I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching recently, maybe it’s my age or the time of year, the New Year can bring up realizations and force us to take stock of what we are grateful for, here are my ideas on How To Cultivate Happiness In The New Year.
It’s important at this time of year – or anytime really – to develop daily habits that can contribute to your happiness.
What is happiness?
This can mean so many different things to different, people, to me happiness is about how I approach my life, it’s deliberately choosing to be positive each day, now this is not always easy, but over the years I have cultivated a few good practices that I’d love to share with you. These have helped me through many rough times and I hope they provide some value to you too.
Practice Gratitude – Each morning I wake up and think of three things that I am grateful for. I live in Canada and we have an abundance of things to be grateful for. It can be anything you want, from your family to your kids to being grateful for running water. Practicing gratitude early in the day has helped me set the tone for my day. It puts me in a good frame of mind and that positive energy ripples into my day.
Be kind – Share kindness through your words, your actions and your attitude. Being kind is something that I have prided myself on for years. The practice is as simple as holding the door open for someone or offering a kind word to someone who might need it. Science shows that as children, we’re biologically wired to be kind and we can further develop this trait with practice and repetition. Try it and see how it goes.
Meditate – or find some time to quiet your mind. Seated meditation can be so challenging and we tend to give up before we see any benefits. For me moving mediation is very helpful in keeping in the present moment and giving my brain some time to slow down and heal. Medical QiGong is a great way to achieve this peace of mind.
Be Humble – Humility keeps you in a state of a being a perpetual beginner, it shows that you have something to learn and that you are open to new things. The moment you think you know everything you stop learning. Being humble allows you to open your mind and be willing to accept new experiences and new information.
Choose your group – Surround yourself with people who lift you up, not bring you down. It’s a fact of life that some people hold us back, while others propel us forward. For instance, you can’t hang out with negative people and expect to have a positive life. The way I look at it, the most important tool at our disposal for living a better life, is other people. The people we surround ourselves with are the biggest influence on our behaviour, attitudes and results. Who you are around sets the course of your life and shapes who you are. They determine what conversations dominate your attention. They affect which attitudes and behaviours you are regularly exposed to. Eventually, you start to think as they think and behave as they behave. In the words of motivational speaker Jim Rohn: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So, ask yourself: Who do you spend the most time with? Who are the people you most admire? Are those two groups of people the same?
Practice Balance – I can’t stress this enough. I have two full-time jobs, balance has been difficult for me to achieve BUT very necessary. 2019 was particularly hard and I’ve had to take a step back and realize I can’t do everything and that’s ok! Balance is not about giving something up, it’s about assessing areas of your life and identifying what needs a little more attention, or me it was my health. So I’ve signed up for a Yin Yoga teacher training, more to come on that!
I hope you can find some solace with my simple steps to a happier life.