I’ve seen this quote floating around Facebook for quite a while. When I see it, I think of certain people in my life. People who seem to be happy no matter what – they take on life with a smile on their face and in their heart. These are the people I often try to emulate, especially when facing obstacles in my life.
Our April theme of the month is Sri. Sri is an expression of enthusiasm, grace and light from the inside out. These people, these happy-hearted individuals, are the embodiment of Sri.
We all want to be happy. But sometimes it’s hard. Life is busy – and at times we can become overwhelmed with our to-do lists. Life can be scary – we may get fearful of threats that might occur. Life can be sad – we mourn for those who have suffered so greatly. And while life is all of these dark things, life is also full of beauty, joy and love. People who embody Sri choose to focus on the good things, rather than the bad.
So when life has you leaning towards the dark and dreary, here are some tips you can follow to help you find the light again.
1.Do something good for someone else. This doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. It may be letting someone ahead of you in line at the store, or holding the door open for the person behind you. It may be sending a “thinking of you” text to a loved one. Just do something to make someone else smile. And their smile will help put a smile on your face.
2.Get in some movement. Yoga is a great way to center your mind and move your body, bringing balance to your emotions and leaving you in a better mood.
3.Go outside. Be with nature – whether it’s in your neighborhood or a park, go be outdoors. Breathe in the fresh air and let it fill your lungs. Take the time to marvel at the beauty around you. It’s hard to be in a bad mood in a lovely setting.
4.Fake it till you make it. Sometimes our less than happy moods can rub off on others, whether we intend it to or not. And to be happier, we need to surround ourselves with happiness. So even if you aren’t feeling that big smile, put it on your face anyways. Influence others to be happy – and that will make you happy!
5.Use positive words. Don’t start your day with “I’m in a bad mood.” Start your day with “it’s going to be a great day!” If you see a challenge come your way, look at it as an opportunity to grow and learn. Turn everything into a positive.
6.Relish small pleasures. We are often always looking forward to big events that come infrequently. And while it’s great to have excitement about the future, it’s even more important to be excited about today – the ordinary day! What are you going to do today that you are excited about? Are you going to see a great friend? Are you going to take a family walk in the beautiful weather? Are you treating yourself to a healthy and delicious lunch? How about a yoga class with a favorite teacher? Every day has positive, fun things if you look for them!
7.Surround yourself with positivity. From music, to television to the books we read – keep things positive. While it’s important to stay abreast of world happenings, it’s also important to be surround yourself with the good in the world.
8.Take time to feel your feelings. If you find you can not beat the sadness, join it. It’s ok to take some time to feel what you need to feel. Find some quiet alone space, journal, meditate, pray, draw – do what you need to do to express these feelings. Once you have truly let yourself experience the darkness, it is much easier to find the light.