This month I'm doing short and sweet tips on finding more joy. So here are three easy-peasy ways to practice your happiness:
1. Be as nice to yourself as you are to everybody else. Imagine sending a text to a friend saying How do you live with yourself being such a failure? or Why can't you do anything right? or God, those thighs. If only you were skinnier, more people would like you. Wouldn't do it? Of course you wouldn't. That's mean. So think about that next time you start participating in that thought process yourself. Here's what you can do to snap out of it:
Allow the thought to pass by. View it with curiosity, rather than judgment so you don't get caught up in it. This is why (I know, again with this!) your meditation practice on the mat is so important. So you can be better equipped to avoid the rabbit hole in your every day life.
Remember that your thoughts are not you. They are energy - floating, zipping, or ping-ponging around your mind. They can feel speedy, reckless and hurtful but they're still just energy. Knowing that gives you power.
Reinforce more good thoughts. It's like crowding out foods you don't want in your life with a bunch of healthy, nutritious, delicious options. When I hear people say that about food I'm kind of like, Really? You think I'm gonna crowd out my chocolate with kale? (and I love kale). But it's easier with thoughts. You can provide your mind with a whole bunch of good thoughts like I am worthy, I am a MoFo, I am a damn superstar. See? Then it's harder for the unhelpful ones to find any space in there.
2. Stop spending time with people that drain your energy. It's your life force - like in Star Wars. You need that life force to do the important work you're here to do. If you have a bunch of energy vampires sucking it out of you, you can't very well do that. So, surround yourself with people you love, and people that love you and lift you up. Make yourself worth it - because you are worth it. And remember, boundaries can be the most compassionate thing you do for you and for the person you set them with.
3. Do more of what makes you happy. Listen to music. Read a novel. Go for a walk or a bike ride. Hide from your family. Sit in the sun with a cup of tea. Hug. As I was about to sit down to write this newsletter, my daughter reminded me we hadn't had our daily dose of 50 hugs. My first reaction was Shit. I don't have time. Turned out I did, and it changed that 5 minutes and the rest of the night for both of us. We become so controlled by time and responsibility that it's easy to forget what's important. But nothing is more important than love.
Is it really that easy? Nope, not all the time. But if you practice these consistently? I can guarantee you’ll have more love for yourself and feel a whole lot happier.