14 Ways Curiosity Can Increase Your Happiness

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”  
~Mother Teresa~ 

Happiness is all in your head. You have to make being happy a priority if you want to experience more of it on a daily basis. Sometimes when we feel that we are unhappy or that our life is "stuck in a rut", it’s simply an indication we need to schedule and engage in new activities. Whenever I feel like my grown up life is draining me of the energy necessary to maintain the momentum necessary for the achievement of my goals and objectives, I put on my “Curious Jackie” hat and participate in a new activity. I am always refreshed by being around new people and doing new things. This ritual has never failed me. As 2013 ends, consider this ritual as one that will provide you the regular shots of natural energy boosters you need to start strong and finish big in 2014.

The following list of actions will cultivate a greater sense of happiness in your life.

1)      Practice Gratitude. At the end of each day, keep a notebook of three things that went well on that day and make a note next to each why you are grateful that it happened.

2)     Create a Confidence Booster Jar/Box. Purchase a Mason jar or small gift box and label it, “Confidence Booster”. Get a pack of post it’s or cut blank sheets of paper. On each piece of paper write down those times when you overcame an obstacle, bounce back from a setback and accomplished something you were very proud of. Whenever you feel down, feel like you want to give up on yourself or something that's important to you, read one of your notes out loud to yourself.

3)     Contribute Value to Others. Contact the volunteer coordinator of a community agency that is creating positive change towards a cause that’s important to you. Inform him or her that you aspire to make a difference in your community and you would like to know how your knowledge and talent could contribute to it's mission. Show up and serve.

4)     Exercise Daily. Start today. Commit to exercising at least 20 minutes a day. If daily exercise is a part of your agenda, check into other forms of exercise and engage one that you’ve been interested in but haven’t made the time to find out more about.

5)     Reconnect with an Old Friend. Too often, friendships in our childhood and adolescence go by the wayside when we begin to take on adult responsibilities. Make an effort to reconnect with that friend you’ve often wondered about but made no effort to find out where they are and if you are able to reconnect with them.

6)     Plan a Potluck Meal with Your Neighbors. How many of your neighbors do you really know? The cordial greetings in the mornings and evenings that takes place between you and your neighbors is nice, however, spending time and getting to know them and building authentic connections creates a stronger sense of community.

7)     Embrace Diversity. Attend a cultural event sponsored by individuals of a different race than you. Acceptance, compassion and tolerance of others come with the understanding that each of us, regardless of the color of our skin, are members of the human race.

8)    Schedule Date Nights with Your Significant Other. The demands of life don't stop because we want them to. We have to get it in our thick heads that if something or someone is important we have to make time for it in our schedule. It is so easy for couples to get caught up in the doing that they forget to just be with one another. Scheduling date nights help you to maintain the emotional connection necessary for people to feel that their significant other "cares about me" and "gets me". This is important for men and women.

9)     Visit a Local Attraction. Why should visitors of your city have all the fun? Look into your local attractions and find one that interest you and your family or friends and schedule a date to visit it.

10) Buy Local. When you support local small businesses in your community, you are helping your neighbors and local schools and strengthening your local economy. Visit an area of local businesses that you are not familiar with and discover the unique talent of your area business leaders.

11)  Write a Letter to the Editor. Stand up for something. Don’t live your life in a vacuum. Write a letter to the editor of a community newspaper sharing your voice on a topic of interest to you.

12) Take a Class at Your Local Community College. Engaging the activity of learning from the perspective of curiosity affects your approach to the entire experience. Going into a classroom helps you to sharpen your social and emotional intelligence skills, while the insights gained sharpens your mental intelligence and builds self-confidence.

13) Visit Storytelling Times at Your Local Library. Being around young kids help us to keep life in a proper perspective. The infectious joy that most children possess is contagious. If you’ve lost your sense of curiosity, spend some time with young kids, they’ll help you recapture it.

14) Take a Dance Class. The movement of our body is important to our overall wellbeing. The movement of our body, especially with unfamiliar moves, reminds us of how agile and open we can be. What dance have you’ve always wanted to learn? Check out when the next class begins and register at your local dance studios.
I'd like to know your thoughts. What are some rituals you use to increase your happiness?  Share your comments below.
Please share this article with your network.  I would appreciate it.
Until next time...
Step Into Greatness!
Jackie B

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