This year my son started youth basketball. He was so excited to wear the right basketball outfit and the perfect gym shoes to begin his superstar career on the YMCA court. During the first game he became frustrated that he was not able to make a basket or properly dribble the ball yet. It became obvious that he was not satisfied with “losing” behind the other children who were practicing their skills and drills.
I, of course, encouraged him and planted the seed of practice makes perfect to help him overcome his beginner troubles. One night I thought when did I stop practice makes perfect in maintaining and focusing on my own happiness. When was the last time I smiled as hard as my son doing any activity? I could not think of a single event, dinner party, engagement, social outing that made me smile for ear to ear.
As adults particularly mothers, do we quit at practicing to become better at the things we really want or make us truly happy… you betcha. It wasn’t until speaking with my 5 year old that I realized I had given up dedication, time, energy, and effort on doing what makes me happy even when I didnt not feel like it. I was giving my son the complete opposite advice of what I was taking. Im adulthood it seems we give ourselves permission to “grandfather clause ” out of practicing the exact happiness we encourage our children to pursue. In fact we uplift and encourage our children sometimes with the prefix of its too late for me save yourself.
Truth serum: I realized the oversight of not actively practicing the art form of being happy. If you skip practice, disregard your personal play book, and ignore the assists needed to continue practicing action steps to focus on being happy it’s hard to stay in the game.
Here are 3 ways to actively practice being happy.
1. Focus on next moment wins vs. the pressure of predicting an all encompassing future. Practicing staying present in small gestures adds up in our personal happy meter. One small practices that have helped me in setting the right intention. 5 minute moments of silence/stillness help offer nuggets of gratitude. Gratitude is the currency for a actively happy lifestyle.
2. Mindful eating, say what now? The practice of savoring the moment. Fighting the urge to allow yourself to fully digest before making moving on to the next course in a meal. Small steps that encourage setting a mindful mental atmosphere. For example, counting the number of times you chew before swallowing. I know… I know. But choosing one meal to practice mindfulness makes me, grateful and forced my mind to slow down and savor.
3. Last but not least. Giving yourself permission to fail forward. In knowing that falling off from a routine or practice you may not always win the game or score the final buzzer shot everyday and it’s comforting to know it’s a part of the process and ok.
There is much comfort in seeing living in today’s world as a evolving game. We’re all trying to win and this game called life. The best coach are life’s lessons and the best advice and how to actively pursue our own happiness we already give our children. Take your own advice mama!
3 Ways to Actively Practice Being Happy