I’m a long time listener of the podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin as well as Happier in Hollywood with Liz Craft (Gretchen’s sister) and Sara Fain. As you can probably tell, both of these podcasts promote being happier and I’m a big proponent of that, too. Today I’m sharing 3 things I am doing right now to make myself happier.
- The first is one I actually got from the podcast and that is to do something that will make my future self happier. That may sound strange but it’s actually pretty simple when you think of it. It’s really just a trick to prevent procrastination but I use it a lot. Sometimes it’s a simple as getting gas on the way home from work instead of putting it off until the morning and sometimes it’s more complex like doing a report I don’t feel like doing on a Wednesday afternoon so that I won’t wake up in the night thinking about how I have to get that damn report done. (Yes. That’s what I did yesterday.) And really, this can be applied to so many things! Do I necessarily feel like making a pot of soup on a Sunday afternoon? Nope. But will I be making my Wednesday self happy because lunch will be in the fridge and I won’t have to get expensive and not so great take out? Absolutely. I bet as you’re reading this you can think of something you can do today that your future self will thank you for.
- I just recently started keeping a gratitude journal. This is something I have struggled with in the past but this new routine I have of just writing down 5 things while I wait for my coffee to brew is really working for me. It’s fast and easy and it starts my day on a truly positive note. I tend to think of things that happened the previous day and I’ve even caught myself thinking throughout the day about whether something is worthy of putting in the gratitude journal the next morning. Sometimes I feel like I’m just writing down my 5 favorite things about the previous day but I’m working on that and trying to notice whether I’m feeling grateful about something or whether I’m just glad something happened. And honestly, maybe that distinction doesn’t even matter. The point is that writing about things I’m grateful for is making me happier.
- This one might seem counterintuitive but the third thing I’m doing to make myself happier is just not worrying about whether I’m feeling happy or not. I mean, I’m a generally happy person and I operate on an even keel most of the time. I’ve found myself in a funk now and again recently, though, and my initial reaction was to analyze my feelings and figure out why I felt off/upset/edgy. I wondered if it was something with the moon cycle or hormones or my life coaching work. And then a friend, a very wise friend, said to me, don’t worry so much about why you feel this way. Think about how you are feeling and then lean in to those feelings. Really? Lean in? Lean in to the sadness and upset? That seemed so weird to me but I trust this person so I did it. I let myself feel my feelings, I literally pictured myself leaning forward into a sort of blue cloud, and guess what? I started to feel better. I didn’t need to analyze anything, I didn’t need to ignore the feelings or stifle the feelings or discuss the feelings, I just needed to feel the freaking feelings. It helped. A lot. And I’m sort of amazed.
Can you think of something you can do right now to make yourself happier? I bet you can.
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