Ten Choices That will Make you Happier

In the interest of brevity, I’ve created a “Top 10” list for your dose of personal growth for the week! Hope it grabs you.

  1. Accept what is. It’s here (a situation, a feeling, a loss or a gain), no matter how you feel about it. Leaning into it allows you to learn from it. Using a mantra like, “This too,” or reciting the Serenity Prayer are helpful tools in cultivating acceptance.
  2. Love what is. When you trust that life is the ultimate guru, you get to honor your big-ness and your small-ness all at once. When you can begin to trust that everything you’ve experienced is ultimately for your growth, the walls of defense and judgment go down. When you trust that everyone is going through their own struggle and learning process, just like you, it’s becomes easier to feel connected. Connection is what it’s all about.
  3. Practice right speech. Pay attention to the words you speak. What energy is associated with gossip, criticism, or complaining? On the flip, what energy is invited when you utter words of gratitude, share ideas, or offer compliments? When the impulse to speak ill arises, simply watch it come and sit with it long enough to watch it go. Then breathe in a sigh of goodness. 🙂
  4. Get out of your comfort zone. Part of what makes being human so awesome is getting to challenge ourselves in different ways. When we do something new, we’re stimulated toward growth, and we delight in the learning. Read a book from a different genre, take a night class, or strike up a conversation with someone you’ve been wanting to befriend. Getting past the the hesitation and into action is a deeply rewarding way to pass the time. Might as well, right?
  5. Let it go. Learn what you need to from mistakes, regret, and what is out of your control. Then, let it go. I have a practice of physically sweeping my hands up toward the sky when I want to give my problems away to something higher. This ritual symbolically allows me to give myself a break and loosen myself from worry.
  6. Get outside. What does it feel like to take in fresh air or move your body? What does it feel like to gaze at the ocean, or a beautiful tree, or to people watch?
  7. Forgive. Even if it takes your entire lifetime, it’s the best gift you can give yourself.
  8. Listen. Ask questions and listen without interruption. Thich Nhat Hanh teaches that this compassionate act can truly end someone’s suffering. Plus, when you listen to his voice actually teaching this concept, you feel you are in the presence of an angel. Watch him here. 
  9. Stay open. Being flexible in our thinking, staying soft in our hearts, and sharing our vulnerability allows us to be love. What could be better than being love?
  10. Laugh. When all else fails, laugh. Life is pretty hard and the burden of it can make our shoulders slump. Levity reminds us that we can get through it and even have fun in the process.

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