Happiness Looks Good On You


Mother Teresa once said, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” I find this quote beautiful. But I hope you agree that sometimes it is a little hard to spread the joy, if you are not truly feeling happy yourself. Happiness is something we all need to work on. Sometimes it’s brought on out of the blue — maybe seeing an old friend, or spending time in a favorite place can give you that spark. Other times, we must look deep inside ourselves to discover the things that make us happy and try to introduce more of those things into our lives. We have

to do this even when faced with chaos, illness, or just a case of the blues.

Something you might have not known about happiness: Thinking that we need to work hard in order to be happier is a backward way of thinking. It is happiness that inspires us to be more productive. Here is the psychologist Shawn Achor, expressing the happy secret to better work. 

Here are some suggestions to help you feel better in no time, and if practiced regularly, they can improve the quality of your life and make you an overall happier person.

Your mind-set is a perfect topic to start with when talking about happiness. If we focus on bringing more happy moments and thoughts into our own lives, we will eventually start feeling happier. The first tip I want to give you about mind-set is actively trying to keep your mind on the present moment. Lao Tzu once said, “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” There is nothing wrong with the “right now.” You can also be happier–right now, this second. You can feel happier, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. Do you see what I’m getting at? Take a small step toward feeling happier and prolong the experience.

The second tip is about your current mind-set. After you got yourself focusing on the present moment, if that moment happens to be unpleasant, try to find positive aspects within it. For example, if you are at a get-together and you aren’t having fun, try to look for 10 things that you do like about that party. It could be something silly like, “I really like the way I’m dressed tonight;” or, “I like the music they are playing;” “I have spoken to at least one person who was pleasant;” and so on. This will allow your mood about the get-together to shift. You will get out of your funk and start actually enjoying the moment. 

Listen to Music
Music is a great outlet for emotional therapy. Beautiful music can help improve your mood and make you feel better in no time. Music can also have an opposite effect on your mood as well. As much as a sad song may sound appealing to you when sad, it won’t be much help in improving your mood. Instead listen to more uplifting music. 

If you don’t practice this, this one is a little hard to get into. Set aside at least 15 minutes of your day for this ancient practice. Meditation can help you put your mind at ease and live a more peaceful life. Research suggests that meditation not only reduces anxiety, but it can also help with creativity and improve your overall mood. There are many options for guided meditations out there for you. Searching Youtube for guided meditation  is a great place to start. I found this really great source from the Chopra Center, and it can help you get started on your meditation practice. 

Step it up
Get moving, go for a walk. Take a dance lesson or go dancing with a few friends. Start a workout plan. There are countless scholarly articles studying the effects exercise has on your mood. Do something out of your regular routine. Go for a swim, join a dance class, or attend a yoga class. You will become happy and radiant. 

Create a “100 Days of Happiness” challenge for yourself
Here is a little challenge I want you to do. Create a list of 100 things that make you happy, and try to do at least one of them every day. If it is a person you like spending time with, call that person. You  don’t have to do the things on the list in order, but have a checklist. Don’t make this list impossible; for example, even if going to Egypt was the best time of your life, if you are not planning on going there in the near future, don’t write it down. These are the realistic 100 things that you can do to improve your happiness. They can include anything from wearing your favorite outfit to going to your favorite restaurant. If you want to take it a step further, share it on social media. Create an Instagram post and hashtag it #100daysofhappiness. Or you can also blog, vlog, or write about your goals in a journal. A social media app called happier, allows you to do just that. You can publish your happy moments and celebrate with people who are doing the same. 

Another thing you can do is to pick a jar that you love. I want you to take a piece of paper and write down one positive thing that happened to you that day. At the end of the week or a month, if you wish, take out the notes and read them.  You will be happier in no time.

I hope that helped. I would like to end this blog post the same way it began, with a quote: “Some people look for a beautiful place; others make a place beautiful” – Hazrat Inayat Khan.  Be the person who makes things beautiful–through the interactions with the people you meet, the work that you do, and with each moment that you are living.