It may seem counter intuitive to prepare for happiness, but let me explain my meaning at this blog post. Happiness may have been natural when we were younger but as adults it sometimes is just easier to pick out the negative and wallow than be happy. This is especially true when something bad happens in our lives. Something “bad’ can be different for all of us and I believe that it is up to us to determine how we will react or how we will view a situation. This is where the preparing for happiness comes into play.

“There is no short cut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation.”
— George Washington Carver

Although this quote maybe about achievement, it rings true to what I believe about happiness. The time to work at being happy is now. If you wait until “shit hits the fan” it will be much harder to find your self in a place of positivity, gratitude and happiness. By starting some daily habits of happiness now, you can be in a better mindset and better prepared for what may come as a trial in the future. So what are those daily happiness habits? I’ll give you three to start.

1. Express Gratitude

In today’s world of (social media a.k.a daily social comparisons) it can be easy to get caught up in what we want think we should have. The first step to happiness is to stop wishing for what others have or you think you should have and instead be happy and grateful for what you do have in your life. I will admit I have difficulty with this especially when everything around me seems so difficult or dire. But I can always be grateful for the sun even when my world seems dark. I can be grateful for a delicious taste of lemonade on a hot day. If you are going through a hard time and having difficulty seeing things to be grateful for I recommend spending some time outside. Take a look around at the trees, clouds, the rocks, the birds.

2. Have Good Posture

When we are sad or tired, what do we do with our bodies? We tend to close up. We fold our arms, hang our heads and wring our hands. One way to trick yourself into being in a better mood and to consistently be happy is to have good posture. When you are feeling down, open your body up, spread your arms out wide, look up and SMILE! Do that for ten seconds I guarantee you’ll find yourself in a better mood. While that may be for extreme circumstances, sitting straight and smiling are great happiness habits to implement throughout your day.

3. Hug it Out  

Hugging is proven to make you happier. Hugging for 20 seconds with a loved one can raise oxytocin which in turn raises your levels of trust in the other person and releases emotions of happiness. The next time you are arguing with your spouse, take a second and ask for a long hug. It took my husband and I a few months to get into this habit but I’ll never forget the day he wasn’t feeling too great about things and he came to me and asked for a long hug to make him feel better. It made us both feel better and it was then that I realized one of the best happiness habits is to hug it out.

Do you already do some of these habits? Which of these do you think is the easiest? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Photo by Igor Kasalovic