Thank you for all the great feedback last week after watching my interview on Good Morning Florida Keys about practicing happiness. Looks like we all want to learn how to be happier! And the good news is that you don’t have to be genetically wired to have sunshine and happiness oozing out of your pores. Nope. All you have to do is practice.
With enough practice you can train your brain to process the world differently. To see things brighter. Clearer. Fleeting and temporary. “This to shall pass” will become one of your favorite mantras.
Quite a few of you asked me for more ideas about how to practice happiness. Here are 10 tried and true ways to get your brain wired for happy.
10 Ways to Practice Happiness
1. Express Gratitude. If you’re not happy with what you have, why would you be happier with more? I suggest keeping a gratitude journal. I particularly like The Five Minute Journal. It’s a beautiful little book that helps you hone in on being thankful in just five minutes or less. Being grateful for what’s in your life currently opens your heart up to even more fulfillment and happiness.
2. Be positive! When starting a new project or relationship, create a treasure map for yourself, not an emergency exit map. I learned this concept from author Shawn Achor in his book Before Happiness. I LOVE this idea. It’s all about having a positive mindset. It’s been scientifically proven that the way you envision a project or a relationship in the beginning is the way your brain will continue to process it. So focus on being positive and investing a lot of love vibes that will result in success.
3. Clean up your insides. Don’t hold a grudge and learn to accept the apology you never got. I know. This is easier said than done. But forgiving someone doesn’t mean you have to best friends. It means you care about yourself enough to not let negative emotions eat away at you. Forgiveness is about loving yourself.
4. Change your routines. Doing the same thing every day creates ruts and make you feel blah. Try a new workout. Eat something different for breakfast. Travel to work a different way. Change your nail polish color.
5. Take chances + do things that scare you. In Pharrell Williams’s song Happy he sings, “Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.” That means feeling limitless. Fearless. When’s the last time you felt like that? If it’s been a while it’s time to do something outside your comfort zone. It’s perfectly acceptable (and actually encouraged) to blow your own mind.
6. Train like an athlete. Moving your body decreases anxiety a whopping 20%. So get moving and sweat like a champion!
7. Don’t put all your happy eggs in one basket. Engage in several things that bring you joy so that if one goes away you have others to dive into.
8. Step Outside Yourself. Volunteer. Compliment people. Remind them that what they do matters. Tell them how much better your day is because of them. The thing most people want is to feel good about themselves. Sprinkling happiness around like fairy dust is a sure way to build confidence and self-esteem in those who could use a little bump.
9. Stop worrying. It’s like praying for what you don’t want. Be logical. What are the odds of that bad thing really happening?
10. Laugh! Laughter really is the best cure. Really. It’s scientifically proven to get your heart pumping happiness all through your body. I personally love watching dog videos on YouTube when I need a good laugh.
What I love most about practicing happiness is that each and every one of us has the power and the tools to make ourselves happy. There’s no more waiting for something or someone to make us happy.
Now doesn’t that just make you smile?
P.S. If you’d like to try The Five Minute Journal click here and be sure to enter the code KARENA at the checkout. You’ll get a 10% discount for being a fan of Karousing. It’s just another reason to be happy!