In celebration of International Happiness Day, Theresa Cheung shows us positive rituals we can do to bring us greater peace and happiness in our lives
With today’s hectic lifestyle, it’s easy to forget to pay attention to the small details of our daily habits. We focus far too much on the big picture and not enough on the little things in life. Theresa Cheung helps us to attract positive change in our lives with 21 simple rituals you can carry out each day. Here are just a few to get you started…
1 Just breathe
“How about taking a long and satisfying deep breath right now to remind you how great it feels? It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, try taking a deep breath now. Feels wonderful, doesn’t it? If it feels this good now, just imagine how energising and empowering it will feel after your rituals of waking up earlier, stretching and thinking about filling your new day with meaning,” says Theresa. And she’s right! Breathing is the best place to start when wishing to make simple changes in your life – not only is it easy, it can be done anywhere, anytime. “My suggestion is to take five to 10 deep breaths every morning when you get up. If you’re always rushed in the morning, put a sticky note up on your bathroom mirror with the word ‘breathe’ on it.” Nothing could be simpler or more natural… just inhale!
2 Light someone up
“For this ritual, the spotlight is turned on other people,” explains Theresa. “There’s no denying that other people – their opinions, lifestyle and suggestions – will affect you and your life, however much you believe in yourself and your dreams. So for the next 21 days, why not consciously try to help and inspire someone in your life?” These don’t need to be grand gestures – start off small. Why not hold open a door for someone and smile when they walk through, or make your colleague a cup of tea without being asked? “When you do something good for another person, you will get that helper’s high. Kindness is contagious – your act will inspire the person you helped to remember to help someone else, and they in turn will help someone, and so on.” Let the kindness chain begin!
3 Smile in the mirror
‘You are never fully dressed without a smile’ is a well-known adage, and Theresa completely agrees with this. “Smiling boosts your mood and generates positive emotions because it is said to actually change your brain,” she explains. A simple smile is a quick and easy way to bring happiness to your daily routine. Every morning as you get ready for the day ahead, take a moment to look in the mirror and practise your smile. “The simple act of practising smiling in front of the mirror becomes ritualised when you combine that with visualising something that has deep meaning for you. So before you smile, remember a time in your life when you were happy, in love or feeling very satisfied and fulfilled.”
4 Write it down
“Journaling at the end of each day is an extremely powerful ritual,” Theresa tells us. “It’s a mindful practice that truly can improve your life.” By simply writing down what you’ve experienced throughout the day and how certain things made you feel, you can help understand your own journey better, as well as keep track of your progress in various areas of your life. “It can also be an outlet for creative expression.” Not only that, but by keeping a diary of your musings and feelings, you can also map out your future goals and increase your chance of achieving them. “Perhaps this is because when you write something down, it feels more official and helps your mind focus more.” So grab your favourite notepad, your lucky pen and get scribbling!
5 Say thank you
End your day on a high with Theresa’s wonderful way to round off your new life-changing routines. “The final ritual of your day is arguably the most powerful ritual of them all,” she explains. Just give thanks. Before you drift off into your slumber for the evening, simply say thank you. Give thanks for the sun shining in the sky, the flowers blooming on the trees and the wonderful people you’ve come across in your day. So stop ending your day by waiting for something to happen that makes you feel grateful! Instead, end it with appreciation for what has happened. “That way, you will be on your way to becoming a master of gratitude with an abundant, happy and fulfilling life to match.”
6 Higher selfie
Every year, we spend hundreds of pounds on the latest cosmetics and beauty products in order to try to feel more beautiful, but Theresa has a cheaper and more powerful way to change how you view yourself – by taking a selfie! “The ability to look yourself in the eye and tell yourself you are beautiful is a powerful yet simple action you can do to change your life for the better.” And not only that, but people can also sense your own inner confidence. When they see you’re a positive person, you will naturally start to attract better things into your life. To harness the power of the selfie, simply look yourself right in the eye and think about how far you have come, and all of the love and goodness in your spirit. Smile broadly at yourself and mentally tell yourself how grateful you are for you. “After you have taken your photo, look for what you admire in yourself. “There will be something there because, trust me, there always is.”
Theresa Cheung is a mind, body and spirit author whose books have been international bestsellers and translated into over 25 languages. She is the author of 21 Rituals to Change Your Life (Watkins Publishing), available from watkinspublishing.com, £7.99. Out now.