What a wonderful life I’ve had!
I only wish I realized it sooner.
~the writer, Collette~
You don’t want to look back at the end of 2013, and think, “How happier I would have been, if only I’d made time to fully appreciate and enjoy ordinary moments in my life.” To avoid this fate, you can begin right now at the start of the year to initiate simple practices that will help you savor the ordinary in your life. By shifting our view of that which is familiar in our lives, to an outlook of wonder and appreciation, we can nurture the mindfulness that inhabits the “precious present”.
The following practices can help you begin to initiate a mental shift that will boost your happiness:
1. Be silly. Be lighthearted.
2. Be the kind of person you would want a child to grow up to become.
3. Choose not to take things personally.
4. Remember, folks are doing the best that they can at the time.
5. Show compassion towards others. People’s lives are often a lot more complicated then we know.
6. Expect miracles to happen.
7. Believe in yourself. Declare to yourself on an everyday basis, “I am equipped to handle this”, “I am enough”.
8. Light a candle. Practice calming your mind with meditation.
9. Keep it simple. Too often we make things in life complicated.
10. Stop overthinking situations. Tune out the noise of the world and tune into wisdom of your inner-voice and then take action.
11. Start where you are with what you have. Believe that each step of faith you take will enable you to prepare and position yourself to receive what you need.
12. Be specific about your needs. Don’t expect people to read your mind. You’re adult. Learn effective communication skills that create trust and openness in your relationships instead of strife and avoidance.
13. Deliberately spread joy and happiness.
14. Stay in touch with family members, friends and acquaintances. Studies prove that the strength of our social bonds play a crucial role in our happiness.
15. Talk to strangers. Make a genuine effort to connect with them on common interests. You’ll find that despite the hue of our skin, gender, political and religious beliefs, all of share much more in common than we think.
16. Accept responsibility for your life. Stop the blame game and majoring in pity parties.
17. Accept that the only person you can control 100% is yourself.
18. Let go of beliefs about how “life should or should not be”. Acceptance of “what is” empowers us to develop solutions that create “what can be”.
19. Some matters are God jobs. Cast these cares and trust that God’s grace and goodness will strengthen and lead you.
20. Show loving kindness towards yourself and others.
According to Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, “We’re very sensitive to change. We measure our present against our past, and we’re made happy when we see change for the better. A sense of growth is so important to happiness that it’s often preferable to be progressing to the summit rather than to be at the summit.”
This New Year brings many opportunities for each of us to express greater measures of the seeds of greatness dwelling within our potential. Shifting the way that we view our ordinary lives, to that of wonder, appreciation and honor, will enhance our personal growth and the level of happiness that we experience in 2013 and beyond. This viewpoint enables us to savor and toast the good in our lives as it happens instead of putting off enjoying our lives until “a circumstance changes”. Life is a gift that is not only meant to be treasured it is meant to be enjoyed. We can trust in God’s good plan: “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11.
The simple practices in this blog post will increase your capacity to be mindful of moments throughout your day, moments that you can begin to toast and savor. Amplifying the good and the positive experiences in your life strengthens positive emotions in your life and boosts your happiness.
It’s Your Move ~ Aspire Higher