3 ways to experience more moments of happiness in your life

3 ways to experience more moments of happiness in your life
To what extent do you live on autopilot? We almost all do it. Before you know it, a whole day can go by without you actually being present at what happened.

You were there, but your mind was already in the future or still preoccupied with what had happened before. You sat at your computer with your head still with your child. Or you were in a conversation but busy with completely other things in the meantime. You ate something delicious without actually tasting it. The worry machine is working overtime.

But have you also seen the beautiful sky? Hear the birds chirping? See the sunlight shining in? Have you found small moments of happiness in your day?

How do you prevent that you are always in your head and therefore never really get to see your life? The key to this lies in the here and now. Be really present with what is now, instead of going around in circles in your head. Below are  3 tips to connect with the here and now and find more of those moments of happiness in your day:

1. Use your senses

3 ways to experience more moments of happiness in your life

As you can see from the examples above: you experience the here and now through your senses (not in your head) and that is where your moments of happiness are located. And the big advantage is: that the now is always there. You just have to remember to use your senses.

Close your eyes and listen to the sounds: near, far, perhaps even within you. Bring your hands to your legs and feel the fabric of your pants. Feel how the table feels when you touch it. The pen in your hands. Open your eyes and watch the light reflect in the glass in front of you. See the leaves of the tree in front of the window and how they move in the wind.

Also really stay present with what you perceive so that it can really enter. This way you can anchor yourself in the here and now and experience the peace that this can bring you.

Tip: there are apps available for your phone where you hear a bell every few minutes or hours as a reminder to be here and now. Very useful to help you remember. Using your senses always works, but you have to think about using them consciously. Google ‘mindfulness app windows/mac/iPhone/android/etc’ and you’ll find one that works for you.

2. View the world like a child

Another fun exercise: Pretend to be a kid again and see everything for the first time. What would you notice? What would you look at? Do you still walk through the fallen autumn leaves without thinking or do you take the time to look at them, feel them, experience them?

Take some time to experience the world as if it were all new to you. For example, during a (lunch) walk or break, or when you are doing something that you normally do on autopilot, such as folding the laundry or loading the dishwasher. Be fully present in what you do and marvel at what you see, hear, smell, feel, and experience. That also connects you directly with the here and now.

3. Use your breath as an anchor

3 ways to experience more moments of happiness in your life

The beauty of your breathing is that it:

  • brings you directly into your body and into the here and now
  • always with you (if it’s good :-))

You can use your breath as an anchor to connect with the here and now. Initially, try not to multitask (breathe and do something else at the same time) but focus 100 percent on your breathing.

Drop everything for a moment and follow your breath as it flows in. Where do you feel that? How does that feel? (e.g. hot/cold, shutting off/falling in, silence/movement). What do you hear? Then notice how your breath changes from the inhale to the exhale. Does it flow smoothly and quickly or is there a pause? And what happens when the exhalation begins? Where do you feel that? What is happening? There are no right or wrong answers, it’s about observing how things are for you now, out of curiosity and openness.

If you have followed a whole inhalation and exhalation like this, you are also right in the here and now. Start small so you don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t work out. It’s normal for your mind to wander when you’re trying to take 10 breaths, so just start with one and see how it goes. Here too you can remind yourself a few times a day to go to your breath and in that way bring yourself back in touch with what is now.

Bonus points if you take your breath first and then open your senses to experience what is happening NOW!


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