Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
Being happy doesn’t have to be so hard insists the lovely and talented writer Amy Spencer (see her photo below). She told me that happiness can be as simple as doing the sweet little things you like more often. Try stuff like hugging a loved one or putting your feet in some warm water. Her advice is to find joy in everyday small things instead of just focusing on the biggies (new job, dream vacation, different house.)
Her new book, The Happy Life Checklist: 654 Ways to Find Your Bliss is chock full of ideas to brighten your life. It builds on her previous one (that I loved) called Bright Side Up: 100 Ways to Be Happier Right Now.
Check out this book, and also the helpful and uplifting book trailer . Directly from Amy, here are 5 Ways to Be Happy Instantly below:
“Remember how summer seemed to go on forever when you were a kid? It felt like six months of playing outdoors, going to camp, swimming, riding bikes, hitting the beach or playing stickball in the street. And now? Sheesh, Labor Day has come and gone before we know it.
That’s because the way our brains work, the more emotionally charged a situation is, the more it’s stamped deep into our emotional brains. This is why you don’t forget your most gushing first love, your most embarrassing moment, your most heartbreaking breakup or your scariest accident. The bigger the emotion—be it happiness, guilt, fear, love, excitement—the bigger the effect. Because your kids are new to life, they’re getting a lot of emotionally charged input every day, so their days seem bigger and fuller than ours. It’s as if they’re watching their life movie in slow motion, taking in every frame while we are watching ours on fast-forward. We’ve already seen it all before, so we don’t even notice the good stuff anymore. But why should your kids have all the fun, right?
One of the biggest keys to happiness is to appreciate the small joyful moments in your life by consciously seeing your life through a child’s eyes again. I’ve come up with hundreds of ideas you can do this in my new book The Happy Life Checklist: 654 Simple Ways to Find Your Bliss. Because if you can appreciate the fun you’re having each day, your whole year can feel like a big, long summer. Happiness comes in the seconds and minutes of life, as well as in the years. So here are a few quick ways that you can savor the small moments—for free and in five minutes or less—right now!
1. Sing at the top of your lungs. Crank up the volume in the car and sing from your soul. This is why windows close and roll up, isn’t it? I like to put on the 80s station to find some GoGos hits, because I find when I’m belting out an upbeat song, I’m not focused on life’s small annoyances—like traffic, meetings, or emails. Plus, the act of singing releases the brain’s feel-good endorphins and lowers stress. Show your kids how healthy it is to let music amp up your mood.
2. Kiss your child on a spot you love about them and tell them why. A dimple you see when they naturally smile; an arm that embraces you in love. Showing gratitude has one of the greatest impacts on our happiness. So actively appreciate the ones you love today.
3. Live in your beautiful mess. That’s right, a day full of mess can be beautiful, too, because it’s your mess: dishes dirtied with a good meal, comforters crumpled from a long sleep, and sneakers in the hall after a day of family fun. Just once, don’t stress about cleaning up and see the mess as a passing snapshot of a life that will be so much different a decade from now. Take in this moment, right now. Love your as-is mess because it’s all yours.
4. Jump! Who said kids get to have all the fun? Add a little play into your life by getting your feet off the ground, even for just a second. Jump off a bench. A diving board. A sand dune. Or the sidewalk. Or hop, skip or jump hand-in-hand with your little one and feel the freedom of being young at heart.
5. Pull out your nice silverware for leftover night. Or light a candle you’ve been saving. What are you really waiting for? Research says savoring small moments boosts your mood. So when I recently ordered some pizzas for a night in, I pulled out my nice wine glasses for our waters and sodas and the night felt instantly elevated. Use what you’re saving and celebrate the special occasion of today.”
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