Daily Habits for Happiness

Published Tuesday, January 15, 2013 11:22 PM

January ushered in a New Year and a host of resolutions for self-improvement. Want the most bang for your resolution buck? Skip the efforts to overhaul your life, and instead make happiness a priority. Getting happier is easier than you think; by adding a series of small, manageable habits to your daily routine, happiness awaits.

Great Expectations: Rise and shine with expectations of happiness and success. When your intention is to have a great day, you will be amazed at how well the day turns out. Take time to train your brain to expect happiness and watch how it follows. Skeptical? Think of the proverbial glass - is it half full or empty? Life is all in how you look at it so choose rose-colored glasses.

Prioritize: Stress eats away happiness so guard your well-being by planning and prioritizing. By mapping out small, manageable goals for the day, you will find yourself meeting them and enjoying the satisfaction of a job well done.

Exercise: Whether it's simple stretching or kick-butt calisthenics, everyone has an exercise threshold. Meet yours daily and reap the rewards. If possible, exercise outdoors, the vitamin D and fresh air are good for you. Mother was right.

Cultivate Relationships: The happiest people have well-developed relationships with friends and family. Find time each day to connect with someone special in your life whether it's a bedtime story with a child or a phone call with a friend.

Limit Media Consumption: Turn off your TV and toss that newspaper. Reading about murder, mayhem and wayward politicians is depressing. And the crass commercialism that imbues so magazines and TV programming is designed to make you dissatisfied with your life and sell products. When we're bombarded with upsetting news and images and never-ending product pitches, we wind up uneasy and dissatisfied. Time to say thanks but no thanks.

Practice Kindness: When you share a smile or a kind word with people throughout the day, you will be rewarded in kind. Small pleasantries and thoughtful gestures add up to big dividends in contentment and well-being.

Be Grateful: End every day with a gratitude round-up. Take a few minutes pre-slumber to write in a journal, or just think of everything that happened that day for which you a grateful; you may be surprised at how long your list is.

Here's to a Happy 2013!



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