Life is a balance of light and dark. Happiness comes not from being attached to the good days and dreading the bad days, but by accepting that both are a part of life. When you accept this, you are able to live from a more balanced perspective, with equanimity, enjoying the good times, learning from the hard times, and appreciating that both have an important role.
There will never come a time when the learning stops. There is no point kidding yourself by saying when this or that happens, everything will be perfect forever. It won’t be, because more learning will always come your way. It is when you accept this that life becomes easier. You become more equipped to cope with it and to understand. But there will always be learning.
Sometimes, though, the hard days linger longer. During these days, weeks, months, and even years, finding the strength to trust that the hard times will pass can be overwhelming. Hope may be all that draws you forward, and if you have been in a place of darkness for a long time, then even that is not always possible to draw upon.
So it is during such times that even the smallest steps are necessary to find some enjoyment in your day. Sometimes what is disguised as a little thing can be a huge catalyst in turning things around. When even finding a reason to get out of bed and get on with your day is a challenge,
be gentle and kind to yourself and accept that perhaps right now, you are only capable of small steps.
Here Are 10 Things You Can Do To Be Happier Right Now:
1. Buy some coloring-in pencils and draw, or buy a coloring-in book and color. It is very simple and childlike. But color carries many healing properties, and the distraction of drawing or coloring will bring you to a more present space, rather than dwelling on your situation. Anything creative with color will be beneficial.
2. Make a list of your best qualities—yes, you have some, everyone has goodness in them. Think of things you’ve done in the past, things that have left you feeling good. It may be what you’ve done, or it may be what you like about yourself. Maybe you once did a random act of kindness for someone, which no one else recognized needed doing. Or you like your smile, or that you used to be able to make people laugh (and you will again). Acknowledge these positive parts of yourself, without any reference to anything negative. No negativity allowed today.
3. Take yourself to somewhere with birds in their natural environment. Simply watch them go about their day. Listen to their joy in being alive, how they sing for the pure love of it. Watch the freedom of their flight. Birds have to survive and have their challenges, too, but they still remember to be joyous along the way.
4. Ban yourself from the computer for a whole day and night. Don’t even turn it on. Have such days regularly. In the times we now live in, it is easy to forget about life going on outside. Computers are great in so many ways, particularly in the way they can bring people together. Yet in other ways, they can be very isolating. So turn yours off. Do something that you used to enjoy before the days of computers took over your life. Go for a walk. The exercise will be positive as well.
5. Call a friend who will make you laugh. Don’t call someone who will wallow in your sadness with you, despite their kind intentions. Today is not a day for that. Just call a friend who will joke about nothing with you. If you cannot think of anyone, go for a walk in your neighborhood. Think of someone who serves you in your day-to-day life who is always cheery. Have a brief chat and laugh with them. They will enjoy it, too.
6. Dress in something that makes you look and feel nice, perhaps a brighter color than what you have been wearing. Pay attention to your appearance and take pride in yourself, no matter how much effort it takes. It doesn’t matter if you think you are kidding yourself into feeling better. It is a change, and change is necessary to alter your current state. It is also an achievable goal when you are down.
7. Visit someone you know with children and hang out with the little ones for a while. Sing some songs, play make believe, hide-and-seek, anything. If there aren’t any that you know nearby, just watch other children from a distance. Observe their simplicity and joy and remember that you too were once a child, and these qualities are still a part of you. Hop on a swing and lean back, get some wind beneath you, and feel yourself glide through the air.
8. Look through old photo albums and remember the happy times. Even if they bring memories that also make you sad, try to focus on the good times. It is easy to get caught up in feelings of loss, loneliness, or lack, rather than in the blessings that were once there. If there are no photos, think back to some fun memories and relive them in your mind. Laughing out loud is definitely permitted.
9. Eat healthy food. If you don’t have the strength or energy to prepare something for yourself, go out and buy a fresh juice, a salad, or some soup. Chat with whoever serves you and smile at them. Healthy food heals both the body and the mind. So does smiling.
10. Have a beautiful bath. Use scents and candles. Make it a special thing, even if it is in the middle of the day. Nurture yourself. If you can, treat yourself to a massage; be pampered. Human touch is something we all need, and it is easy when you are down to isolate yourself, hence becoming touch starved. Hugs are always recommended, so hug someone if there is someone to hug. If not, go out and get some human contact, or pet an animal. We all need to be nurtured, and we all need touch.
Every little thing that you can do to change your current disposition will be far more beneficial than it may appear. Any glimpse of happiness or hope, no matter how small, is better than none at all. If you manage to do just one of these things, then congratulate yourself for the effort. It doesn’t matter if you are not strong enough to be the person you once were. Trust that healing is happening in your life now. You don’t have to become who you were; rather, you will become who you are meant to be when this healing time has passed. It will be someone new, someone amazing, someone accepting, someone happy.
It may not feel like you will smile again, but never lose hope. You will smile again. You simply will. And that in itself is worth smiling about, is it not?
By Bronnie Ware