Starting from the humble beginnings of celebrating happiness on Admit You’re Happy Day on August 11, 1999, Happiness Happens Month is now a whole month dedicated to celebrating what makes you happy!
This movement is founded in the belief that what you focus on grows – energy flows where attention goes! Understanding that humans are born wired for connection, it is also rooted in the science that emotions are contagious, especially when we embrace our innate ability to feel empathy for others.
And since summer is typically a time to slow down a little and have some fun, I thought I might offer some ideas to celebrate such a noteworthy effort and invite happiness into focus:
- Watch the movie ‘Happy’. The movie ‘Happy’ might be a bit dated (from 2011), yet always worth a second (or third) look and is available on most streaming services such as Amazon Prime, NetFlix, etc. Set the intention to watch this movie this month and afterwards, take a moment to note if your perspective on an area of your life might have shifted. And, if so, I would love to hear from you on how!
- Read a book about gratitude. The benefits of gratitude are gaining traction in the scientific realm, so if you want to delve a little deeper into this pool of happiness, pick up a book on the topic. One of my favorites is The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life by Janice Kaplan. Perhaps setting your intention to explore this idea by clicking on the link and dropping this book into your cart now!
- Try a mantra. A mantra is simply a tool to help focus the mind and typically is practiced by repeating any meaningful word or phrase that resonates with and inspires you. It can be your favorite quote, a line from your favorite song or simply a word, such as happiness. Set an intention to identify a mantra and practice repeating it for one minute a day this month. Don’t worry if your mind wanders away during the practice, simply return to the practice as soon as you notice the mind has wandered. My mantra for the month is “Happiness is an act of courage”! What’s yours?
- Do a good deed. Personal experience and research has shown that humans feel good about themselves when they can help others. This phenomenon might be tied to how we are wired for connection and born with the innate ability to feel empathy for others. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, actually small acts of kindness, including smiling at strangers have been known to support the growth of happiness. Set an intention today to try it!
- Watch a sunrise or sunset. There is something magical about watching the sun rise and set that is hard to put words too, perhaps transcendent, spiritual, supernatural, or mystical are some of the words you have used to describe such experiences. For me, I think it is a reminder of how connected everything is, how interdependent and supported we are, which warms my heart and soothes my soul. Set an intention to recreate this experience for yourself this month and notice if you might simply describe the experience as HAPPINESS!