Happiness can range from a bubbly and buoyant feeling to a quiet and appreciative feeling and there are other variations of what one might call happiness.
One of the most important things we can do that supports our happiness is to build our self-awareness about what we are choosing to focus on? Is it the depleting thoughts such as pessimism or frustration? Can we give more focus and energy towards renewing emotions such as appreciation?
It’s worth noting that having a negative or depleting thought isn’t bad, and it would be idealistic to think we can rid ourselves of every draining thought. Yet as we build more awareness of where our thoughts go we also increase our opportunity to make more conscious choices about where we want to spend our energy. It takes a little practice but it’s well worth it as we start to increase the ratios of happiness that we feel.
Two simple practices that can help foster happiness
Practice building appreciation by writing it and saying it. Do it for your own health and happiness and for those around you. Having ways to exercise appreciation daily helps to support happiness by emphasizing the positive things in our life and it benefits our health by helping to reduce stress and feelings of overwhelm.
- Tried and true, this daily practice is simple and worth the minimal time it takes. Pick a quiet time to write down two things for which you are grateful. Keep it in a journal so you can add to it regularly and it’s helpful to look back on it for a little added motivation. Some days will be easier than others, but even on a bad day, we can usually note something we are grateful for (e.g., It’s a new day and a fresh start; the clouds were extra fluffy and pretty today.)
- Take gratitude a step further and make a regular practice to verbally express it more readily. Openly expressing our appreciation helps to expand this positive energy. It also helps us to increase our view of what is good in our life — and it uplifts others at the same time.