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Cleveland Clinic Wellness

Daily Strategies

These daily strategies are brief tools with step-by-step instructions that will help you more effectively respond to life’s stressors and move toward feeling calmer and happier. Think of them the way you do your “morning Starbucks strategy” or your “fast food drive-through strategy.” They’re the strategies you choose to improve the quality of your day. Be sure to read the topic associated with each strategy so that you understand its purpose and how you can benefit from using it.
Happiness Strategy

By intentionally giving more of your attention to the positive events in your day, you can learn to create and more deeply experience happy moments. And as you recall from the topic Making Happy Stick, when you recognize and appreciate these happy moments, the happy moments multiply.

Today, consciously decide to notice everything that feels good—anything you hear, see, smell and taste that brings you pleasure.

When we decide to look for something in this way, our brain assists us by filtering out unimportant information and focusing our awareness on what we are looking for. Ever decide to buy a car and suddenly you see the make, model and even your color choice everywhere? This is due to your brain’s ability to focus your attention on what you are searching for. It works for happiness, too: Search for it and you’ll find it.

There’s even a long-term perk: Focusing on happiness builds it up within us. We store up positive energy for when we need it.

1. For this strategy, make a decision to focus your awareness on happiness by paying attention to every positive thought or event for one day—the green of the landscape, the warm smile of a person you pass on the street, a delicious bite of your meal, a great song on the radio. Be creative: Look for things that make you smile that may be offbeat or not necessarily appreciated by everyone.

2. Once you notice something that makes you smile, take a moment to appreciate and experience it directly, feeling the happiness. Your goal is to move beyond labeling the circumstance as “happy” and actually feel the contentment and joy deeply. Try to spend 30 seconds directly experiencing this joy.

Another way to make happy stick is to write down three things you deeply enjoyed each day for one week—a slight variation of the Gratitude Strategy. At the end of the week, review your list. You will be more likely to register these happy moments more deeply in the future.

Enjoy your happiness!