Boosting happiness levels with a happy list
“I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.” – Hafiz of Shiraz
Those days that you feel like you’re not on top of the world (or not even on top of your work load or household chores), it’s easy to fall into the “I’m not all that”-trap. Your self talk might be everything but positive and the person in the mirror looks like he or she has seen better days, no matter what you put on or how much hairspray you use. The spark seems to be missing. If this is the case, it’s time to turn things around.
There are proven ways to increase happiness like practicing mindfulness, being around happy people and having good friends, volunteering and focusing on experiences rather than acquiring things, but when you’re moping around and nothing feels worth doing, it can be tough to even think of something that would make you feel better.
To be proactive, a good friend of mine has created something she calls her Happy list for days when her energy and happiness levels are low. She pulls this decorated list out of her notebook and chooses one of the activities. Here are her top seven happy-boosting activities:
Watch the stars
Go for a walk in a forest
Watch a romantic comedy
Dance in a summer rain
Take a shower, thinking of it as a ritual, cleansing the soul as well as the body
You get it. It’s those small things. You can write one too. Keep it somewhere where you can see it or easily retrieve it and be reminded of things to do when you need a refill of energy. On my list you’ll find dancing, which I always do like nobody is watching, singing, going to a café for a nice cappuccino and reading to name a few.
In severe cases of negativity and low energy levels, taking a nap can actually be the best thing to do, since you get a chance to reboot your thought system when you wake up. It’s easier to move forward from neutral.
Having friends who are uplifting and reminds you to actually look at your happy list when you need to also helps of course. Another friend of mine messages me encouraging quotes when she thinks I need them and I do the same for her. We always try to find one that suits the other person’s situation and it’s great to later scroll through our conversations filled with pictures of serious and funny quotes from Google. It becomes another kind of happy list, a source for finding valuable and strengthening truths to re-read or to forward to someone else.
My point is this: When you are feeling low, make it a priority to give yourself time to do something you enjoy or allow yourself to do absolutely nothing. A Happy list can remind you that there are things to be grateful for and that they are available to you. The spark in you makes you a naturally beautiful person, so do whatever you need to ignite it, making it expand. It’s always there, but happiness makes it easier to see it.