Jacquelyn Smith

Happiness Rituals

Mango tango jazz hands!


A few months back, I was waiting in the checkout line when I overheard this conversation:


Cashier:  This is some great weather we’re having. I hear it’s supposed to last all week!


Customer:   Yeah, but it’s supposed to rain on Saturday though. Can you believe it? My one day off!


This conversation took place on a Monday. Instead of enjoying running errands in the sun, the customer was already feeling bitter about the bad weather five days in advance!


It can be easy to slip into a negative mindset and let it color everything around you. After all, life isn’t always sunshine and lollipops. And when you get into that frame of mind, it’s really tough to snap out of it. Forcibly trying to cheer yourself up rarely works.


I’m not always the world’s most cheerful person, but I find it helps to build up happiness credits in advance to bolster myself, instead of wandering around in neutral and letting every negative thing get me down. I think of them as happiness rituals. They’re usually little things that put me in a more positive/playful mindset, or trigger a happy memory.


Here are a few of the ones I use:


The Elevator Dance


I live in a high rise, so taking the elevator is a part of everyday life. If my husband and I get on and we’re alone, he starts to sing, and we both start to dance like idiots. (This usually happens to the theme music of Boston Legal for some reason…)


Whenever the elevator stops at another floor to pick someone up, we suddenly stop before the door opens, and try to act natural. (Hint: Avoid eye contact with your partner in crime if you don’t want to burst out laughing for no apparent reason.)


The Squidge (Rhymes with ‘fridge’)


(OK, I do not mean this the way the Urban Dictionary defines it…)


We don’t have a car, so we walk pretty much everywhere, or take public transportation. There’s this playground nearby that’s built on top of this mound of squidgy stuff that kids can fall on and not get hurt, I guess. Anyway, it feels weird under your feet when you walk on it.


Sometimes, to break up the monotony of all the walking, one of us will ask, “Wanna take the squidge today?” We alter our route, and spend some time enjoying the squishy bounciness beneath our feet. (Which sometimes earns us some weird looks from the parents who bring their kids there. Obviously, they haven’t tried it for themselves. :P)


Mucho Burrito Flashbacks


I walk by a Mucho Burrito restaurant pretty much every day. They have these outdoor speakers that are always playing Mexican/Latino tunes. Whenever I hear them, I let my mind wander back to the great times I’ve had in Playa del Carmen, sidling up to the poolside bar to order mango tangos while the same music was playing in the background. (This is really helpful in winter when it’s -30C!)



These are all little things, but they really help to lift my mood. And by making them an ingrained habit, I’m conditioning myself to be happier every time I come across one of my ritual triggers. (Which is pretty much every day.) So even if I’m going through a tough time, I still have built-in moments that make me smile and challenge my mindset. 😉


What are YOUR happiness rituals?


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6 thoughts on “Happiness Rituals

  1. Donloree

    Ooh, I love this post! I will put my headphones in and pretend there is a soundtrack to my life while I grocery shop, I find something great about the person next to my in an elevator or line up and tell them about it, I hop around the house and say all the fabulous things I have in my life, and I try to laugh out loud and loudly every day. 😀

  2. Diandra

    Singing to loud music, weird conversations in my head with my imaginary gay best friend, calling/texting someone who does not expect it – and most of all, preparing surprises for the BF. Knowing I will make his day always makes mine, too.

    (Sounds cheezy, right? I promis we are mean to our cats.)

  3. aniko

    This is a fun, upbeat post. My happiness rituals include:
    * Giving my husband a kiss each time either of us gets a cup of coffee.
    * Jumping around the living room with my dogs.
    * Saying hello to the moon every time I see her (even in daylight, even when other people are around!).

    I’m glad you have your happiness rituals – and that you took the time to remind me of my own!!


    1. Jacquelyn Post author

      Those are some good ones too! Pets (and husbands!) are the best for a pick-me-up. :) I love cuddling my cat or having crazy frolic time with her, depending on what mood she’s in. (Usually it’s crazy frolic time though. :P)

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