
Volunteering gives us a new perspective. We can feel momentary and long-term happiness when we give back and volunteer our time with a meaningful cause or organization.
Finding happiness might require professional assistance. Meeting with a therapist teaches us how to handle problems, overcome obstacles and develop coping skills.
Finding Happiness is Possible
We women can accomplish anything we set our minds to. So why not add happiness to that list? Take steps today, this week, this month, and this year to cultivate happy habits and change our outlook, mood and perspective on life.