As I’m sure you know, the more we allow in and connect with the happy moments in our day (even the very ordinary happy moments), the happier we are…duh…! I know, this idea isn’t groundbreaking, but sometimes putting this happiness thing into practice isn’t quite as simple – especially on those not-so-great days (you know the ones I’m talking about!).
If you relate to all I’ve said so far, you may understand why I was really excited to learn a new fun, creative, simple and beautiful way to capture these precious happy moments. Remember Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the book Eat Pray Love? This idea comes from her and I think it’s a really special way to bring more happiness to the present moment while allowing us to reflect on the past.
Creating your Happy Jar: All you need is a clear jar, paper, and a pen. I chose a big glass cookie jar and mini different colored origami paper, but any jar and any paper will do. At the end of every day, reflect on which moment (or moments) was your happiest and jot it down on one slip of paper, date it, fold it and drop it in your Happy Jar. Voila!
The value of this practice is four-fold (no pun intended):
Reflect: You get to reflect on your day and even on a bad day, you teach yourself how to identify and appreciate what may have been a very small moment in time that was good.
Re-experience: As you bring the moment back into your awareness and write it down, you get to relive it mentally and bring all those good feelings back into your body.
Reprieve: You get to watch your jar fill up with happy memories, which is especially uplifting on those “rainy days” when it feels like nothing is going right. You might even reach into your jar and read one or two happy memories that bring a reprieve to your mind and body.
Appreciate: If you choose a jar and paper that are pretty or have some meaning to you (I highly recommend you do), you have an art piece that you get to appreciate on multiple levels.
IMPORTANT NOTE: As human beings we are multi-faceted, multi-emotional beings. This practice is not meant to erase, block or deny painful or difficult feelings that we might be experiencing in any given moment. It’s important and healthy to stay connected to whatever feelings are showing up for us in each moment, whether they are “happy” or not. This practice is meant to have you become more aware of those happy moments, but may also bring up other feelings as you reflect on your day. See if you can resist the urge to push away the less pleasant feelings, but rather find a space inside of you where the difficult feelings can co-exist with the more joyful feelings. This is the essence of receptivity, surrender, and acceptance – which leads to more happiness – see how that works?!
“Happiness can exist only in acceptance.”
Although, I’ve only just started my Happy Jar as of 2015, I am loving how it looks and how it feels to do this practice. Here’s mine after one week:
If you don’t choose to use a Happy Jar, it’s valuable to consider what practice you can use on a regular basis to reflect on, capture and actively make conscious your happy moments.
P.S. Curious about your mind-body connection? Take the free 10-question MindBody IQ Quiz.
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