Did you know that today is not only the first day of Spring (hard to believe for those of us awaiting another snow storm), March 20th is also International Day of Happiness?! So, whether the snow is falling or the sun is shining, try to sow these Six Seeds of Happiness into your day today! 1. Spread Kindness & Compassion - Look for ways to recognize other’s accomplishments, needs and difficulties. Find small, simple acts of empathy and kindness that may lighten their load. Remember, they have loads too! Open a door, smile and say thank you, show your appreciation, lend a helping hand. Kindness is contagious. Your acts of kindness will not only warm the hearts of those around you, they will warm your heart too.
2. It's not always about being right. As Anne Lamott says, "It's better to be kind than to be right." Try letting go of the need to be right (even if you are) and simply be kind to that person with whom you have a disagreement. Sometimes kindness is the best way to resolve a conflict and spread some happiness.
3. Be Present - Our stress and anxiety almost always come from thoughts of regret, anger or sadness about something that has already happened, or rumination about something that might happen in the future. These thoughts are rarely about things that are actually happening now. So, let those thoughts go and focus on what is happening in this moment, and find joy in where you are and who you are with right now.
4. Reach Out and Touch - In the immortal words of Diana Ross, "Reach out and touch somebody's hand and make this world a better place, if you can. Take a little time out of your busy day to show a little love to someone who may have lost their way." (You can click on the link above and sing along with Diana Ross like I have been doing all morning -- apologies to my children.) Enjoy a nice long hug with your child, spouse, parent or friend and simply share a moment of togetherness. Call that friend or relative that you have been meaning to call. Human connection, as positive psychologists will tell you, is one of the key components of happiness.
5. Count Your Blessings - Gratitude is the best way to turn a frown upside-down. We all have so much to be grateful for, but we lose sight of those things when our lives get busy. So, take a moment to think of five things you are grateful for - a roof over your head, food in your belly, someone who loves you, clean laundry, or even your breath. Whatever it is, big or small, notice it, appreciate it and let gratitude bring a smile to your face.
6. Sing, Dance, Play! Close the blinds, crank up the music and dance, sing and let loose! Life can be stressful and we all need time to have some fun. Choose something that makes you smile and make time to do it. You deserve it!