4 Habits To Cultivate For A Happier 2018
The holidays have come and gone and we are now in that lovely stretch of time between Christmas and New Year's. This is usually the time when we begin to reflect on how this past year unfolded and think about the things we want to manifest in 2018.
No matter what is on your list, I bet we can agree that something that you can never have too much of is happiness! And with good reason. There is so much research out there that supports the premise that happy people are healthier, live a good quality of life, have wonderful relationships, and so on.
When you are happy, you are more intuitive, you have good timing and you radiate good energy. People like being around happy people, because everyone intuitively understands that they too, are meant to feel that way.
That state of being that we call happiness, is what happens when you have found alignment with your Soul, your Source, or your Spirit. That's the way your Source feels about you - happy about who you are; eager about your life experience, joyful about the wonderful things that are to come for you. And when you feel happy, you've tapped into that wonderful state of Well-Being that this Universe is really all about. You've come into resonance with who you really are and who you are meant to be!
The wonderful thing about happiness, is that when you find it consistently, it supports you profoundly, in every part of your life. It gifts you with clarity, ease and flow. It shows you how radiant and vital and alive you are meant to be. And it offers you a clear and joyful path to the manifestation of everything you desire. Not only does it do all of these wonderful things for you, but your happiness also uplifts everyone you come into contact with! So those people teetering on the edge of happiness are naturally uplifted into their own sense of joy, just by the gift of your presence.
So, we can agree that happiness is a wonderful and important state of being to achieve, yes? Today, I want to share with you four of my daily habits that help me feel happier, more connected and at one with who I am. Hopefully you'll find a couple that resonate that you can take into the New Year to help support your own happiness!
Every morning when I wake up, I feed my cat, brush my teeth, wash my face, drink a big cup of warm water, eat breakfast and head straight back to bed for a 20 minute meditation.
These days, I do a simple meditation; just listening to my breath. I begin by inhaling deeply into my belly, and as I do so, I silently say to myself, "I am breathing in." As I exhale, "I am breathing out." I continue on with this for as long as I need, "Now this breath is in, now this breath is out."
Eventually, I find that I reach a place where I let go of that mantra and I feel my Source communicating with me. This often happens for me with gentle movements, like my head rocking, or moving side to side, my shoulders shifting, or my fingertips flexing. I begin to receive images or ideas from my Source. If I find myself shifting back into my own thought process of worry or concern, then I come back to my breath mantra, "I am breathing in, I am breathing out," until those thoughts pass and that Source communication returns.
Meditation helps me let go of the things that really don't matter. It strengthens my connection with my Source. It helps me be more intuitive as I move through my day. It sets me up to see things the way my Source sees them. It gifts me with such a sense of peace and ease. When I meditate, I feel like the best of me. And to me, that's happiness.
2. Move your body.
I make it a habit to practice yoga every single day. Nothing fancy, just an hour long practice in my living room each morning. I enjoy a modified Ashtanga practice most days, which I alternate with Yin and Restorative. The breath work, the stretching, the movement; all of it puts me in my happy place and makes my body feel amazing.
I also love going on walks outside and dancing! I'll usually walk outdoors for a half hour to an hour everyday, and dance to my favourite music throughout the day as often as I like.
I find Nature to be endlessly nourishing, and on my walks, I'll deliberately look for things to appreciate; the beautiful blue sky, the fresh air, the sparkling snow, or the warmth of the sunshine on my face. Often, while I'm on my walks, I'll receive inspiration for a project I had been thinking about earlier, or a wonderful idea will occur to me. Walking helps me to be more receptive to that communication from my Source, and I always feel more energized and joyful afterwards.
3. Let it go.
Letting go is a practice, like everything. We live in a very physical world, and sometimes, stuff just happens that isn't very happy. But we always get to choose what we focus upon.
Whenever I find myself dwelling on something that didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, or something that just doesn't feel good, I do my best to catch myself as early in the thought as I can. "Is this something I really want to put my focus on right now? How is this making me feel?" These are the questions I ask myself, and immediately the answers come. "No, of course not. This is making me feel crappy, and that's not who I am. I know that the Universe has my back, and I know that my Source has worked this out for me. I'm going to change the subject and focus on something that feels better." And I do my best to do just that.
I've come to understand that dwelling on problems just makes them bigger, and shifting my focus always brings the solutions that I am looking for. Some days it's easier than others, but I find that the more I practice this, the easier it gets for me, and the happier I am.
Appreciation is such a powerful tool, and what I equate to counting my blessings. I love playing what I've come to call, The Appreciation Game. As I'm moving through my day, I ask myself a simple question, "What is something I appreciate?" And I look around and always find something wonderful to focus on, "I appreciate this beautiful sunshine. I love how it feels on my body, and how it makes everything even more lovely. I appreciate my sweet cat. I love her big purr, and how much she loves to cuddle..."
And on it goes. I play this game as much as I can during my day! It makes me feel amazing, and I find that I attract even more wonderful things to appreciate as my day goes on. It's like the Universe takes notice of what I am radiating, and offers even more of that loveliness up to me. What you focus on grows, right?
The other benefit of this game is that I notice very quickly when I am getting off track. When I feel my energy dwindling, or not so great feelings moving in, I just ask myself that simple question, "What is something I appreciate?" and off I go again, back to my happiness, and back to who I am meant to be.
I hope this list inspires you to focus on your happiness first this coming year, and maybe even pick up a new happy habit! Do you have some rituals that you do to support your own happiness? Let me know in the comments below!
Wishing you the happiest, most abundant and lovely 2018!