Hello my friends.
I stumbled on this wonderful article at Apartment Therapy and the minute I saw the first “simple thing” I had to share it with you. According to THIS article, our smallest habits in our home can have a powerful impact on our happiness. That’s because our homes are an extension of ourselves.
For example. Do you make your bed each morning? I don’t. But after reading this article I actually have a different perspective about my messy bed.
Here’s the ten things that might inspire you to make a few changes in your life.
1. Make your bed
Gretchen Rubin, author of the bestselling book "The Happiness Project", explains that making the bed was "the number ONE most impactful change that people brought up over and over" when she was researching her book on what inspires happiness. Isn’t this interesting? Evidently making our beds is considered a “keystone habit,” which is a habit that spills over to other productive habits. It starts your day off on the right foot and encourages you onward.
Three minutes. That’s all you need to devote to this task in order to lift your spirits.
2. Bring every room back to "ready."
Here’s another quick improvement to your mood. Because clutter is known to cause stress, the idea is to be your own best friend by creating a nice ‘welcome’ when you return home.This doesn’t mean you need to be a neat freak. Just take a few minutes before you leave the house to get your room to a state of “readiness.” Pick up. Put the shoes away. Wipe up the counters.
When you walk in the door it will be a mood changer. The author recommends this Seven Step Path to learn more.
3. Display sentimental items around your home
This seems like a no-brainer but when we surround ourselves with sentimental objects that remind us of good experiences we feel better. So be careful not to lump those special, little mementos into the clutter category.
Studies tell us that it’s our relationships that are the foundation of our happiness so when we decorate with meaningful objects we help create that warm, homey feeling.
4. Start a one-line-a-day gratitude journal
People who keep gratitude journals are happier. This is what research tells us. Before bed, simply jot down one happy memory from that day. (If you have kids, you can ask them, "What was the best part of today?") Reflection is an important part of happiness, and pausing to reflect on a positive event from each day cultivates gratitude
The author recommends buying Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ban Breathnach, to guide you.
5. If you can't get out of it, get into it.
Cleaning dishes is a good example. Obviously, dishes can’t clean themselves so there’s no avoiding them.
But we have the power to transform our mundane housekeeping into something worthy of our time. Begin by being in the moment. Feel the soothing, warm water on your hands. Enjoy the tickle of the tiny bubbles. Turn on the music to make it fun.
And try to practice gratitude.When you’re cleaning the dishes it’s a perfect time to be thankful you have a sink to stand at and dishes to wash. And the food that’s stuck on the plates? Well, it’s a wonderful thing to have food to satisfy our hunger, isn’t it?
6. Before you get up each morning, set an intent for the day.
In The Art of Happiness, the Dali Lama recommends this daily practice. Choose your attitude each morning and make this a positive habit. It only takes a few moments to settle on an affirmation for our day.
What will it be?
If you can’t decide, use this one from the Dali Lama to get you started.
7. Do small favors for housemates, expect nothing in return
Mow the lawn for your husband, but don't expect him to pat you on the back. Make the bed for your wife, but don't try to get bonus points for it. Take the trash out for your roommate, just because. The ability to cultivate strong, healthy relationships is one of the biggest contributors to health and happiness, but when you start to keep score, the benefit is lost.
It's a well-known fact:
When you do good, you feel good.
8. Call at least one family member or friend a day
You can do this while you clean, while you make the bed, or while you walk the dog. Texts and emails do not count! Make an actual phone call to a loved one, just to chat and catch up. We humans are social beings and studies show that even when we don't feel like it, even if we are naturally introverted, socializing with our loved ones makes us feel better
9. Spend money on things that improve your experiences in your home
Save money for a new grill for parties or a new DVD for family movie night — something that will encourage you to have people over and entertain.
Plan a summer barbeque, invite your closest friends, kick back and relax. (And don't forget to print out the pictures to remember the good times.)
10. Spend a few minutes each day connecting with something greater than yourself.
Whatever your spiritual beliefs may be, studies show that connecting to a higher power is correlated with happiness. Before bed, spend just a few minutes contemplating something larger than yourself. Pray. Take a walk in nature. Write in a journal. Create a sacred space in your home. (Or if spirituality is really not your thing, create a home spa: light some candles, soak in a hot bath, delve into a good book… are you feeling better yet?)
Do you already do most of these 10 things?
I’m sharing this post with these friends: