• Stephanie Hinds

5 Happy Habits


Fortunately, 90% of my life is spent in a state of absolute happiness. Unfortunately, when other people ask me what my trick is, I don’t really know how to explain it.

I’ve comprised a list of my top 5 "happy habits". They might take a while to become habits, but they do have an immediate effect. For me, at least.

Start mornings right.

I take an extra five minutes in the morning to tell the universe how my day is going to go. Because I am the boss. I say things like “I am happy”, “I am loved”, “I am divine”, and especially, “Today will be a good day.”

To think that someone sits in their bed and says these things out loud first thing in the morning is totally absurd. But it always seems to be the most asinine things that have real results. Try this the next time you wake up and see how much positivity you can muster up in just the first few minutes of your day, furthermore, the lasting effect it has on the rest of your day!

Rock out in your car.

I believe in being that person at the red light going crazy because whatever song is on is the best song in the world. Specialize your playlists, choose your music wisely, and don’t be afraid to walk to the beat sometimes.

Personally, I don’t listen to sad songs. I like to leave those for funerals and the first 5 minutes after a break up until you realize life goes on. I’m very cautious of what slow songs I listen to, and for the most part, a lot of (if not all) of the music I listen to is upbeat, fast with meaningful or inspirational lyrics, or just puts me in a good mood.

If you're wondering who I've got in my playlist, it's a fine mix of Sara Bareilles, Corinne Bailey Rae, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, Nelly Furtado, and a few men. Occasionally.

Keep to-do lists.

I started keeping a to do list when I was in high school because I found myself making “mental notes” in my head of things that needed to get done that never quite got finished.

I read about a study that scientifically proved the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that comes from the act of scratching something off a list. So I made an arts and crafts project of it and got a decorative notepad. On it, I would write down the smallest tasks like vacuum my car, or send an email. Sometimes the tasks were much larger, like booking a flight ticket or looking at new cars. Big or small, without the proper motivation, it’s hard to get them done.

Verbally communicate with yourself. Like, out loud.

Self-communication is one of the most rewarding habits. First it teaches you how to be comfortable with yourself. The more you talk, the more you have to say, and before you know it you’ll be talking about things you didn’t even know were on your mind, but sure feel good to let out.

Secondly, it teaches you to listen to yourself, and truly understand what it is your inner self is trying to say. Get in the habit of turning down your music (when you’re not rocking out in your car), and turning up your voice.

Be appreciative.

I always wonder how I can be so happy without even really having lived yet. I’m only 21, I’m still in university, and I’ve only travelled once. While some adults might think that the reason I am so happy is because I haven’t experienced the “real world” yet, I beg to differ.

I’ve learned the value of what I already do have in my life, so much that when I’m actually out there in the real world with things that bring me true happiness (my career, my children, home ownership) come in to my life it will just be an added bonus.

I believe that my experience in the “real world” will just be an elevated feeling of what I already feel. Sure, the reality of debt and job loss and stresses of home ownership and a sickening load of other haunting ideas are out there, but until I get there, my attitude remains unchanged, and will probably remain unchanged even if I find myself in the face of those realities.

To be honest, I just have this crazy gut feeling that my future will play out just as my day does when I wake up in the morning and tell it how to go.

Because I find happiness in the smallest, most minuscule things. Sometimes it doesn’t even have to do with me. Seeing other people happy, remembering something that makes you laugh so hard your tummy starts to hurt, a day where your make-up or hair turned out just as you had hoped, maybe even better, or sharing a moment with a stranger you might never see again.

There is a line in a Sheryl Crow song that sums this up perfectly. “It’s not having what you want; it’s wanting what you’ve got.”

Ultimately, we make of our lives and ourselves what we are able to. Our ability depends on the power we believe we have, and our belief in that power depends on our ability to see beyond just being human. And if being human is really all that we are, then you look around at the world we've created and tell me that isn't enough.


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