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Happiness Rituals

Lifestyle |

What are your daily rituals?

I imagine they look something like this…

  • Hygiene: shower once a day, brush teeth twice a day, floss once a day (or so we tell our dentist).
  • Social: go on Facebook three times a day, talk on phone with friends once a day
  • Health: eat vegetables twice a day, sleep 8 hours per night, exercise 30 min a day
  • Work: check email and voicemail 1,000,000+ times a day

What are your daily happiness rituals?

I was recently reading the book Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment by Tal Ben-Shahar and read the below quote:

“For athletes, being a top performer is a deeply held value, and therefore they create rituals around training; for most people, hygiene is a deeply held value, and therefore they create the ritual of brushing their teeth. If we hold our personal happiness as a value and want to become happier, then we need to form rituals around that too.”

I am often asked if it takes work to be happy or if you are just born that way.

Studies say that happiness is 50 percent genetic (your happiness “set point”), 40 percent attitude and 10 percent circumstantial.

What can we do to influence that 40 percent of our happiness? I see happiness as a muscle, you need to exercise it daily or it becomes weak.

Think about when you go on vacation and how happy you feel. You are working your happiness muscle and then you come back to reality, work, the daily grind and it goes away and you think it’s just because you aren’t on vacation anymore.

Of course that is part of it, but the other part of it is that you aren’t working your happiness muscle.

I thought I’d share with you my daily happiness rituals which you are welcome to borrow, modify, or just be inspired by to do something else that feels right for you. I do all three of these things every night before I go to bed.

Gratitude

I mentally go through my day, pick out one thing that was really great about the day, and I write it down. It’s only one sentence. I find that keeping a gratitude journal is too overwhelming for me so I keep it to one sentence.

Vision Board

It wasn’t until I read Manifesting Change that I really understood how to use a vision board. I used to have my board be really literal and now I understand that I only need images on there that evoke a certain feeling inside of me, one of excitement and happiness. I have about eight images on my board and it is placed on the dresser across from my bed so that I can see it easily. I choose a different image to focus on each night and spend a couple of minutes looking at the image and allowing myself to get really excited about what is possible.

Meditation 

This was something that I always struggled with. Then I heard Oprah say, “try meditating for one minute a day.” I thought to myself, “I can do that.” So, I started with one minute. I am by no means a pro as I only last about 4-5 minutes now. While I meditate, I focus on my breath. When I breath in, I try to imagine the smell of fresh cut grass and the ocean (there is a beach in Hawaii that I picture) and when I breath out, I picture a murky color of all of the toxins and negative things coming out.

All together, I would say that this nighttime ritual takes me about 10 minutes, but making it a priority in my life the same way I make relationships, health and work a priority has made an immense difference in my life.

What about you? Do you have a daily happiness ritual that you really like?

Ask Samira DeAndrade if she has a happiness ritual! 

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happiness meditation work life balance

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Suzannah Scully

Suzannah Scully is an executive coach, speaker and blogger with a corporate background working for organizations such as Gap, Inc & Williams-Sonoma, Inc. Her mission is to help create meaning in people's work by connecting who they are to what they do. Her clients have included executives from: Genentech, Sony, Square, Adobe, Levis, Williams-Sonoma, Inc, Wells Fargo and Google. She has given presentations for Stanford University, Haas Business School of Berkeley and Vanderbilt University as well as other local bay area companies. Suzannah received a B.A. from UCLA in Sociology and has received her C.P.C.C. from The Coaches Training Institute. She is married with two children and a dog and lives in Marin County, CA. When not working or with her family, you can usually find her either hiking, at a farmers market or in a coffee shop.