Here are 9 tiny ways to instantly create extra happiness in your life:

by Deborah Roth

1. Honor the sun

At some point in the morning, even on the way to work, face the sun and take a few minutes to stand still and feel its warmth.

Envision it flowing into your mind, heart, and body, and send its light wherever you need healing.

2. Show gratitude for water

When you splash your face after you wake up, pause to consider the stream of water passing through your hands.

Honor the marriage of nature and technology that carries this life-giving flow from reservoirs and wells through pipes and into your home.

3. Appreciate nature

Hold a clump of dirt in your hand — from a potted plant, a garden, or under your favorite tree.

Feel the grounding life force of Mother Earth and appreciate the natural cycle of seed, blossom, fruit, decay, death, and rebirth.

4. Savor your favorite cup of tea or coffee

Even if you typically drink a cuppa on the fly or work at your desk, take a moment to savor the aroma and appreciate its warmth and energy as it makes its way through your system.

Just be careful not to over-caffeinate!

5. Cherish your loved ones

Place your hand on your heart and focus your attention there. Close your eyes and welcome images of those who love you most to fill your inner vision.

Reflect on the gifts in your life and whisper a “thank you” to each one.

6. Celebrate your body

Check-in with your body for any tension, and breathe gently into each spot, draw the tightness away from the area on the inhalation, and dispel it into the atmosphere on the out-breath.

Then, focus on your areas of strength and send a blessing for the ways they support you.

7. Smile at a stranger

That’s right, crinkle your eyes and turn up the corners of your mouth in a sincere smile to someone you’re passing on the street.

Think of a time when an unexpected smile from someone you didn’t know brightened your day and offer it as a gentle, random act of kindness.

8. Take a moment for a “coming home” blessing

As you cross the threshold of your front doorway at the end of the day, stop for a moment with your hand on the frame and give thanks that you have a safe, nurturing home to return to.

You can even hang a special little picture or object next to the doorway to create a tangible blessing point.

9. Look forward to Friday

Thank Goddess, it’s Friday! In the spirit of sacred silliness grab a partner and jitter-bug, polka, or tango around the living room, playground, or office.

You could even have a gentle little spin with yourself, waltzing to the music of your soul.

See! That wasn’t so hard …

Even though your career, friends, partner, or kids may bring you satisfaction, love, and other positive feelings, you can’t rely on them to make you happy. That’s up to you!

If you want to keep your sanity intact and be happy with yourself, alone or in a relationship, you’ve got to find ways to practice compassion and self-love every day.

“But!” I hear you sputtering, “How can I create joy for myself when I’m hanging on by a thread? I can barely get the kids out the door in the morning and get to work on time. Forget happiness! I’ll settle for a little peace.”

I get it. And no, I’m not suggesting you add even more items to your massive to-do list.

I’m suggesting you challenge yourself to look at all that you already do on any given day to see if you can infuse a new kind of awareness.

This won’t require additional time but a subtle shift in consciousness. It all comes down to focusing your compassionate impulses on yourself, even if only for a nanosecond.

Learning how to be happier and love yourself becomes possible when you approach your daily life from a perspective known as “sacred self-centeredness.”

Forget all the nasty things you’ve heard about being self-centered — that it’s egotistical, arrogant, and obnoxious.

Instead, this attention to “self” is a sacred act.

The definition of “sacred” comes from the Latin root saucer, meaning “holy”, and is derived from the same Saxon word root as the word “whole”, which means healthy or complete.

If you want to find happiness in life, you need to center your being, yourself, in a holy place — i.e., healthy and complete.

This may take some practice given the way we’ve been socialized to believe it’s selfish to care for yourself, but with patience, it can be done.

The practice of daily sacred self-centeredness can be broken down into a four-sided model incorporating your mind, body, heart, and spirit.

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