These four daily habits aren’t complicated and take relatively little time. They move me towards relationship with myself, the people around me, and the planet.
Within minutes, I am flooded with an increased sense of purpose, perspective, and joy.
The best part is you can slip them into your normal day without any change to your schedule.
First, use your hands.
Whether it’s washing dishes, baking cookies, swirling paints, or digging in the garden, I notice how deeply satisfied I feel whenever my hands are engaged in a simple project.
An article in Psychology Today talked about the reason behind these positive effects of using our hands, “There is something primal about this. We are made to be active, and have actively used our hands as part of our daily survival for thousands of years.”
Look down at your two empty hands. They just might hold the key to feeling connected to everyone and everything around you.
Second, experience your emotions.
The up and down rollercoaster of our emotions is normal and there’s no need for you or me to apologize. Screams and smiles are all welcome!
I’ve found that riding out the joys and sorrows of the day makes me a resilient and relatable person. I learn to persevere and celebrate through whatever life may bring. When I am greeting each of my emotions, I find it easier to stand in solidarity with others.
Third, read a book.
Flipping pages in a book has a sneaky ability to slow us down and enter into another person’s experience or point of view almost without knowing it.
Sue Monk Kidd said, “The shortest distance between anything is a story that jolts the heart.”
I read while I eat breakfast, dry my hair, and every night before I fall asleep. Picking up a book is like being in the company of trusted friends who remind me I am not alone in life, and I too have a story to tell.
Fourth, talk to strangers.
Throughout my day I make it a point to notice people, be interested in them.
Last week, I told the woman at Target I wasn’t afraid to hear how she was really doing, which resulted in her telling me through tears about her dad who is sick in the hospital.
Talking to strangers breaks the barriers that all too often exist between us and who we might deem the other. We all have more in common than we’d like to think.
The list could go on, but I’m curious…what would you add? What simple habits bring you the greatest amount of pleasure in your day?