Enjoy everyone–here’s a sneak peek at my upcoming article for the UCLA Greek newspaper, The Odyssey!
Happiness comes in small packages. So they say. I have to agree—happiness does come in short bursts—the trick is finding ways to sustain that happiness longer than the momentary feeling you initially have. If you can take a moment of happiness and make it last longer than that first instant, then you’re taking on a mentality of happiness, not just a moment of it.
So I thought I would share some of my favorite start-up ideas for happiness. Test these out and I dare you to not feel your spirits lift for a second. The key is sustaining that feeling and making it count. Here are some Sunny Suggestions:
1. Actually say “Hi (insert name)!” when you pass someone instead of a just barely-there grin or wimpy wave. Make note of exclamation point.
2. Give someone a genuine compliment—and be the one to initiate it, don’t just reciprocate it.
3. Surprise someone with their favorite snack. Put it under their pillow or in their backpack when they’re least expecting it.
4. Sing your favorite song in the car: hand gestures and head bobs are welcome and wanted.
5. Show off those teeth: Smile at a stranger. I dare you do to it. If they don’t smile back, it’s their problem. Try again if you don’t succeed at first. If you still fail, heck you just need to leave California and move to the South where they know how to smile.
6. Be gracious: If someone does you a favor, genuinely thank them and do them a favor in return. You don’t have to live your life tit for tat but when someone helps you, chances are you’ll feel naturally inclined to help them out in return. At least I hope you will—otherwise Mama might need to teach you another lesson you missed the first time around.
7. Keep your childhood in mind: I just watched the Lion King the other night and boy was that throw back a thrill. Just because you’re in college doesn’t mean you can’t still swing on the swings and eat chicken tenders. Live a little.
8. But keep your future in mind too: When you do well at work or school, whether it’s a great grade or your boss gives you kudos on a job well done, that sense of encouragement keeps us motivated to reach for more. Don’t ever stop going for the top.
9. Say yes: Don’t turn opportunities down that you have a good gut feeling about. Things happen for a reason and even if you feel hesitant about going to a party where you won’t know too many people or you’re moving to a new place, chances are, the reason will soon reveal itself.
10. Look at flowers or cute baby animals: Gets me every time.
These are simple solutions if you’re having a happiness hang up. Get out there, smile those pearlies, say those hellos, and get your happiness like you deserve!
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook