What you're about to read is a list of extremely simple happiness habits and strategies. After facing back-to-back curveballs in life a few years ago I had a routine surgery and should have healed in a couple months, but instead spent most of the next seven months bed ridden. Doctors all agreed my lack of ability to get well was caused by stress, and that I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was literally on my back in bed in a life or death situation when I defiantly spent hundreds of hours researching ways to outrun nasty flashbacks, anxiety, and depression. My company’s name Happy Great Day® was no accident.😉 It's my sincere hope that at least one of these simple ideas can help you have a better day today too:
1. Eliminate All The Physical Pain That You Can Control
It's easy to lose work-life balance when I'm not mindful of reducing all the physical pain that I can control. When body parts hurt, I’m cranky, just like everybody else. Therefore, I have the best mattress and the most comfortable work chair I can afford. And after a long day of walking I switch from heels to ballet flats, which I carry in my purse and in the car.
2. Get Your Significant Other Involved In Your Social Media
There are a lot of jokes online, and I even saw a funny video about how “Instagram Husbands” dread their photo taking duties. My personal experience has been a little different because creating content as a blogger ✨team✨ has become a romantic adventure at our house.
… I can’t resist sneaking in a part B to this Happiness Habit… I plan 2-3 days completely away from social media per week instead of taking long term detox time outs. In my experience Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest enjoyed at just the right dosage can create joy and enrich your world view. I wouldn’t want to miss too many posts from people like my Instagram friend Mira @urban.league.europe. Politics within the United States are fractured and our relationships with many countries are fragile. She tells educational, heartwarming stories from Hungary that give me intercontinental hope for the world.
3. Co-parent A Pet
I mention co-parenting as an option for people with busy lives, like us. Owning a pet can be a major responsibility that limits your ability to travel. Besides the co-parenting benefit of less restrictions on your life, we’ve found that sharing Valen-Tino with his grandma makes HIM a happy camper. Our puppy fully enjoys having two homes and two toy boxes.
4. Learn To Play A Musical Instrument As An Adult
I’ve start-stopped playing guitar several times over the years and have never gotten very good. But I recently brought one along for our first major trip in the new travel van. It’s a real kick to be such a terrible musician who enjoys playing as much as I do because I have to fight perfectionist tendencies. Trust me when I say I’m not going to stress about winning a Grammy.
5. Personality Mugs
It’s fun to pick out a mug that sets the tone for the day. Our mug collection goes to the back of the cabinet. (There are a dozen more.) We serve tea to my husband’s bodybuilder son in The Incredible Hulk mug. Super Hero girlfriends get Wonder Woman. Our musician friend gets the Mozart mug.
6. Pay A Buck A Balloon
There’s something about a handful of balloons that brings out the child in all of us. I was delighted to discover that the same balloons that cost $3.00 to $6.00 each at grocery stores and florists around town only cost a buck at the Dollar Store. I like to pay then circle back around to pick them up, and I make a point of stopping in when there aren’t many cars in the parking lot so that I can get in and out in just a few minutes.
7. Two Minute Meditations
I went to a doctor for help with stress reduction, and he taught me a 2 minute meditation technique. He told me to shut my eyes, get very still, and think of a favorite destination. Try to read the following passage as slowly as you can, and completely focus if you want to feel what it's like to experience this method of relaxation:
Most of the time when I'm doing this mental exercise I go imaginary shopping at the Grove in Los Angeles, California, because I've always felt a sense of happy anticipation gliding down the luxurious outdoor mall escalator, which takes approximately a minute in real life. In my meditation I imagine myself riding on this escalator from the 7th floor parking garage to the entrance of the outdoor mall area that says, "Welcome." When I get to the bottom of the escalator I walk through the brisk crowd in the courtyard over to the Las Vegas-like water fountain, and I see the Grove trolley pass me by, full of people. From there I stroll over to my favorite Barnes and Noble's. As I come into the book store of my imagination I try to be aware of every single detail. Who ✨exactly✨ do I see working behind the counter on the first floor? There's a big banner above me promoting upcoming in-store events. What does it say? As I ride up the multi level escalator I try to notice every detail of what's happening on each floor. I'm feeling pretty good as I reach the top level where I pass the travel and nature sections and notice pretty journals for sale. I make my way on to the cafe' and order a large latte with two stevias. Then I walk to a hidden outdoor dining area just outside the bookstore. Most Angelinos don't even know about this secret gem. I sit down feeling fully relaxed and take a few appreciative deep breaths, while I enjoy the opportunity to decompress for a few minutes in the light breeze at one of my favorite nooks. Then I close my eyes even more tightly for a second more and take one last deep breath before I make a wish. When I've opened my eyes in real life to a beautiful day a lot of the wishes I've made over the last couple years have come true.
8. Give The Boys Their Own Separate Work Space
One of the secrets to my happy marriage is that we have different work areas set up in our tiny 649 square foot condo. I generally sit in the front, while my husband and Valen-Tino hang in the back, or on the porch.
If you’ve enjoyed this article please take the time to share one Happiness Habit or idea that works for you in the comments below.
Suzana Barton is the the founder of www.happygreatday.com , a travel and fashion blog. She researches simple ideas to put a smile on your face. 👠💛🚐🧡✈️