Tag Archives: happiness

Now. Here. This.

6 Apr

It was the middle of the night in June four years ago. I was on a shuttle to an airport motel outside of Paris with a backpack and a rejected debit card. I was alone. It was raining. I had taken an ill-advised last-minute weekend trip to France while studying abroad in Spain, and now I didn’t know where I was going to sleep or how I was going to pay for anything. And I barely spoke a word of French.

In short, I was freaking out.

I was sitting in that shuttle, on the verge of tears, when I thought about the only thing I could to calm myself down. Right then, at that exact moment, on that bus, I was warm and dry, not hungry or in danger. Right there, at that second, everything was okay. Ten minutes later, when we pulled up to the hotel, it might not be, but all I had to deal with was that moment. Continue reading

Eight simple ways to be happier today

13 Jan

So many “improve your life” articles include vague suggestions, like “know that you are loved” and “accept the things you cannot change.” Which are great and all – but how do I know, at the end of the day, if I’ve done those wishy-washy things? I’m a Type-A, plan-everything, to-do list kind of person. I want a real, check-off-able list.

This is my to-do list for a happy day.

1. Call someone. Your mom, a great friend from high school, an old friend you haven’t spoken to in years. Call them to say hi, ask what’s up, and have a conversation. Relationships are what give our lives meaning, and a 15-minute phone call can do a lot for keeping those alive.

2. Cook real food. Maybe it’s just pasta with some veggies thrown in, maybe you go all out and make a five-course steak dinner. Eating real food feels good, and cooking it yourself has the added benefit of being a fun accomplishment and a skill that will serve you for the rest of your life.

3. Go for a walk. Some people might get this same feeling from running, biking or swimming, but I’m lazy, so I walk. It’s not about exercise, although that’s a nice side benefit, it’s about just existing in the world. Take out your headphones for at least a few minutes, stand tall, and just look at the world around you. Take deep breaths, let your thoughts do whatever they feel like, and find something interesting to notice. Continue reading