With the rise of gratitude journals and daily affirmations, you likely know how important it is to see the silver lining. But when you are stressed from work, your relationship, friendships or finances, it can be tough to take a moment and look at the things that are going right, instead of the ones that are causing you anxiety. As hard as we try to be mindful and present, let’s be real: sometimes it feels as though we are in auto pilot and life is passing us by. But if you’re always thinking ten steps ahead of what’s happening right now, you’ll never be able to savor the beauty found in some of life’s simplest – and yet, most impactful – moments.
If you want to see – and savor! – the joy of your life every single day, here are five effective strategies that will help you experience the happy parts, no matter what:
Move your body
Exercise is the key to living a happy, balanced life. But if you hate running and you force yourself to log miles, you probably won’t admire the flowers blooming along your path because you’ll be focused on how sore your legs are. The solution? Find a type of exercise that you enjoy and look forward to going to. Yoga is especially great after a long stressful day because it gives you strength and peace of mind. Also, when you feel like you have not eaten the healthiest throughout the day, exercise can help you restart your habits. Lastly, it will help boost energy when you are feeling tired!
Choose your company wisely
Having a good friend is important in keeping your morale high and focused. Even if you just need a quick pick-me-up from a friend, a two-minute phone call can go a long way. Friends help brighten your day and studies have shown that healthy, supportive friendships help you live longer, as well as boost your immune system.
Friends help you feel connected to something outside of yourself; sometimes we feel trapped or smothered inside our own thoughts, connecting with friends and help us get unstuck. But just like you’re being mindful of your thoughts and your perceptions, be choosy with who you decide to share your time with. A negative attitude can make it even harder to see the happiness around you.
Listen to good tunes
Music has the ability to change your mood almost immediately. Just consider your favorite class: it probably has the right type of songs that motivate you to push harder and faster. Take time creating a playlist that will get you out of your seat (and your head!) and dancing, and continue to add new upbeat songs to help get through rough days. If you need help getting started, find inspiration by following ClassPass on Spotify.
Write down the good stuff
If someone compliments your shoes or you get a good review from a co-worker, you feel good. Or, even noticing a stranger help another stranger out can help you see how much goodness there really is out there. Why not take five minutes – legit, that’s all it takes! – to document the things that made you happy? We’re sure you can find at least one each day.
If journaling is too old school, write it on your smartphone notepad! (Psst: some journal ideas here.) Seeing on paper (or on your phone) the encouraging, inspiring things that happened during the day will reinforce positivity in your life and help you keep happy thing at the forefront of your mind.
Be mindful of your thoughts
We’re definitely our own worst critics and often, the language we use to talk to ourselves is not the same we use with our co-workers, friends or frankly, strangers. Tell yourself, “I can do this” or “I can get through this” or “I deserve this.” It is important to speak kindly to yourself and always view yourself is an empowering way. Daily affirmations reinforce a positive outlook any person should have. A positive attitude toward oneself is key to maintaining happiness and emotional stability.