Sometime in my 20's someone asked me what i wanted from my life. My response..."I just want to be happy". That was really all i wanted...and when i think about it now.....nothing has really changed much. I have goals as an artist, i have financial goals and dreams...but really, the bottom line is, all i want from life is to be happy. And so what has happened from this desire.......happiness.
Whats amazing is that happiness is really a choice. Or mostly. Yup its true! Fore sure there are things that happen in life that can get in the way of happiness....but there is a whole lot of choices we can make to keep happiness alive and strong. Here are my top three musts to a happier life.
Making a choice to be happy is the first step. Dont linger on the little things that irritate you...linger on the little things that make you smile. Its not always easy and it takes practice like everything else. Dont expect instant results. Its like going to the gym. Going from 20 pounds over weight to 20 pounds of muscle isnt an over night process. And this isnt either so dont expect it to be. Practice...then practice some more.
Which leads me to the next thing. Pay attention to the moments, the little things. The little things are the most powerful if you pay attention. Watching a bee on a flower blows my mind every time. Its truly amazing what they do, how they hover and move....but little moments can be anywhere. Watching the steam rise from your coffee...i love that, Its truly beautiful! These moments are so captivating. Moments can be given as well. When i was a server i was very good at catering to the little things that people liked...liking the same colour straw in a customers drink every time, or a customer wanting a certain amount of ice in their drink, if the person was left handed putting their drink on the left. Little things that made people happy even if they didnt always ask, they liked it. And why not. These little details make people feel special. Doesnt hurt me to put the same colour straw in your drink all night but you notice how nice it is not to confuse your vodka soda with your partners vodka 7. I got a lot of joy out of passing on these little acts of kindness and i still do.
And this leads me to the third thing. Drumroll please.....mindfulness or presence. Mindfulness is very powerful. Slow down and if you cant, stay present in what you are doing. If your phone keeps going off and disrupting a train of thought...turn it off or put it on airplane mode for 1/2 hour or however long you need. Nobody will die. Not likely....in fact most of the time nothing will happen. And if something does....ok. It still probably wont make much different to your world. Being constantly overstimulated is unhealthy. In fact i think its becoming a mental disorder. But thats another blog. Constant stimulation stops us from being present and makes our brain crave stimulation. Practice makes perfect and if we are practicing stimulation guess what we get? More stimulation.......an easy thin to practice to help with mindfulness is stopping and taking three big breathes. Just breath....take in the breath.....feel the air enter your nose, then your lungs....hold for a sec....then let it out slowly and feel the breath leave your body....repeat two more times.....congrates you have just accomplished mindfulness. Way to go....now keep practicing whenever you need to. I guarantee it will make a huge difference in your day.
Non of these things are rocket science. And heres a little secret, they slow time down. The more little moments you have, the longer you practice presence and the more mindful you are to those moments the longer your day will feel and the more time you will have. This is an incredibly powerful thing to practice. It truly is the secret to longevity. People often say to me how fast time is going especially when the get older....i rarely feel this. I still feel like im in my early 30's...but maybe im just immature. :)
Check out this link from the Huffington post. It's scientific proof for those needing a little logic that happiness can be a choice. Breath...enjoy...