3 Ways to Train for a Happier Life

Woman’s Day Magazine Editor-in-Chief Meaghan Murphy is regularly asked how she lives such an energetic life. For a busy career mom, it’s a high compliment. But the answer might surprise you.

It may seem like happiness comes naturally to some people. Meaghan isn’t one of them. Instead, she discovered a secret to harnessing her energy and living happier: practice.

Each day, she creates happiness just as she would train for an athletic competition. Here are her favorite ways to get started:

  1. Take it one step at a time

If you’ve never run before, you don’t typically crush your first road race right out of the gate. It takes a plan and lots of practice. The same goes for creating happiness.

To start, make a plan. Create a daily schedule with time for exercise, meals, self-care, and fun, in addition to the demands of your career or family. Then stick to it. After a while, your priorities will start to impact your mood.

Once you start to feel better, you might be tempted to skip over the steps or race ahead. This is when you need to remember to pace yourself. You may feel great one day and wake the next morning in the dumps. Rather than going back to bed, stick to your routine. Do the workout. Make your bed. Enjoy a meal. One step at a time.

When it comes to your happiness, slow and steady does win the race.

  1. Practice gratitude

It’s true! Reflecting on your blessings does improve your mood. But it too is a practice.

When your day runs smoothly it can be easy to look at your life with a gratitude. But how often do you hit a snag and suddenly all seems lost? Just like your schedule, make an effort to practice gratitude in some form every day.

For many, a journal is an easy way to record the positive moments. However, if the thought of having to write each evening is stressful, then don’t do it. Instead, you could spend time reflecting on an evening walk or just before bed. You may even decide to make it a family affair and take turns sharing over dinner.

  1. Live life

Back to that road race. When you train properly, the only thing left to do on race day is to have fun. The same can be said for creating happiness in your life.

The schedule will give you the structure you need and the gratitude will help you keep your focus. But don’t forget to live your life.

This starts with allowing for flexibility. If a friend calls to meet up, it’s okay to push your workout to the next day. If you score those hard-to-get theater tickets one state over, pack a bag. Unexpected moments can bring you great joy.

Happiness doesn’t come by accident. With practice, you have the power to create the life you’ve always hoped for – and more!