I’m always curious to see which of my posts generate the most traffic. In the three years I’ve been blogging, last year’s post on Five (More) Firework-Worthy July Celebrations is number 2. That tells me that my readers enjoy life and want to celebrate.
To add to your joy, this year I’m giving you five happiness practices to incorporate into your July celebration!
1. Practice the Law of Allowing
When you practice allowing, you are doing two things worthy of celebration. You are lovingly accepting yourself, without judgement, just as you are. Secondly, you are accepting of others. When you practice the law of allowing you avoid resistance, disappointment, anger, jealously, and other negatively charged emotions. Through allowing, you feel acceptance, hopeful, happy, and love.
One way to practice allowing is by withholding judgement on yourself and others. You are where you are, and where you are is exactly where you need to be. End of story.
2. Practice Gratitude
Most coaches will tell you that practicing gratitude is the is the most powerful practice of all, and I’m one of them. It’s so important to recognize the aspects of your life that are going right. For starters, when you think about the good in your life you are not thinking about what you don’t feel good about. Thinking of the good stuff shifts your mind into a more open, positive, and mindful state. The feelings associated with gratitude are linked directly to love and we all know that love makes the world go around. In the famous Harvard Happiness Study, George Vaillant, who directed the study for more than three decades summed it up like this, “Happiness is love. Full stop.”
I recommend starting every day by thinking of all the aspects of your life for which you can be grateful. Repeat the process at night when you go to bed. An attitude of gratitude is an attitude of appreciation, love, and happiness.
3. Practice Detachment
Have you ever experienced a confrontation that you couldn’t get out of your head? Hours afterwards you were still replaying it in your head? That’s an example of when practicing detachment can help you regain a calm state of mind. It’s easy to say that detachment is about letting go of the negative emotion associated with an incident that has left you unhappy. It’s something else to actually do it!
Here’s a great tip: recite a mantra telling yourself to let go. I will let go of this replay and move on. I will let go of the replay and move on. By telling yourself that you will let the memory go, you are no longer victim to your emotions. Rather, you detach from the emotion, clear your mind, and reset. Save your energy for the good stuff in life by letting the bad stuff go. You’ll feel so much better when you do.
4. Practice Creative Visualization
There is a reason why Olympic athletes around the world use creative visualization; it is highly effective for enhancing performance and creating the desired outcome. Creative visualization is deliberately designing and manifesting what you want, whether it’s an opportunity to meet someone you have always admired or finally breaking your personal best in the swim meet you’ve been training for. When you allow your mind to experience the manifestation of your desire, it’s real in your mind’s eye. Your heart may race, you may break out in a big smile, all because your body experiences the associated emotions with the outcome.
You can practice creative visualization by closing your eyes and imagining exactly what you want, how you will feel when you get it, and how your life will be impacted afterwards. When you imagine living the life you desire, you clear away mental blockages that get in the way of your success. Experiencing the attainment of your intentions through creative visualization paves the way for the “real enchilada” and that’s a great feeling!
5. Practice Charity
It doesn’t matter if charity is in the form of thought, word, or deed, when giving selflessly to others how can you not feel good? Whatever your talents, consider sharing them with others. What do you do well and enjoy? If you enjoy reading, consider volunteering for a reading program at the local elementary school. If you enjoy gardening, consider creating or maintaining a raised garden bed at a senior center. VolunteerMatch.com is a great website that makes it easier to match volunteer opportunities with people.
Have more money than time? Consider anonymously donating to local charities, PTAs, or paying off someone’s store layaway. Do you like global causes? Kiva.org is one of the most reputable websites for empowering people around the world with micro loans as small as $25 US dollars.
I recently came across a term coined by Michael Bernard Beckwith — blissipline! I’m so in love with this idea of combining discipline with bliss that I’m sharing it here as a bonus practice.
What is blissipline? It’s when you have the discipline to pursue your life goals while celebrating happiness in each moment along the way. How can it get any better than this?
Let the fireworks begin!