The pursuit of happiness can be long, arduous, and full of obstacles — which is why little pieces of advice that can help us find joy are often the best kinds of advice. In a new piece published on Science of Us, writer Melissa Dahl suggests that keeping a one-sentence journal can make you a happier person. Why? Because re-living day-to-day moments that seem ordinary at the time can actually feel extraordinary in the future. As she suggests, you don't have to write a whole diary entry describing your day, all the colors you saw, all the smells you smelled, and all the people you met. It can just be one line of anything that happened to you. It acts as a fun little brain teaser and a documentation of your life at the same time.
Finding happiness in the little things can be just as important as making yourself big-picture happy. While it's important to have long-term goals and relationships that you hope will bring warmth into your life, making sure you keep smiling every day will make that journey so much more pleasant. So how do you achieve that day-to-day happy? Different sources will tell you different things, most of which will likely work one way or another; it just depends on who you are and how you find joy.
Some people are able to find happiness in a purely solitary way. Getting in touch with the mind and body through meditation can be a powerful way for some people to experience the joys of existence and understand their emotions better. For others, bursts of happiness can be experienced by positively interacting with the world around them. Love the summer? soak up the sunshine. Love the winter? Put on a warm coat and go for a walk. Love the smell of freshly baked bread? Take a trip to a bakery and treat yourself to something delicious. Love to learn? Watch a TED Talk, read a new book, or watch a short film. Have a hobby? Do it.
A third type of person achieves happiness by interacting with others. While I'm definitely a little bit of the second type, I'd primarily describe myself as this kind of person. When I'm feeling a little down or in a funk, I make time to spend with my roommates, call an old friend who goes to college in a different state, post obnoxious comments to my little brother's Instagram photos, or even go to the movies so I'm in a room full of people sharing an experience with me.
Whatever it is that brings you happiness, a walk, a one-line summary of your day in a journal, Facebook stalking a friend you haven't seen in a long time, the most important thing is that you make sure to make time every day to do it. Oftentimes we get so caught-up in the hubbub of everyday life that it's easy to forget to take a moment and just smile.
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