Your happiness is your responsibility. That may sound a little like tough love, but it's actually just a reminder to you that your happiness is within your control. And isn't that good news?
When you tie your happiness to external factors (like other people) you aren't in the director's chair of your own life ... and who wants that? So create your own happiness with these six ways to raise your joy.
1. Write your achievements.
Train your mind to find the positive by listing your achievements. Write down physical achievements, personal achievements, goals you've met, things you have done, and places you have visited. Too often we spend time thinking about what isn't right with us instead of focusing on what's right.
2. Decide to make yourself a priority.
You shouldn't only think of yourself on a random girls' night or on your birthday. Show yourself some love by prioritizing your well-being. Load up your iPhone with your favorite music. Call a friend. Take a cat nap. Get a pedicure. Have a massage. Read a book before you drift off to sleep. Take a walk. Peruse your favorite bookstore or hide out in a coffee shop for 30 minutes. If you aren't accustomed to making yourself a priority, maybe you have to tap into your list-making skills here too.
Write this at the top: Ways to Make Myself a Priority. Now write your fabulous list that's tailored specifically to the things you find enjoyable. Pay attention to those activities that have a tendency to recharge your battery, so to speak. Carve out time for yourself even if you have to plan it and align the sun, moon and stars. You matter that much.
3. Fill your day with tiny things you love.
Sometimes happiness is in the details. Make sure your daily details work for you. Maybe it's your favorite cup of coffee or tea, a beautiful sunrise in the morning, a cozy sweater, your favorite yoga pants or a delicious meal in your slow cooker. Hang up a quote that inspires you or a picture that makes you feel peaceful and calm. Just ask yourself: In what way can I introduce tiny things into my day (all day long) that lift my mood?
4. Create visuals of your awesomeness.
OK, hear me out. There's a family I know who are avid cyclists.Every time they do a ride or a race, they keep their race bibs and plaster their garage wall with them. It inspires their young boys to continue with their athleticism and it serves as a colorful visual reminder of how many races they have done. How cool is that?
Maybe you compile your 5k race photos into an inspiring collage? Perhaps your visual awesomeness is how healthy and glowing you and your spouse looked on vacation. Display that photo! Into yoga? Have a friend snap that shot of you perfecting your pose and keep it on your desk. Our bodies are amazing. Celebrate yours by showcasing it visually. Everyone has something about themselves that they love. (C'mon, admit it.)
5. Do something new.
It's easy to get stuck in routines. You can get renewed energy from trying something you've never tried before. Maybe it's a new fitness gadget or a type of exercise you never thought you'd try. (Okay, another story here, different friend. She tried spinning and loved it. Loved the dark room, the adrenaline-pumping music and getting lost for an hour in an intense ride and sweat!) Get super-charged with a new playlist or invite a new friend to lunch. New experiences remind us that we're alive and that life is full of surprises.
6. Craft your day to create a win.
I bet you could tell me right now what needs to happen today for you to consider today to be A WIN (or a success)! Instead of getting stuck in procrastination or lost in the midst of your TO DO list, determine the one thing you'd be most happy about accomplishing today and then tackle it. Wrestle it to the ground and get er' done, first thing. If you can name "your win" you're half way there.
Now do it and feel amazing about your day. Too often we save our most important items for the end of the day to tackle once we get all the little things out of the way. Try the opposite instead; go after your big win because it makes you feel accomplished and cheery!
Don't you feel happier already? Now go out and share your smile with someone else. You will be happy you did.
About the Author
Chris Freytag is a nationally recognized fitness expert, public speaker, contributing editor to Prevention magazine and an author. Her latest books are Get Started with Weight Loss, and Get Started with Clean Eating (and a vegetarian version). Chris also has a healthy cookbook titled, CHOOSE THIS! Chris shares her tips weekly on the Minneapolis NBC affiliate and has appeared on the Today Showand Lifetime TV. She has dozens of workout DVDs; the latest is her ACE HIIT series. Chris is passionate about helping people live healthier lives, and works with adults, kids, and athletes, as well as several nonprofit organizations helping youth get active. Live life from a positive place and Love Your Body!
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