The dawning of a New Year brings about a grand opportunity to set our intentions for what we want in life. For some, taking better care of our health is a top priority. Others value closer relationships with loved ones. Some pine for that big break in their careers. No matter how we construct our New Year’s resolutions, we all want the same thing. We all want to be happy.
Perhaps letting go of the desire to achieve your goals is just what you need. The Bhagavad Gita, and ancient yoga text, suggests we can not be free of anguish unless we let go of the results of our actions. In other words, to do something for the pure joy of it brings more happiness than hanging on to expectations and results.
The following are only 30 ways to celebrate happiness in 2017, and beyond. We’d love for you to add to this list. How do you experience pure joy? Please feel free to comment below, and have a very Happy New Year!
- Instead of asking, “What was I thinking?” when things don’t go as planned, ask, “What did I learn?” and then move on.
- Smile more often. Frowns will make you feel old and tired. Smiles bring light to those around you, too.
- Call a friend. Some girl talk or male bonding will work wonders for your mood.
- Eat well. Nourish your body with nutrient rich food.
- Make love. Sex is good for the soul, as long as it’s safe and consented.
- Enjoy a cup of tea. The warm liquid will relax your body and bring ease to your mind.
- Stretch. Staying limber helps to reduce morning stiffness.
- Pray. Having faith in something instills hope. Hope is necessary for inner peace.
- Hug someone. Human contact releases endorphins and allows us to feel connected. Don’t be shy!
- Write a letter. Put your thoughts onto paper and express your heart and mind.
- Go for a walk. Exercise gives you energy and puts you in a good mood.
- Take a new route home. A change in scenery will give you a new perspective and may help you work out a problem that’s been on your mind.
- Practice yoga and/or Pilates. But, of course!
- Be patient. The adage, “This too shall pass,” means if we can just chill out, we’ll soon feel better.
- Volunteer. The feelings you get from selfless giving are better than pharmaceuticals.
- Listen to music. Rhythms, beats, and tones bring on a sense of elation.
- Read poetry. Pick deep contemplative pieces like those of Robert Frost or William Blake and lose yourself in thought.
- Ride in the back seat of a car. Take a break from always being “up front.”
- Connect with nature. Watch how simply and effortlessly life evolves around you.
- Meditate. Take time to slow down and get to know yourself better.
- Dance. That’s right, just like no one is watching!
- Sing. Stretching your vocal cords gives you a rush of adrenaline.
- Speak your mind. Share you brilliance with the world.
- Say NO or say YES, but be firm. Enjoy your personal space and practice integrity.
- Give. For no reason, surprise someone with a special gift.
- Sleep in. If you are craving rest, by all means, let yourself have it.
- Toast life. Even if your glass is half empty, hold it up and say, “Thank you”
- Get some sun. Fifteen minutes a day is what the doctor ordered.
- Eat dessert. Feeling deprived is no way to live.
- Don’t worry. Be happy!
How do you celebrate happiness?