Wouldn’t it be great to create true and lasting happiness? It’s possible. And you can even hold it in the palms of your hands. All you need is to be present. How?
At the end of every day, think back of the best moment of your day. Make a mental note. Better yet, jot it down in a journal. Then, thank the universe for that moment. If you do this every day with love and devotion, you can create true and lasting happiness for yourself.
You are not seeking happiness but rather reliving the feeling you’ve already experienced. You were fully present in a particular moment and fully enjoyed it. And while you can’t relive that moment (it’s gone), you can (trick your brain and) relive the feeling of that moment and share your happiness with others around you.
So when you’re having a bad day, week, year—and you feel you are down down in the darkest moments—you can save yourself with your own hands just by opening a journal filled with happy moments you’ve documented.
I started this practice five years ago, when I was pregnant with my older son, Arjun. My intention was to create a “daily yoga practice” off the mat, so I could fully commit to it no matter how much my body would change. Journaling my happy thoughts of the day was the best thing I could think of: a devotional practice for myself and a treasure for my kids, who can enjoy reading them when they grow up.
Of course I documented all the milestones typical of first-time moms—and I also recorded spontaneous, fun, everyday moments and how I felt about them with as many of the little details as I could remember with my pregnant and post-partum mommy brain. These last five years of journaled memories include everything from my surprise when I saw their heart beat on the sonogram, to the sweet scent of my boys as newborns—in addition to the joy I felt when they first said “mama,” Yoga practice with “assists” in my living room and their hugs and kisses at bedtime
Once a year, I write “my special Christmas wish” card to each of them for them to read when they can do so, and one day so they can share in my happiness, too.
I’ll admit I feared that I would forget these experiences after some time passes, especially when life is not as joyful. And you know what? I was right! As much as I love my boys, I find motherhood, parenting to be SO hard, harder than any one-handed handstand scorpion.
This practice also served as therapy. Postpartum hormones, a debilitated body, very little sleep sustained for months at a time and dealing with daily tantrums is enough to make anyone go crazy. These little bits of joy can save someone from falling into depression.
Ready to try it? I encourage you to try every day (or as often as you can) to really reap the benefits. Write about whatever makes you happy: any topic or mashup of topics. It’s as easy as these two steps:
1. Every night, just before bed, pick up a pen and journal the happiest (or at least calmest) part of your day and how it made you feel. I prefer either blank or simply lined notebooks, nothing too fancy.
2. Thank the universe for life, meditate on your happy moment and take in the feeling of happiness as you lie in bed, right before you go to sleep.
Did you know when we go to sleep, the window between our conscious mind and our subconscious mind is open? It is in the subconscious mind where we can connect to the universe. What the conscious mind dwells on seeps into the subconscious mind and is reflected into the universe. This, in turn, boomerangs into our lives. This window opens about five minutes just before we fall asleep.
What we feed into our subconscious seeps into our daily lives. Why not feed it happy feelings?