Tuesday, September 1, 2020

What I Do Daily That Brings Me Happiness

I'm just going to say it outright: 2020 has been hard -for so many reasons for so many different people. For me personally, some days are good, some days are bad, and mostly, the days just run together a la Groundhog Day. I would imagine that I'm not alone in these feelings.

I've shared this many times before but I am a big believer in finding the silver lining and creating your own happiness even when things are tough. Doing this in 2020 has been challenging, but I have been trying my darndest!! For years now, I have been doing one thing every single day that I truly think makes a difference in my happiness and in my mindset. 

Each night right before I go to bed, I share three things that I am grateful for and my fiancé does the same. We just share them out loud to each other. Before we lived together, I would do this on my own but now it's really nice to do together. Here are three examples from my day yesterday- which was, for the most part, uneventful and mundane...

- clean sheets on the bed
- no line at Trader Joe's
- a lovely chat with my neighbors

Sometimes the things I am grateful for are big things but mostly, they are small parts from my day that would otherwise be overlooked- like the items you see above. They don't have to be deep and even on the very worst days, I'm still always able to name three things.

This isn't something groundbreaking but I have especially found this small act of reflection greatly helpful this year. Once you get into a habit of doing it, it just comes naturally! 

Back in early March, my fiancĂ© and I went to premarital counseling. It was a requirement from our church in order to get married in the church. It was a really fun experience and so interesting. If you have the opportunity to do this, I definitely recommend it! One of the interesting things she shared with us is that when we walked into the room she told us to sit anywhere. There were two couches and a few chairs. Andrew and I both sat on the same couch right next to each other. She chuckled when we were seated and shared with us that many of the clients that she sees never sit next to each other on the same couch and how refreshing it was to see us close together. 

We both enjoyed it- it was fascinating and were also very happy that our counselor gave us 'high marks' as a couple. I remember we went out to dinner afterward to celebrate at our favorite sushi spot because that was the last church item on our wedding checklist before our actual wedding! Oh, to remember those truly wonderful days! 

Anyway, during our time at counseling, I shared that we share 3 good things from our day each night and she thought that was fantastic. She mentioned that she will often recommend actionable items like that to the couples she sees and she encouraged us to continue on with that. It doesn't have to even be a 'couple' thing, though. You can easily do this on your own whether it is by journaling or just thinking about it when you get into bed at night.

I find doing it at night helps to put my mind more at ease and helps to lessen any anxiety I may have. In turn, I truly think that it helps me to fall asleep quicker! 

Practicing this in my everyday life doesn't provide some huge overnight impact, but little-by-little, it certainly makes a difference. I think happiness is a choice and sometimes it can be a very tough choice, but this is something that has been helpful for me and I hope if you try it out it could be helpful for you! This post reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter) that says, 'Happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light!'


Kelly C said...

Oh Syndey I just love this! I love following along with you because your mindset is SO strong and is evident when you find happiness in the tiny things. I think I will start my three things tonight (love starting new goals on the first).

Anonymous said...

I am such a big believer in maintaining a daily gratitude practice like this. Throughout quarantine, at the end of each day, I’ve written down three things I’m grateful for—usually small things just like you. I had one week where I got really busy and didn’t do it and honestly, I felt the difference! Gotta keep it up and like you said, choose joy.

(The Frey Life is one of my favorite YouTube channels and their motto is “I choose joy.” It really keeps it in perspective to see how they determine to be joyful through some really difficult challenges.)

Another thing like that is, when the negative thoughts creep in, to ditch “why” in favor of “what”/“how.” So instead of “Why is this happening to me? Is there something wrong with me?” framing it like “What can I do to improve this situation? How do I get myself where I want to go?” Focusing on the practical has been so helpful, and I love that you’re encouraging people to be positive through it all!

Adrianna Cacciato said...

This is a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing! I have tried to do this throughout the day but I really like the idea of reflecting on the positives of your day before bed.

Whitney said...

If only I had Dumbledore's Deluminator....because I couldn't agree more 2020 is horrific. At every turn it gets worse, nothing surprises me, everyone I know has suffered something horrible this year. I was so positive about planning my wedding for 2021, but my mom was just diagnosed with cancer...so things I was looking forward to like dress shopping when things opened up are now gone.

I try to do something similar at least on a weekly basis, sharing positive and negative things from the week. Good to keep things in perspective.


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