When I wake up each morning, I say out loud “Today’s going to be the best day of my life.” Somehow it sets a positive mood in my mind and when I say it, I truly believe it, I try to connect with what I’m saying emotionally by visualizing a truly beautiful day.
I also do a lot of visualization during my meditation. I always thought meditation would bore me stiff until I started practicing it. You don’t have to be a Buddhist to meditate just like you don’t have to be religious to pray.
I meditate for five to ten minutes and what I basically do is speak out positive affirmations (don’t judge me if I’m not doing it right. It works for me and that’s all that matters) I basically say the things I want for myself, those things that are contagious enough to reach those around me. I have a long list but here a few I say to myself out loud:
I am kind
I am loving
I am loveable
I am trustworthy
I am compassionate and empathetic
I am a gift to everyone I come across
I am full of light: anger, bitterness, unforgiveness and self-pity have no place to reside within me
I am more than good enough, I deserve all the good things that come my way
I will never give up on my dreams no matter how long it takes. Time is just an illusion
I know I can find a solution to every problem I encounter. I won’t allow anyone steal my joy, my peace or my sanity.
I am in complete charge of how my life turns out, I am my own painter and my masterpiece is slowly revealing itself.
2. Read UP!
I follow several of my ‘positive thinking’ and ‘personal growth’ boards on Pinterest. On days when I am pressed for time all I do is scroll through and I tell you those little nuggets of positivity are just as fulfilling as reading a whole chapter of a great book.
Most of the people I’m connected to on LinkedIn share some great and uplifting quotes as well, I appreciate every last one of them. And on most days the things I read are just what I need to remind me that all is well.
Love listening to music? Find your favorite ‘happy’ song or songs and listen to while you’re going through your morning routine or during the day when you start to feel a dip in your energy level.
Another thing I like to do is dance. It’s amazing how one intentional act can change your whole mood. By god, we all have to fight to be happy, so if you must burst into dance wherever you are to get your spirits back up, do it. Refuse to stay down for too long.
3. Act UP!
Do something good. Isn’t it lovely how it feels great to do something good for someone else?
Give someone your spot on the grocery line
Pay a compliment to the teller or the person next to you on the bus
Call someone and remind them how much they’re loved
Offer a smile, a hug, do something to put a smile on someone’s face and feel your heart burst with joy.
4. Eat UP!
It is no secret that what you put into your body directly affects the quality of your energy.
Eat regularly. Don’t miss meals
Eat more nutrient-dense foods like vegetables (organic is best when you can afford it)
Stay away from fatty and fried foods, highly processed foods and sugar
Don’t over eat
Drink plenty of water
5. Look UP! (Practice Gratitude)
Growing up, my mother always impressed upon us the importance of being content with what we have. We were not allowed to share clothes or borrow clothes from friends. She taught us not envy what others’ had. It was a beautiful lesson to learn from an early age.
Most Christmases, we were just happy enough to spend it with family and friends. We knew that when mom had money she got us something, but when money was tight we offered acts of service to one another like, iron someone’s shirt, write someone a poem, polish someone else’s shoes or do someone’s chores. I will never forget how much more wonderful it was to do those little things for each other.
Most days we would cook and visit the less fortunate in our city and give them food and toiletries. We were not rich but whatever little we had, mother taught us to share with those who had none at all.
Gratitude is the answer to all your treasures, the key to abundance in spirit. On days I start to complain, I remember these:
I am alive
I have eyes to see
I have ears to ear
I can walk and dance and sing
I have friends and family who care and love me
I have food to eat
A roof over my head
Light, clean water and clothes to cover my nakedness
I can count my blessings
6. Give it UP! (Practice Forgiveness)
We all know why it is important to forgive those who’ve wronged us. You don’t have to wait for someone to apologize before you forgive them. It is never easy but it’s worth it when you can forgive fast enough before it starts to poison your soul. And once your soul is poisoned it will reach every other area in your life.
But the BIGGEST unforgiveness we harbor is that for self. Most of us bear that heavy load upon our backs like some punishment or substitute for penance. How do you fly with such a burden weighing down on you? How do you soar when your feet are chained to the floor?
Learn to forgive yourself of past mistakes. Remember that you will hurt someone and someone will hurt you, no one is immune to that. As long as you don’t go out of your way to deliberately destroy someone’s life, you can rest assured that life will happen against our best laid plans. Life is messy and human beings can be messier.
Say to yourself (out loud) I forgive myself. Next time I will do better because I know what not to do.”
Forgiving yourself frees you from shame and guilt and self-pity, the three musketeers of stagnation.
7. Sweat it Out
Exercise is one of my favorite highs. It releases endorphins, you know, those feel-good hormones that makes you feel invincible. I’m not going to elaborate on this point but I will gladly refer you to Mr. & Mrs. Google, they can direct you to tons of information about the benefits of exercise and so forth.
8. Love: GOOD love
Nothing uplifts the spirits like talking or spending quality time with people you care about and who care about you too.
Pick up the phone and call a friend
Meet up for tea or coffee
Take a walk in the park
Watch your children play
Watch your partner smile
Plan a surprise get-away in the middle of your living room or bedroom
There is no medicine like good love, the kind that makes you feel safe and free. And if you don’t have someone to spend time with, you have you. Spoil yourself, fall in love with yourself, after all, all other loving comes from the overflow of loving oneself.
9. Do What You Enjoy Doing
What is it that you would do even if you were paid very little to do it?
Yes, we all have bills to pay and most of us have jobs we don’t particularly enjoy doing but it’s a way to take care of our basic needs. Be grateful for that.
But take time during the day and do that thing that burns inside of you. You know, the one for which they call you a ‘dreamer’.
As a writer, I spend at least 15-20 minutes a day writing, even if it’s to write down my thoughts. When I’m not writing, I’m reading or doing some other thing I love and thoroughly enjoy doing. It is very important that I do this every day.
If you can’t do the thing you’re passionate about, plan toward it. Just do one thing every day towards that goal.
10. Assess Your Day
Throughout the day take a few moments to assess your thoughts. Catch those negative thoughts before they take root. Watch your thoughts watch you. Be the observer. Your thoughts are like little missiles carrying within them life or death. Learn to see and stop those deadly negative thoughts before they invade your mind.
You are your own armor and your own weapon.
At the end of the day, do exactly what you did in the beginning, SPEAK UP! Speak your positive affirmations out loud, meditate/assess your day and visualize the next day.
Take nothing negative with you to bed, only the positive things that happened during the day.
Remember that the next day you will be reborn and you have a chance to do it all over, and differently, if you so choose.
Say to yourself "I am thankful for this day. I did the best I could do. All is well.”
FIGHT TO BE HAPPY
No matter how hard you try
You can never steal my joy
Because I will fight, fight, fight to be happy
Between the lines and on my face you'll never know the height of my pain
Because I fight, fight, fight to be happy
Your negativity may dimple, poke and sometimes burst my bubble
But you'll never see me cry
Because I'll fight, fight, fight to be happy
I am joy radiated, love personified
Fool me, lie to me, and break me
But you’ll never destroy me
Because I’ll fight, fight, fight to be happy
And just so you know, I’ve had a lifetime worth of practice