The happiest and most resilient people among us choose to practice something every day — gratitude, meditation, or journaling — that lifts us up, reduces negative thoughts, and strengthens us.
Life is challenging, tragedies occur, and we are all going to feel terrible sometimes. That’s normal. But it’s crucial to find ways to stay optimistic and strive to have a positive mentality.
Optimism allows us to see opportunity in difficulty and learn from it. In that way, we develop our capacity to love life and teach others.
That’s why, in addition to regular exercise and meditation, it is recommend to adopt these morning habits to inject happiness into your daily lives:
1. Practice gratitude.
Whether your practice is centered on what you’re looking forward to or what you’re grateful for in that particular moment, gratitude increases happiness, self-esteem, elevates kindness, improves social connection, and reduces pessimism and social comparison.
Two minutes of mindful journaling clears the mind, increases optimism, and can help shift perspective toward the good. It can even help you heal from trauma.
3. Articulate your ideal self.
Construct sentences (a mantra) that articulate what you envision as your best self. Repeating this mantra each morning as a mindfulness practice brings forward the ideal qualities within us that day, elevates self-esteem and optimism, and increases a sense of engagement within ourselves throughout the day.
4. Focus on your signature strengths.
A daily practice of choosing a strength (e.g., creativity, compassion, vitality, appreciation of excellence, prudence, honesty) and actively leading from that strength increases engagement at work and home, bolsters competency, increases an overall sense of well-being, and improves strategic thinking and creative problem solving — all of which reduce the emotional stresses of feeling that we may not have enough to offer.
By practicing these habits daily, we train ourselves to see the good in the world, to awaken the best within ourselves, and to understand that we have the power to shape our own lives.
“In a perfect universe, somebody would be you.” ~ Byron Katie