10 Ways To Be Happy Right Now
Watch anything by Reggie Watts.
He will sneakily infiltrate your mind with methods of joy you already embrace, or didn't know about, or had forgotten. He will target your humanness and help you to laugh at it, while blowing your mind with improvised beats and indulgent accents. Whether you think he's totally insane or aligned with some deeper truths, he will give you permission to find relief in laughter and randomness. If you have the time and want to start with my favorite work so far: check out Spatial, on Netflix, featuring this incredible, improvised song from 2016:
2. Watch this Canada Day Philip DeFranco Show & get your daily dose of kindness and empathy with your daily dose of world news: two things not usually presented in the same package.
3. Take a deep breath. Fill your belly, then your chest, then top off your inhale by breathing up through your whole head, before exhaling and letting it all go. Do this a few times while feeling my genuine, unconditional love for you on the inhale, and the release of all your worries and judgments on the exhale. You are loved and accepted, and you are so much more than what you worry about.
4. Dance and jump around. Scientific research shows that you can cultivate a fast change in mood by moving your body in a big way. Do it in the bathroom if you can't get past the thought of someone seeing you. Do it in an empty field or parking lot. I like to do it in the grocery store...just as I've started to take the energy of everyone around me too seriously. I hone in on the music (props to Trader Joe's for having the best mood-altering music and volume levels) and bust a few silly moves, usually near the cheese and hummus, sometimes by Asian condiments. If you're safe at home, throw in a yelp, like a 'Woo!' or a "Hell YEAH". It will feel good, and make you laugh genuinely from the inside, which will also make you feel good. I'm dead serious about this. It works.
5. Try the tiniest bit of weed (legally, obviously, if you can). Eat a 2.5mg gummy or smoke the tiniest hit in a safe place, when you don't have any major priorities for at least a few hours. Set a nice intention, and don't judge the results. Know that paranoia isn't a side effect of marijuana, so much as a side effect of your brain being scared of weed. You can relax a little and it will ease up, or you can lean into the 'why' of your paranoia and learn a little more about yourself. As someone who has come to understand this over a decade of uncertainty and avoidance, I can't stress enough how important it is to feel safe to relax and be yourself when you do it. Also take note that you might not feel anything your first few times, while you give your cannabinoid receptors permission to develop and function properly. A very small amount of weed is good for slowing down time a bit and helping you savor the moment by zoning in on the flavors of food, the layers of sound in music, the nuances of your favorite shows and films, the textures and sensory perceptions of every day life. I recommend the legal avenue because you can arrive at a dispensary and be straight up about what you want out of the experience: from giddiness, to sleep assistance, from pain relief to a sense of cosmic inner love. You can say things like: "I want something really light", or "I want something energizing that will help me study", or "I want to be carried blissfully off to sleep and wake up refreshed." You can change your relationship with weed while changing your relationship with yourself.
6. Tell someone you love what you love about them. This requires so little actual work. It is, perhaps, the laziest route to happiness. The thoughts pop up into your mind anyway. Just say them out loud or in a message. Articulate your appreciation. It will create a happy feedback loop in your relationships. It will make it easier for you to appreciate yourself, and even, one day, appreciate people even when they're annoying and you can't understand them. Treat people as innately good and you will, more and more, see the world as innately good.
7. Allow beautiful, joyful moments to be possible. When the world seems the most chaotic and scary, just reserve a space in your mind for the possibility of it being not so scary, perhaps even rooted in love and joy. Admit that love and joy are possible, even if you're not sure how.
8. Remember that no one has it all figured out. We are all here, figuring it out together, and the more listening we do in good faith, the fewer assumptions we make out of tradition and fear of the unknown, the more we open ourselves up to the love in our communities... the easier this journey will be.
9. Alternate forgiveness and gratitude. I forgive myself for not having all the answers, and for making so many mistakes, and even for hurting those I meant to help. I am grateful for everything I'm learning and the every day moments suffused with little joys and reliefs. I am grateful to be alive right now and creatively typing up these thoughts. I am grateful to be changing my relationship with my self and finding ways to laugh and smile and sing. I forgive myself when I'm not grateful. I'm grateful for forgiveness.
10. Spend 12 minutes in hilarious animal devotion bliss (the french bulldog puppy at 2:00 is alone worth it). Who cares if it's a cop out from "the real world". You deserve to be happy for 12 minutes.