Feel Good Friday!

A colleague’s husband sent this video over earlier in the week to remind her to have a great day. It cracked me up, but really, I think we should all consider starting each day with a positive affirmation to start things off HAPPILY. Jessica, for one, owns it.

During the week I also came across a page highlighting the 22 things that happy people do differently, based on the belief that you make the choice to be happy or unhappy.

Here’s a sampling of my favorites:

2. Treat everyone with kindness.

Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that being kind makes you happier? Every time you perform a selfless act, your brain produces serotonin, a hormone that eases tension and lifts your spirits. Not only that, but treating people with love, dignity, and respect also allows you to build stronger relationships.

5. Dream big.

People who get into the habit of dreaming big are more likely to accomplish their goals than those who don’t. If you dare to dream big, your mind will put itself in a focused and positive state.

10. Wake up at the same time every morning.

Have you noticed that a lot of successful people tend to be early risers? Waking up at the same time every morning stabilizes your circadian rhythm, increases productivity, and puts you in a calm and centered state.

11. Avoid social comparison.

Everyone works at his own pace, so why compare yourself to others? If you think you’re better than someone else, you gain an unhealthy sense of superiority. If you think someone else is better than you, you end up feeling bad about yourself. You’ll be happier if you focus on your own progress and praise others on theirs.

13. Never seek approval from others.

Happy people don’t care what others think of them. They follow their own hearts without letting naysayers discourage them. They understand that it’s impossible to please everyone. Listen to what people have to say, but never seek anyone’s approval but your own.

19. Live minimally.

Happy people rarely keep clutter around the house because they know that extra belongings weigh them down and make them feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Some studies have concluded that Europeans are a lot happier than Americans are, which is interesting because they live in smaller homes, drive simpler cars, and own fewer items.

I especially love these few — some that i feel like I have a strong grasp of and others that would make me infinitely happier to embrace.

Without fail, I wake up at the same time each morning, which is code for EARLY. I rarely sleep past six o’clock, even when I am awake and relaxing or reading on a weekend. I’ve been a morning person my whole life (my brother and I used to sneak down to the TV room to watch SportsCenter and Captain Planet) and really enjoy the early, quiet hours.

Having big dreams can be directly linked to the big goals I have been able to check off my bucket list – namely starting running and completing five marathons in the past few years. My first race was a marathon, when I fundraised for Team In Training in 2006. I knew if I was going to ask family and friends to help me raise a tremendous amount of money, I wanted to do something equally crazy to match. 26.2 miles fit the bill.

Avoid social comparison and never seek approval from others? Geesh. Put those on my to-do list because I am chronic. A few months ago, though, I read a fantastic blog post from Kristen Armstrong (one of my favorites, with or without scandal) and she included the quote: “Comparison is the thief of joy,” from Theodore Roosevelt. Since then, I’ve given the saying a ton of consideration and repeated it to others over and over again.

Instead of thinking about it, I need to start living it.

Do any of these keys to happiness ring true for you?

Have a wonderful SPRING weekend!