It’s the holiday season and a time when we embrace and exude gratitude, thankfulness, happiness and joy. This may be the case for many but it’s also a time of stress, frustrations, negativity, loneliness and struggle.
I’ve always loved the holidays but especially so as a child. Do you remember those joyful feelings when you were little? The excitement and energy!
When I became a police officer, I saw a different side of the holidays. I saw hardships, unhealthy relationships, struggles and sadness. It took a strong mindset to keep that feeling of joy and gratitude. It was through those experiences and my own struggles that I worked on my own health and happiness. Discovering new joys and blessings. Gratitude like I’ve never felt before, yet it took work, personal development and growth.
Finding something to be happy about just once a day can be difficult. Finding something to be happy about so that you are a happier person overall can seem almost impossible. If you are finding yourself in this situation, you may be wondering how to get out of it so you have less stress and anxiety as well as increasing your happiness and getting to a better place in your life. Here are some daily practices that can help you be a happier person. Especially during the holiday season.
One way to become a happier person, through mindfulness and daily practice, is to start a gratitude journal. You do not need a full journal to do this. In fact, you can use your daily planner or online planner for this. You can even use social media. The key point to this daily practice is to find at least one thing a day you are thankful for or have gratitude for. This can be anything. Let’s face it, we all have bad days. It is finding the good in that bad day that helps us become happier. So, it can be anything from having a great cup of coffee that morning to being happy the day is over so you can start fresh the next day. The point is to recognize the happiness or good and note it.
Every morning I start my day with gratitude, growth and goals. This daily routine has been a game changer for me. Start your day listing 1, 5 or 10 things that you’re grateful for. Like I said, it can be the simplest things. I recommend sticking to this routine daily. You can choose to list your gratitudes in the morning, at night or both. Notice the shift in how it makes you feel and be mindful of your thoughts and feelings around it.
Reducing for Charity
Reducing for charity may seem like an odd endeavor as a daily practice, but it is something that can be very fulfilling for both parties. The idea here is to remove something from your life each day or week that you do not need. This can be anything from a toy your child no longer plays with or has outgrown to an extra set of dishes you really don’t need. Place these items in a box and at the end of the week or month and give the box to charity. These items are no longer cluttering your day and causing a storage issue, and you are helping someone else who may want or need them. The happiness comes in when you find the joy in either getting the items out of your house or seeing that they can bring joy to someone else through your charity.
Breath walking may be something that is new to you, but it can make you a happier person. The concept here is to go on a walk in nature each day for a few minutes or more. Just get away from everything. Step out into nature with no electronics. Now this doesn’t mean to go out with no way of contacting anyone in an emergency. It simply means to turn off distractions and phones and just walk. Concentrate on your breath as you move and walk and work to calm it. Notice the sounds and nature around you, and let go of the stress of the day through your breathing. You will find yourself healthier and happier at the end of the walk and as the walks progress, you may find yourself more adapted to handling your daily stress as well.
Meditation is a great way to slow down, relax and fill your happiness tank. There are different forms of meditation, so discover which one works best for you and build on it. There are guided meditations, quiet time alone, breath work, listening to quiet music while relaxing your mind and just being still. Many have discovered that clarity, calmness and fulfillment come from meditation. When we calm the body and mind, amazing things happen.
Be the Reason Someone Smiles
This is something my father taught me as a young girl. It’s something I’ve carried with me through the years and something I exercise daily. Be the reason someone smiles today- and everyday! Whether you open the door for a stranger, say hello to someone walking down the street or engage a joyful conversation with someone in the grocery checkout line. Engage with others, smile, exude your happiness and joy. Whatever works for you… discover it and do it some more.
I’ve discovered many ways to encourage others to smile and it not only brightens someone else’s day, but it fills my gratitude, joy and happiness tank. So, be the reason someone smiles today. 😁
As you start adding these daily practices into your life, you will start seeing a change for the better and seeing yourself becoming happier. Remember, start slow and discover what works best for you. It’s all about letting the process develop in your life at your own pace.
From my home to yours, blessing and best wishes for a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season!