Sometimes the weight of a lost relationship, car accident, catastrophe, lost income, or maybe an impending decision can leave you feeling down. Putting yourself on full throttle to help someone else without a good ending can make you feel underappreciated. It's easy to slip into a place of complacency that things aren't going your way. Maybe this will offer an uplifting way to change that complacency?
Happiness can come from many things in life. Things can be prized relationships, prized possessions, prized places, or just about anything as we all perceive happiness at different levels and times.
I subscribe to Oprah's Inspirational Newsletter and this week one of the articles, "7 Habits Guaranteed to Make you Happier" inspired me to share these insights. These 7 habits aren't difficult, but oftentimes we don't remember to practice these to live our happiest lives. We could be uplifted easily by making these a habit.
"Thank someone you would not normally thank." Recently, I was in a restaurant with a bathroom attendant. Normally, I tip $1 for that dollop of lotion out of habit. To some, this is an annoying service, but that day I really appreciated it because my nails are thin and my hands dry. That dollop of lotion wasn't just an ordinary lotion, it had no scent. I rarely ever use anything with a scent for me and for others. That day, I tipped her more than a $1. She was truly grateful. Her parade of lotions only had one without a scent, but that one made all the difference in the world to me at that moment. It felt good and her smile radiated. She probably doesn't earn a lot of money and I felt good sharing mine.
"Honor yourself for something you did today that represents the best of who you are." Did you answer back to a service professional, "I'm fine, how are you?" Look at them in the eye and be grateful for that one moment when you can make someone else smile, make someone's day. You'll receive a lot more than you give. You are the reason that person smiled. You are the reason that person now has a spring in their step.
"Forgive yourself today for something that makes you feel less than the best of who you are." In the past I gave a less than flattering response to a young photographer who was new in the business. I realized later she might have read emotion into my email and been depressed about her service. Even though I called and left her a voicemail of apology in case she misunderstand me, that email still haunts me. Today, I forgive myself! The articles says that we should "hold the thought of whatever it is we're unhappy about, and have the intention of washing it with forgiveness."
"Feel compassion for someone you would normally judge. " This is a tough one, not in it's completion, but we would never say out loud that we are judging someone (as real estate agents.) Fair Housing violation comes to mind. So in your own mind, consider how you perceive people. Are you judging everyone equally? Or is there someone you perceive differently? This doesn't mean you have to agree with the person entirely, but as the article states to reflect that "I'm sorry for your unhappiness. May you find peace." Mentally offering that is a way of moving past a judgement.
"See something you would normally take for granted as miraculous." It almost goes without saying, but I bet each of us takes things for granted on a daily basis. There will be gas when you fill up your car at the gas station. Each of these things is a process that happens without our involvement. For me, I'll start thinking of the views I see daily differently, with glory rather than habit!
"Express your love in a way that is unexpected, or to someone who isn't expecting it." Maybe you haven't told your sister or brother, mother or father, that you loved them lately? The article says to be creative. I'm sure any one of us can think of something unique to do for someone else without words. After all, actions speak louder than words.
"For one full minute, stop whatever you are doing. Be deeply grateful for the gift of this day and of your life." I love this one. No matter what, having an attitude of gratitude for what starts your day, what carries you through, can put a smile on your face. Practice this and it becomes a habit. Treasure today! Find your joy!