Happiness. There is no clear definition of what it really is and it’s completely subjective to each and every one of us. One thing is certain however, it’s a big internal smile that just won’t go away. When I speak of happiness, I mean the kind that is found deep within; not the fleeting moment of acquiring something new or eating something that is gone as fast as it came. I’m talking about the contagious, infectious joy that we all have within that starts by being present.
We’re trained to believe happiness is something we can achieve with a lot of hard work, like college, a great job, a house and kids, a company that’s growing fast, a couple of annual family vacations. But what If I told you you could have that feeling every single day by being present? I truly believe that being on the beach won’t make you happier than being at your desk or folding your laundry. Regardless of where you are in your journey, no kids or many of them running around, husband or doing it alone, hitting up Net-A-Porter for their editors picks or a secondhand thrift store for the original and affordable finds, happiness is right where you are and we can find it in the most mundane tasks by being present. Really!
Here are 10 tips to take a bite out of right freakin’ now. Because life waits for no one.
1. Write down 10 things you are grateful for today right now. Think little and think big. Think of something as simple as having a wonderful family to something as basic as having nails that are chipped that you get to think about getting done. This will ground you and remind you no matter how much you have, there are so many people with so much less.
Tip: Repeat this anytime you are frustrated with the little things. Your coffee is taking too long? Think, I am so lucky I get to afford coffee when I’m tired. That I’ve tried so many kinds. That I can taste things and hold things in my hands, because I have these amazing hands. Mind blowing, right?
2. Text your mother, grandmother, sister, husband (whoever is closest to you) that you love them. Just because. Even better, add a reason. “I love you mom, because you’ve always been there for me, and I appreciate everything. Just wanted to let you know.” You’ll be amazed at how giving that love will call it right back to you, and then some.
3. Listen to your favorite five songs on Spotify. Put your headphones in and blast those vibes girl. Within 15 minutes, you may be flying on a completely different wavelength. And probably even do a booty shake (or two).
4. Go to airbnb and just put in a location you’ve been dying to go to. Something exotic, or something that’s just been calling your name. Save a few of them to a new list. It doesn’t’ even matter if you go. Just starting to look will get your travel juices flowing and you’ll be majorly excited.
5. Write an email to your future self. Really. Write an email about what you love about your life right now. About who you are and how proud you are of that woman. Send it to yourself and archive it. When you’re feeling down, re-read it. Repeat. You are a working mom with her head on straight, and dreaming big. I repeat you are a unicorn and don’t ever forget it.
6. Go to your favorite charity website and donate. It doesn’t matter how much or which charity, just one that speaks to you. The cornerstone of happiness is giving: your love, your resources and your energy. When we can’t help in person, our money speaks volumes and can make a huge difference.
7. Go look at yourself in the mirror. Look that beautiful soul in the eyes and tell her how much you love her. Out loud. Yep, it might seem totally weird at first but tell yourself, “Hey girl. I see you. And you are amazing.” It’s empowering and you will feel a difference. Tell your kids to do it, too. Watch them make it their own and give themselves a pep talk the NFL would be inspired by.
8. Take a walk (with or without the kids). Get that heart racing. As you’re walking, say this mantra to yourself. The future is a mystery, the past is history, but the present is a gift. Remember those words and carry them with you. We know nothing of tomorrow, we don’t gain from rethinking yesterday, but we have complete control over right freakin’ now. After 10 minutes, you’ll feel golden.
9. Go pour yourself a glass of water. A nice cold glass. If you’re feeling crazy, throw a lemon or a cucumber in it. As you’re pouring yourself the water, be mindful of how many people it took to get you that clean water. How many people on this planet don’t have clean water at all, and can’t give any to their children? As you drink the water, think about it floating through your body and giving it back life and energy. Thank the water and thank the universe for giving you something so simple, basic and often unappreciated.
10. Breathe. Breathe in confidence. Breathe out stress. Breathe in happiness. Breathe out anxiety. Breathe in beauty, breathe out the ugly. Breathe in love, breathe out hate. Breathe in the right now. Breathe out the tomorrow. For your little ones, tell them they are breathing out a huge balloon and making it bigger and bigger (also an amazing trick to calm down a tantrum).
A mix of these can be done with your entire family and taught to your kiddos, too. They can too be mindful that water is precious, that love is there to give and share, that giving is a gift for the giver and nothing is more powerful than loving yourself from the inside out.
I’d love to know your tips for being present in life! How do you find happiness in the everyday? Did any of these tips work for you? Share below!