I believe there's a big difference between being positive and being happy. To me, positivity is a mindset you can have it all times — regardless of the situation — while happiness is something you experience for a set (usually brief) period of time. Happiness in the general sense is what many people strive for, but what they should be striving for instead is to cultivate a positive mindset that will lead to more happy moments. Creating a positive mindset involves a lifestyle change and a complete shift in how you see the world (something I hope I'm encouraging with each Positively Present blog post!). Happy moments, on the other hand, can be created with small acts.
Each and every day we have the opportunity to create little bits of happiness for ourselves and for others. We might not feel happy for long periods of time (like those days when everything just seems to be going wrong), but that doesn't mean we can't have happy moments. Sometimes we don't feel we deserve happy moments and sometimes we don't feel as if we can have them (like when we're really upset or angry), but no matter how you're feeling in a general sense (positive, negative, angry, sad, joyful, excited, nervous, etc.), you can create little moments in a day when you feel a burst of happiness.
The trick to having these moments is to be open to the possibility of having them. No matter what your mindset of the day, if you're open to a little bit of happiness, you can create it or find it. I'm not going to say this won't take some effort on your bad days — it's going to be tough — but if you're at least open to the possibility of a little bit of happiness, you'll give yourself a chance to experience it.
You might be wondering what these little moments of happiness consist of. In my mind, they're those fleeting moments when, no matter what's going on in your life, you feel a bit of joy inside, even if it's only for a moment. This might be because of someone else's act or something you've done for yourself, but whatever the reason, you feel like smiling. Obviously we can't control when others do things that give us these little happy moments, but we can do things to create happy moments for ourselves. Here are some ideas for creating happy moments (even if you're not having a happy day!):
HAPPY MOMENTS YOU CAN CREATE TODAY
- Give a nice tip to someone serving you
- Smile at a coworker you don't know well
- Eat something with sprinkles on it
- Draw a caricature of yourself or a friend
- Watch a funny video on YouTube (like this)
- Do an unexpected favor for a friend
- Make a list of things you're grateful for
- Strike up a conversation with a stranger
- Call up a friend for a quick chat
- Pay for someone behind you in line
- Explore archives on a favorite site
- Give someone an unexpected hug or kiss
- List what you've accomplished today
- Make shadow puppets in the dark
- Send a handwritten letter to a friend
- Research places you'd like to visit
- Sign up for an online learning experience
- Go for a short walk around the block
- Offer to pick up the lunch/dinner tab
- Compliment a complete stranger
- Bake something delicious just for you
- Lend someone your favorite book
- Send a surprise pizza to a friend
- Let someone in your lane while driving
- Tell a friend why you love him/her
- Order flowers for someone (or yourself!)
- Donate used clothing to charity
- Write a check to your favorite charity
- Send a just-because thank you note
- Tell a silly joke to a friend
- Take a colleague out to lunch
- Bring your boss/coworker/friend coffee
- Post something uplifting on Facebook
As you can see, there are tons of little ways to bring happiness into your day (many of which, you might have noticed, involve bringing happiness to others). I'm hoping to bring a little happy moment to you today by offering you a chance to win a subscription to one of my favorite magazines, Live Happy! See below for details on how to enter.
WIN A SUBSCRIPTION TO LIVE HAPPY MAGAZINE!
I'm offering one lucky guy or gal a chance to win something that definitely brings me some happy moments: a one-year subscription (six issues) to Live Happy Magazine! This magazine weaves the science of positive psychology through inspiring features, relatable stories, and sage advice to help people discover their personal journey of happiness in life, at work, and at home. Every time I read it, I feel more inspired and uplifted and I'm sure you will too! See below for details on how to enter this giveaway!
HOW TO ENTER
1. Enter by doing one (or all!) of the following. Each counts as an entry.
* Friend PositivelyPresent on Facebook
* Follow PositivePresent on Twitter
* Follow PositivelyPresent on Instagram
* Follow PositivelyPresent on Pinterest
* Link to this post on any social media outlet
2. Leave a comment below, including:
* Where / how you entered (every follow / like / tweet / etc. counts!)
* Your email address (in the email box, not the comment box)
* Every follow / share / tweet / like, etc. counts as one entry
* Enter as many times as you'd like to increase your chances!
* Winner will be chosen and notified via email on 2/16/15