“The time to be happy is now,” my yoga instructor said yesterday. Sounds simple, but happiness is elusive and can’t be ordered on demand like a movie. Or can it?
Scientists have been unlocking the mysteries of happiness. Turns out, happiness is best achieved when we are in the present moment and not letting our minds wander. Mind-wandering invites the stress and worries of the past and future to invade – party-crashers!
Unfortuantely, “Mind-wandering isn’t just frequent, it’s ubiquitous – it pervades everything that we do,” explains Matt Killingsworth in his TED Talk (below). So how do we stay present and happy?
REM Runner’s top 8 tricks for staying in the happy bubble of “NOW”:
- Smiling – “Smiling stimulates our brain reward mechanism in a way that even chocolate – a well-regarded pleasure inducer – cannot match. One smile can generate the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 bars of chocolate,” says Ron Gutman in his TED Talk (below).
- Interacting with children & animals – cuteness!
- Good smells – candles, coffee, fresh-cut grass, etc.
- Music – especially live music. Check out “Now” by Matt & Kim.
- Creating something – art journaling, painting, writing, baking.
- Sipping tea – I love peppermint, chai or sleepytime tea.
- Playing games – any game will do, kickball, Apples to Apples, tennis, rock-papper-scissors.
- Sunsets – pink is my favorite color.
“Tomorrow is tomorrow.
Future cares have future cures,
And we must mind today.”