Easy steps to have a happier day
Tere Zacher

There’s so much negativity in the world right now. It’s important that you understand how significant the little things are in life and how they impact your overall level of happiness on a daily basis.

I remember a time in my life when I was very unhappy. I didn't know I was that unhappy, I just know I used to complain a lot, I used to get upset when things didn't work out my way... and one day I asked a friend how was she doing and her answer was "magnificent. Everything is wonderful, my life is perfect". I thought bull... there is no way people can be that happy all the time... that's when it hit me, I was not loving the life I was living and something needed to change unless I wanted to stay that way for the rest of my life...

Flash forward to the present moment and now I am on the boat where I just don't get how people can't be happy all the time and how people settle for less than what they truly deserve. We can all have the perfect life, We were born for that! it's not just a privilege for the chosen ones; We are all the chosen ones!!!!

One of the things that have helped me a lot has been meditating every day (just 10 minutes go a long way). Quieting my mind and stop the thinking process. Then I count my blessings. Every day. As a family we have a little notebook where every morning we write down three things we would like to accomplish in the day and at night we write down three things we are thankful for. I always have more than three! Another thing that has helped me a lot is understanding that happiness is accepting what it is without wishing it would be different. That doesn't mean you can't do things to change the future outcomes, but right here, right now, you can't do anything to change a situation that already IS. Accept it instead of trying to change it (and then take steps so it won't happen like this again). 

In order to keep to my OCD process of writing lists for everything (that helps my peace of mind as well ;) ), Here are 5 practical tips you can implement as soon as today!

1. Wake Up Earlier
You don’t have to wake up before the rooster crows, but you should get out of bed earlier than usual. By waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier, you’ll discover that you have that much more time to enjoy yourself.

Use this time to do something that makes you happy. You could read a book, listen to music, or enjoy a cup of coffee on the porch. Or, perhaps you could draw, paint, or assemble puzzles. If you’re a baker, you could make a delicious treat for later.

While some people wake up earlier and then rush off to work, use this time to do something you enjoy. You’ll notice just how much happier you are when your day starts off right. My favorite time in the day is when the city is still asleep and I get to go out for a run, not because I can't do it later, but because there is no noise outside and I get to see the sunset.

2. Eat The Frog First
There’s a popular saying that goes, “Eat the frog first.” The basic gist of the saying is that you should do the things that you dread the most at the very beginning of the day.

When you arrive at work, make it a point to ‘eat the frog first’. This could mean writing up a report, updating the budget, or dealing with accounting issues. “Whatever it is, do that one thing first and it will likely help you feel less stressed throughout the day knowing you don’t still have your most dreaded task ahead of you,” Zip Schedules, a leader in online employee scheduling software, points out.

Kori always does this with her food. Since she was little she saves the best piece of her meal for last. I found it funny at the beginning but it makes sense. She also does this with her homework. As soon as she gets home she goes straight to her desk and gets done with it so she can enjoy the rest of the day in her extracurricular activities or playing... I tend to procrastinate more so I will apply this one in my life for sure :)

3. Turn Off the News
While many people enjoy turning on the evening news after they get home from work, the reality is that there isn’t much happiness in these stories. It’s all about war, terrorism, natural disasters, and political feuds. In reality, very few of the topics discussed on the news will actually have a tangible impact on your day. So, why immerse yourself in the negativity? Turn off the news and watch a sitcom, play a game, or read a book. There is also a fantastic website (and app) calle "Upworthy". Here you can find positive news of events and people making a difference. This is the website both kori and I read when we want to find out what's happening in the world. It always leaves us with an uplifted spirit :)

4. Compliment Others
There is something incredibly powerful about dishing out compliments. While compliments certainly make others feel good, they actually make the giver feel even better in many cases.

When you make it a priority to give compliments, you’re actively spending less time thinking about yourself and more time noticing the wonderful things around you. And when you open your eyes up and start thinking positively, you’ll notice that there’s actually a lot of good stuff happening.

Going back to my daughter, I made a priority when she was born to teach her to look for something good or something she likes in other people and to tell them about it. As I mentioned earlier, I used to be very unhappy long time ago and I remember always finding things I didn't like in other people or criticizing them (just take a look at the magazines or websites around you and you will see how people tend to do this). By wanting Kori to do it I started doing it as well since there is no better way of teaching than leading by example. After a couple of months doing this it became a habit for me and I love how my life turned around. I always look for the positive in people and, believe me, there is always something good you can compliment people in. It may be their smile, it may be the shoes they are wearing, but when you do it it just starts a chain reaction of positivism. This is how we change the world.

5. Spend Time Outdoors
How many hours do you spend cooped up inside? Well, according to Amy Westervelt of Forbes, we spend around 90 percent of our time indoors. That’s pretty depressing!

According to research published in the Harvard Health Letter, spending time outdoors can actually have a tangible impact on your overall level of happiness. “Light tends to elevate people’s mood, and there’s usually more light available outside than in,” the report reads. “Physical activity has been shown to help people relax and cheer up, so if being outside replaces inactive pursuits with active ones, it might also mean more smiles.”

Discover The Happier You
We all have the right to be happy. For some of us, being cheerful comes naturally. However, for millions of people, happiness feels like it’s elusive and buried deep beneath the surface. The good news is that by developing positive habits and weeding the negativity out of your life, you can enjoy happier days – every day!

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