I’m sure you’ve heard countless times by now how happiness is not an end goal, that it’s a journey. That it’s a choice. That you can always have access to it. And while all of those things are true, I just want to add that happiness is something that you fight for. You fight with expectations, with other people, and most of all yourself, in order to make happiness a journey, a choice, and accessible. And it’s pretty damn hard to do that.
I’ve talked about before how last year was full of hardship and how that had propelled me to shift my perspective on life and make small choices with significant impact. I didn’t realize at the time what would happen after doing all of those little things. I also didn’t realize just how duality shapes us: It wasn’t until I had gone through a little Hell that I was able to appreciate the little bits of Heaven lying around.
These little changes have made me into a significantly different (and I would argue better) person. Who’da thunk it that I would become even more patient and introspective? Not me. I guess we can surprise ourselves every day if we wanted to.
So, I have a few little things I’ve started to do keep that happiness up:
1. Fist pumping or dancing right when I wake up – a little weird, yes, but it’s amazing how much a difference this can make, and right at the start of your day!
2. Meditating – this can even be just consciously inhaling and exhaling for a minute. It’s even better if you do this while lifting the corners of your lips.
3. Singing and dancing more – even when there’s no music on, or you’re doing work, or you’re standing in line. See how it affects your interaction with everyone else.
4. Doing random acts of kindness – hold the door open for someone who’s more than 10 steps away, say hello to a stranger, compliment your family and friends more often… there are so many little things that you can do to make another person’s day brighter.
5. Counting your blessings – you don’t have to keep a tally of these, but thinking of a certain number of things that you’re grateful for will remind you to look for the good in your life.
I’ve had to make a habit of doing these things, on top of everything else I’ve been learning, and it’s been working really well so far. So well that I haven’t felt a huge desire to write. I’ve noticed that I’ve been writing whenever I want to re-frame a negative experience or emotion into something more positive, and lately I haven’t had much negativity in my life. But it’s good to write when you’re in a good mood just to make writing an even better experience.