Hello my dear listener! Welcome back to yet another episode of Morning Cup of Sunshine podcast. I am so excited for today’s episode. This was one of the topics suggested by a listener like you. Sometimes, we get ourselves wrapped so much into the routine that we forget to look for happiness. We get so busy just completing our chores for that day that we do not have time to even think about our own happiness. But some days, we suddenly realize that everything is just plain old routine, there is no excitement in the day, there are no joyous moments. I am a big believer in finding little moments of joy in our day-to-day life. I used to do a segment in this podcast called Happy Moment of the week and I used to share the small but substantial moments from my week that made me happy. I used to love that segment. I still write those moments in my daily journal because I know how good they made me feel. Today, I am going to talk about 7 simple things that we should do every day to be happier. These are the things that you already know but somehow, you just don’t do it, maybe because you never consider it as a priority, or you just don’t have time, or you simply are not aware of it. Today, I am going to help you find those pockets of happiness in your simple routine. So, let’s start, shall we?
You know me, I have talked about the importance of working out in several episodes. But it took me several years to realize that a workout is needed not only for achieving a certain body weight, but it is crucial for your mental health. I still remember when the pandemic first started in 2020, I started a new workout routine. Before 2020, I always used to do workouts in the morning, and I loved it. But in 2020, I started working on my podcast and I started using my mornings for writing a new episode, for reading and researching for new episodes so my workout time had to be changed. I started working out in the evening. After a stressful day at work, when I change into my workout clothes, I can literally feel the shift in my mindset. It feels as if I am really shutting down my work hours. Of course, I sometimes feel resistance from within. I sometimes want to just rest, sit in front of TV just to overcome that workday but those are only a few moments of weakness. The moment I change into workout clothes and head towards my elliptical, it changes everything. I forget how stressful that day was or what is on the list of things I need to do tomorrow. It is just me, my workout time and my beloved Bollywood songs to inspire me to workout. When I finish my workout, I am a completely different person, I am happier. I am calmer. I am much more in the mood to tackle the rest of my evening. Working out regularly has helped me become a happier person. I work out to feel happy. I work out to feel amazing. I suggest just spending 10 minutes working out every single day. Maybe dance to your favorite tunes or do yoga for 10 minutes or quick 100 jump ropes, or a full-on kickboxing session, whatever you love but do it every single day. Pick something that you truly love, you don’t need a fancy gym, or workout equipment, just pick an activity that you absolutely love and do it for at least 10 minutes. I guarantee you that you will be much happier once you finish your workout session.
Practice happiness -
What do I mean by this? I firmly believe that happiness is a choice. It is the way of life. The things, people, the activities that bring us happiness are all around us, we just have to find those and include them in our life. I understand that life is unpredictable, and nobody can guarantee you 365 days filled with only happiness. But the good thing about happiness is you don’t have to work super hard to find the lost happiness. Do small things, like celebrate yourself on the small day to day wins. Today, you worked out, ate a healthy meal, celebrate this by giving yourself a pat on your back. Smile a little more today as a smile is the first sign of happiness. How about you practice if deliberately? Today do some self-care activity to boost your own happiness level. As simple as it may seem, a lot of people forget to take care of themselves. Whether it's because of a busy work schedule, marriage, kids, family, pets, and friends, many people, specifically women, get little to no self-care. When you put yourself first, your happiness will shine through for sure. Remember, it all starts with you. If you are unhappy, who do you think is responsible? If you feel stuck, who do you think is responsible to work on it and come out with a bright smile. Ask for help wherever needed either from your friends, family or even experts. Just remember happiness is not out there somewhere, but it is within you.
Spend quality time with friends and family -
This is definitely an instant mood booster, isn’t it? Make it a priority to spend quality time with the people who bring you joy. Having a strong support system is the key to your happiness. Find the friends that lift you up, not the ones that tear you down. I can tell you from my personal experience, after a full-on hectic day at work, when I play with my kids even for 10 minutes, it instantly cheers me up. I know some days, even that seem like work. I totally understand that. But for most of the days, those 10 minutes help me destress and make me happy, those 10 minutes give me energy to tackle my rest of the evening. Some friends are for life and when you spend time with them, it instantly lifts your mood up.
Go outside -
I have a quick story to tell about this one. The other day, Rushi and I had a quick lunch in between our work calls. We both did not have calls for the next half an hour, it was gorgeous outside. Rushi insisted on going for a quick walk, just outside our home. To be very honest, I was not very ready to step outside in the middle of workday. I had a lot of work-related things on my mind. But he insisted on walking just for 10 minutes. I finally agreed and we stepped outside. It was absolutely amazing outside. There was a light breeze, not too hot, not too cold, it was absolutely perfect. We started walking, we were just talking about some mundane things, deliberately keeping work related talk away from our discussions. We walked for just 10 minutes but it absolutely changed my mood completely. I was so glad that I agreed to step outside, even if it was just for 10 minutes. My day suddenly became way more cheerful. I definitely suggest you try it sometimes. If you are feeling a little vulnerable or if you are stressed out, just put on your walking shoes and walk outside for 10 minutes, this one is definitely an instant mood lifter.
Spend at least a few minutes working on your passion -
This one is definitely my most favorite thing to talk about. You know this is the whole purpose of creating this podcast. From the day I started my podcast, I have got so many emails telling stories about how they started working on their passion after listening to this podcast. They all have one common thread. They all say how purposeful and accomplished they feel after working on their passion. I can not agree more. Passion gives you purpose in life. Everyday, when I wake up early in the morning, I am excited to write, create a new episode. Every time, when I think of a new topic, I express my thoughts and pen them down, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I feel that my day has started just right. I know, we all have to work for somebody else for the entire day. Even if you are a stay at home mom or a working mom, you keep on taking care of somebody else for the entire day, you take care of your home, you take care of your kids, you take care of your parents, you take care of your family. The entire day you work in your day job finishing up tasks after tasks. You just tick the checkboxes of responsibilities towards others. But what about you my friend? When are you going to take care of yourself? When you are going to feel up your cup , you are just pouring from it non-stop. When are you going to take time to replenish that cup? You can never say that I will work for the next 10-20 years and then I am going to work on my hobbies. No my friend, nobody has seen what will happen after 10-20 years. What about all those years when you kept your passion on the backburner, what about the happiness in those years? Why not spend 10 minutes from your day working on your passion. I am not asking you more. I am sure you can take 10 minutes out from your day. I guarantee you that this will be your daily dose of happiness. I really want to create an episode on this topic, so definitely look out for this episode soon.
Journal (gratitude) -
Ever since I started journaling in March 2020, it gave me a completely new perspective. It taught me to look for happiness around me. Finding happiness is a practice. Sometimes, it is just around us or within us but we miss seeing it. Everyday, I write about the things that brought me joy that day. Most of the time those are very small things. It ranges from playing board games with kids to an intense workout session. Sometimes it is as trivial as a nice heart to heart conversation with a friend or a simple home cooked meal that turns out to be super delicious. Every since I started writing these things in my journal every morning, I started looking for happiness in small things, which were getting ignored before. We always think that we will be happy once we buy a house or when we get the promotion or when we run a marathon, or when we have a certain amount of money in the bank or when we take a trip. No, my friend, don’t wait for big things to happen just to feel happy. Happiness does not need big things, it is within us , it is all around us, you just have to look for it. Journaling made me look for those small moments. I have an entire episode on how to start journaling, please listen to that episode if you are unsure about starting journaling. It does not need fancy journal, fancy prompts. It just needs 10 minutes from your day and I am sure you will be surprised to see its power.
Random act of kindness -
Finally the most powerful way to be happier is to make someone else happy. Your small act of kindness can bring a smile on someone else’s face and in turn it gives you a sense of fulfillment. And that happiness, my friend, is unparalleled. Involve yourself in some volunteering activity, help somebody in your own special ways. Small gestures, random acts of kindness go a long way. Letting someone go in front of the grocery line, giving someone your seat in a crowded bus, giving someone a heartfelt compliment, writing a thank you note to your kids’ teacher. These all are small gestures but they increase your happiness quotient. Being mindful of not only your own but someone else's feelings gives you a sense of calmness and in turn makes you happier. The purpose of our life is to be happy, so work for it, earn it and cherish it forever. Happiness is not bound to your possessions, it is bound to your ability to enjoy those possessions. Just remember, It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy that makes us happy.