Happiness Check List

I keep this list handy, so that when I find myself feeling down, I don’t have to think about what to do to get back up.  I often find that after doing just a couple of them, I’m already feeling better and ready to take on the world again.  See below for a video of a talk I gave presenting this list.
  • Listen to music – I love reggae, jazz, and ambient electronic (somafm.com)
  • Meaningful engagement with friends and family – I like to ask questions and let them tell me stories.  Light stuff, but intentional and meaningful.
  • Water – 1 liter+  At least a full glass as soon as I wake up and as often as I think about it during the day
  • Sleep – 7+ hours.  Melatonin and water at bedtime.  F.lux to get rid of blue light from computer screen
  • Green food / smoothie, preferably with friends
  • Meditation – I like to focus on my breath in the shower in the morning for 3-5 minutes
  • Small victory – Something small that I can complete in under an hour to feel like I’ve done something worthwhile
  • Help someone – strangers are the best.  Helping with groceries or just open a door.
  • Write – Writing forces me to collect my thoughts.  Privately in my journal or publicly on my blog
  • Group exercise – Getting a sweat where I can talk to other humans. Basket ball/hike/rugby
  • Yoga – close to meditation, given the breath work and mind focus, but adding a physical component
  • Read fiction – Fiction allows my brain to travel to another place.  Non-fiction tends to make me add things to my work todo list
  • Hug my dog – He doesn’t care at all about problems and is always eager to show me love
  • Guard myself from takers – Energy suckers can wait 48 hours until I’m up again.  When I am wounded, sick, and/or vulnerable I’m not interested in interacting with them
  • Create art – I love to paint, sculpt, and build stuff (usually with electronics or wood)
  • Hire help – Call for back up to get my house in order – laundry, cleaning, cooking
  • Intentionally smile and breathe – Just do it
  • Say good morning to strangers – Its nice and they almost always say it back.  When they don’t I have a reason to laugh AT them for being so fussy
  • Ask friends for help – That inner circle of 3-5 people that love you most.  Yeah, they want to know when you need them.  I’m not bothering them.  That’s what friends are for.
  • Reread The Four Agreements – 1) Be impeccable with your word 2) Don’t take things personal 3) Don’t make assumptions 4) Always do your best
  • Return to the Up folder – When my crazy isn’t acting up I like to save interesting and inspiring tidbits from around the web (articles, posts, videos, pictures).  When I’m in the pit of sorrow I have it right there to help.
Some of these things are habits.  Others are not.  But that is why the list is so good.  I can read it without having to think when I’m down to be able to get back on top.