Every morning I listen to the TODAY show while I get ready for work. I don’t typically care for watching TV but the TODAY show always has at least one great take-away, in between the craziness of our nation’s events. About two weeks ago, they had a short segment on happiness. Along with it, they had some tips on how to live a happier life.
I have done a lot of research and there are many factors that influence “happiness.” Truly, some people are just more prone to be happy-typically all the optimists. So that means that some techniques will work better for some people than others.
In case you missed Dr. Shilagh Mirgain, on the TODAY show, here are three steps for bringing more happiness and positivity to your life.
Meditate for 5 minutes
Meditation is one of the most ancient practices to increase mental and physical well being. When done routinely, it can help lower blood and heart rate pressure. Another cool thing that meditation does- it increases oxygen flow to your body, which allows your muscles to recover faster from intense workouts. (I’m a fitness nerd, so that’s my favorite benefit. )
Meditation takes practice, but once you master it, you will reap the benefits.
Try siting up right, somewhere comfortable with your eyes closed.
You can use apps like “Headspace” or “Insight Timer” to help coach you through it, or you can try it on your own.
I like to envision something calming like a calm running river. With early morning light shining across it. Sometimes I am admiring it under a tree while the wind gently blows the leaves and the birds sing softly. Try not to get distracted. (I still do.)
Try to envision happy thoughts and feelings the entire 5 minutes.
When you are ready you can practices a few deep breaths.
I am no meditation expert, so I understand some of you may have way better alternatives to getting started on “how to meditate.” Just sharing what I do.
Recognize 3 good things that happened
I recently finished reading “Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon, and I took away some wonderful ideas. One was to keep a journal and every day write down at least one thing that was positive. I like to write and draw my happy thoughts of the day, but for this step all you have to do is keep track of three daily things that you appreciated, are grateful for, or just thought were plain-old-good. Do it whatever way works for you. Just make sure you can recognize three good things about that day.
Do 1 altruistic act!
I love this one! Who doesn’t like random acts of kindness? It doesn’t have to cost money, or too much time. It can be something simple like sharing your lunch with someone who forgot theirs. According to Dr. Mirgain, when we are generous to others, we experience more happiness and well-being. Makes sense huh?
So maybe you try it and you didn’t feel much difference, or maybe you really try it and you feel happier. Tell me about your experiences with it. So far, I am having a lot of fun journaling my three positives a day.
You can watch the segment here.