Sometimes it feels selfish to prioritize our own health and happiness when there are so many tasks to get done and things to do for others.
This weekend, I was blessed to attend my nutrition school’s annual conference in NYC. It was an incredibly powerful experience to deepen my understanding of holistic health and the impact of our happiness on our physical and mental well-being. Arianna Huffington, of The Huff Post, spoke about some important ways to build greater happiness into your life.
Cultivating your own happiness is one of the best ways to act selflessly because it allows you to spread positive energy to others expanding the circle of well-being. And the best way to make yourself happy is by making others happy. Small kindnesses have a big impact.
Here are some of her tips for building more happiness into your life:
1. Be a Go-Giver, not a Go-Getter
Start noticing people you might not normally notice- the barista at your coffee shop, a fellow passenger in the train car, a customer service representative you are calling with a question. Smile, ask them about their day, acknowledge their presence and importance.
This morning I was in line at Starbucks, and I heard the cashier say thank you to the lady in front of me. She said, “No, thank YOU. You guys get me through the day, and I’m so glad you’re here.” After that, the cashier maintained a smile throughout his next several customers and had a little extra pep. These small acknowledgements can make a big difference and the kindness spreads- making us all feel calmer and more content.
2. Practice Grace
“Live life as though everything is rigged in your favor.” -Rumi
At the end of each day, write down three things that you are grateful for. Expressing gratitude brings our focus onto that which is good and positive. What we put our attention on- expands, and our worldview becomes one that is filled with more hope and positivity.
3. Focus on the content of your eulogy, not of your resume.
What you will be remembered for most most will be how you made others feel, not how much revenue you earned for your company. Focus on deepening your relationships and making new connections. Eliminate any hierarchies in your life and treat all others with respect and gratitude.
Practice these steps to cultivate more happiness into your own life and in the world around you.
Photo: Philippines, 2007