Change can be a great thing. A new routine or a new perspective can really revitalize your life and sense of well-being, but what about the times when change presents a challenge? How can you build up your energy and joy when changes in your life leave you feeling drained?
The truth is that you can easily bolster your happiness in your everyday life. Better yet, when you’re connected to your sense of joy, you’re better equipped to work with change when it comes your way.
We all too often forget that happiness takes practice, but the good news is that small things can make a big impact on your sense of well-being.
Here are 5 small things you can do to cultivate happiness in your day-to-day life, no matter what comes your way:
1. Start each day on a positive note.
The first few moments of your day can set the tone for the rest of it, so start each morning with a quiet moment, an affirmation, a journal entry or any other activity that helps you tune into your feelings and intentions for your day.
2. Focus (no, really FOCUS) on recognizing your feelings of joy throughout the day.
What you focus on gets stronger. Unfortunately, we often focus on what makes us unhappy rather than what brings us joy. Make an effort to recognize what’s going well in your day and be present to the things you enjoy.
3. Think of what ACTUALLY makes you happy.
This may seem like a no-brainer but it’s actually something we often overlook. What brings you the most pleasure and happiness? Time by yourself? Or time with others? A home-cooked meal or take-out and a movie? Becoming conscious of the things you most enjoy means that you will choose them more often.
4. Say “thank you” and practice expressing your gratitude.
To yourself, your partner, your child or co-worker. Make a point to express your gratitude for what’s working in your life. Showing your appreciation will immediately make you and the person you’re thanking feel more positive, and by expressing gratitude for the things the people around you do, you reinforce the positive behavior as well as the positive feeling.
5. Take time to appreciate what you have — here and now.
Slow down and savor the good parts of your life. Pay attention when you’re eating something delicious. Chose to really listen to your friend while they’re talking. Take the time to notice what’s around you on your daily walk or drive. The more present you can be to what you’re experiencing, the better.
Life is always a mix of things. No matter how bad a day seems, there’s always something in it that’s positive. Use the list above to help you focus in on the good that’s present in life’s daily events. These simple things can add up quick and drastically increase your happiness.