10 Ways to Practice Happiness
“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” -Dalai Lama
When it comes to the quest for greater happiness, waiting and hoping are out. Learning and practicing are in. Here’s how to create your own happy reality – starting now.
1. Smile. Not only will a smile make you feel happier, it will actually boost your health and make you appear more attractive and friendlier to others. An added plus: it’s contagious. Pass the goods around!
2. Appreciate and be Grateful. When I was a child, I was taught this prayer: “Thank you for the food we eat. Thank you for the world so sweet. Thank you for the birds that sing. That you, God, for everything.” Repeating that little chant is still a great way to begin and end the day. Being appreciative of and grateful for life’s bounties opens and warms your heart.
3. Take Relaxation Breaks. Stretch, breathe, take a walk, take a nap, chill with some beautiful music, practice meditation. Even a minute or two of relaxation can revive you in the midst of a busy day, refresh your mind and restore your perspective.
4. Indulge in a Hobby. Find something that fascinates or interests you and create an island of time to pursue it. Engagement in an interesting activity adds satisfaction and meaning to life.
5. Embrace new possibilities. Take time now and then to look at the dreams you have placed in the cupboard labeled “Someday,” and brainstorm ways you could begin taking baby steps in the direction of the ones that hold the greatest appeal. What would it thrill you to achieve?
6. Savor your accomplishments. Take time to review your achievements and successes, to revel is the satisfaction and pride they yield, to feel the expanded sense of confidence and vitality they brought you. Go ahead, pat yourself on the back!
7. Have fun. Go play! Life’s too short not to spend some of it laughing.
8. Open to Inspiration. Make time for things that lift your spirit, that put you in touch with your sense of connection with the best in you, with the Grand Largeness that sings through life, through you, through all that is.
9. Reclaim Your Sense of Wonder. Stand and look at the sky and realize it goes on and on and on, that beyond the range of your vision whole galaxies dance. Look at your hands and think about all they can do, so effortlessly, while nerves and muscles and cells bow to your unspoken commands. Look at a square inch of earth and think about all that’s going on there. Think about mountains rising from the seas, about the mysteries of weather, about the birth of a child.
10. Let Yourself Love. Look at the people around you and open your heart to their amazing uniqueness, their one-of-a-kind being. Love the ways they move and walk and talk and all the emotions they kindle within you in a dance of interaction. Love the person in the mirror. Love the strangers you pass on the street, the little child across the globe whose face you will never see, the generations who have gone before us and on whose legacies we build. Love the Mystery that brought us into being, the Creative Source from which we somehow came. Love with kindness, and gratitude, and appreciation. Love with every ounce of you, with every molecule of you, and you will know the highest happiness of all.