9 Simple Ways To Create More Happiness In Your Life — Every Single Day

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How To Be Happy In Life By Practicing Compassion & 'Sacred Self-Centeredness'
Self

If learning how to be happy were easy, the world be filled with joy at all times. But with all of the chaos swirling around at any given moment, both personally and globally, the idea of finding happiness can sometimes feel a wee bit elusive.

Work is crazy. Your kids are demanding. Your partner feels neglected …

When was the last time you even paused for simple self care activities, like getting a manicure or taking a long bath?

The truth is, even though your career, friends, partner, or kids may bring you satisfaction, love and other positive feelings, you can’t rely on them to make you happy in life. That’s up to you!

If you want to keep your sanity intact and learn how to be happy with yourself, alone or in a relationship, you’ve got to find your own little ways to practice compassion and self love every single day.

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"But!" I hear you sputtering, "how can I create joy for myself when I’m hanging on by a thread? I can barely get the kids out the door in the morning and get to work on time. Forget happiness! I’ll settle for a little peace and quiet."

I get it. And no, I'm not suggesting you add even more items to your already massive to-do list.

I'm suggesting that you challenge yourself to look at all of those things you already do over the course of any given day to see if you can infuse them with a new kind of awareness.

This won't require any additional time, but a subtle shift in consciousness. It all comes down to focusing your compassionate impulses on yourself, even if only for a nanosecond.

Learning how to be happier and love yourself becomes possible when you approach your daily life from a perspective known as "sacred self-centeredness."

Forget all the nasty things you’ve heard about being self-centered — that’s it’s egotistical, arrogant, and obnoxious.

Instead, think of this attention to "self" as a sacred act.

The definition of "sacred" comes from the Latin root sacer, meaning "holy", and is derived from the same Saxon word root as the word "whole", which means healthy or complete.

In other words, if you want to find happiness in life, you need to center your own being, your self, in a place that is holy — i.e., healthy and complete.

Doing this may take some practice, given the way we’ve been socialized to believe it's selfish to care for yourself, but with some patience, it can absolutely be done.

The practice of daily sacred self-centeredness can be broken down into a four-sided model incorporating your mind, body, heart and spirit.

  • Your mind

The first step is to become aware of your natural "flow" by taking note of whether there are times during the day when your focus is better or your energy is higher. Figure out when you feel most in touch with your intuition, as well as how your emotions ebb and flow over the course of a given day, week, or month.

Know when your concentration is most likely to be high and when it is not. If it dips in the late afternoon, as it does for many people, keep a protein bar handy or schedule your heavy thinking in the morning.

What’s your favorite way to keep your mind sharp? Are you a big reader? Do you love crossword puzzles and other brain-teasers? By keeping your mind stimulated, you increase your ability to learn new things, to make good decisions, and to communicate more clearly, all of which increases the potential for random moments of joy throughout the day.

  • Your body

When you’re not connected to your body, you live solely in your head. That’s a sure recipe for burn out. Become familiar with the ebbs and flows of energy in your body, often connected to your monthly cycle.

When do you feel strong or fragile? What do you do to keep yourself physically fit? Do you get enough sleep? How’s your diet? What fun self-care ideas do you use to nurture yourself physically — massage, bubble baths, facials, manicures?

Pampering your body has lovely ripple effects beyond the obvious physical ones.

  • Your heart

How do you honor your feelings? Can you express them easily and release the painful ones before they cause deeper problems?

If crying isn't easy for you, do you talk or write about what’s troubling you? Do your important relationships nurture you emotionally? If you’ve been trained to be a selfless caregiver since you were young, it can be depleting on so many levels. Think about what you can do to express your needs and create strong, healthy boundaries.

It does a heart good to be able to reach out and help someone else, too, so look into volunteer opportunities or charities you can support that would feed your inner caregiver in a positive way.

  • Your spirit

Create a sacred space somewhere in your home by lighting a candle and playing music softly to stimulate your creative, intuitive right brain. Even at work, you can bring in a beautiful picture or a shell from your favorite beach and create your own "stealth" altar.

If you haven’t developed a regular meditation practice, try to carve out 10 minutes of creative silence every day. It may be hard at first to turn off the chatter in your mind, but gradually, that still, small voice of inner wisdom will catch onto the fact that you're creating space for it to be heard.

Once you begin doing these things, you'll find intuitive hits beginning to percolate up from the depths of your spirit on a regular basis.

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Now you’ve got the general idea of how to activate your body, mind, heart, and spirit, you can begin infusing greater awareness — and a touch of sacred self-centeredness — into your everyday actions and routines.

Here are 9 simple self-care ideas and tips on how to be happy by practicing compassion and loving yourself — every single day.

1. Honor the sun

At some point in the morning, even on the way to work, face the sun and take a few minutes to simply stand still for a moment and feel its warmth.

Envision it flowing into your mind, heart and body, and send its light wherever you feel the need for healing.

2. Show gratitude for water

When you splash your face after you wake up, pause to consider the stream of water passing through your hands.

Honor the marriage of nature and technology that carries this life-giving flow from reservoirs and wells, through pipes, and into your home.

3. Appreciate nature

Hold a clump of dirt in your hand — from a potted plant, a garden, or under your favorite tree.

Feel the grounding life force of Mother Earth and appreciate the natural cycle of seed, blossom, fruit, decay, death and rebirth.

4. Savor your favorite cup of tea or coffee

Even if you typically drink a cuppa on the fly or working at your desk, take moment to consciously savor the aroma and appreciate its warmth and energy as it makes its way through your system.

Just be careful not to over-caffeinate!

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5. Cherish your loved ones

Place your hand on your heart and focus your attention there. Close your eyes and welcome images of those who love you most to fill your inner vision.

Reflect on the gift they are in your life and whisper a "thank you" to each one.

6. Celebrate your body

Check in with your body for any points of tension and breathe gently into each spot, drawing the tightness away from the area on the inhalation and dispelling it into the atmosphere on the out-breath.

Then, focus on your areas of strength and send a blessing for the ways they support you.

7. Smile at a stranger

That’s right, crinkle your eyes and turn up the corners of your mouth in a sincere smile to someone you're passing on the street.

Think of a time when an unexpected smile from someone you didn't know brightened your day and offer it as a gentle, random act of kindness.

8. Take a moment for a "coming home" blessing

As you cross the threshold of your front doorway at the end of the day, stop for a moment with your hand on the frame and give thanks that you have a safe, nurturing home to return to.

You can even hang a special little picture or object next to the doorway to create a tangible blessing point.

9. Look forward to Friday

Thank goddess it’s Friday! In the spirit of sacred silliness, grab a partner and jitter-bug, polka, or tango around the living room, playground, or office.

You could even have a gentle little spin with yourself, waltzing to the music of your soul.

See! That wasn't so hard ...

Making a commitment to create joy every day shouldn't feel like a burden. That would actually be the antithesis of joy.

The key to knowing how to be happy in life is being present at any given moment.

Take a breath and notice what you’re doing right now. What simple thing can you do to transform this ordinary moment into something meaningful, or even sacred?

That is where joy lies.

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Deborah Roth is a Life Transition Guide, Relationship Coach, and Interfaith Minister who founded Spirited Living™ to help overwhelmed, under-nurtured women reclaim their sanity and their soul-selves. You can read about simple but powerful ways to do that when you download her e-book, Circle of One: The Art of Becoming a SELF-Centered Woman, or email her to schedule a free 30-minute introductory coaching session.