Instant Happiness Hacks

As Pilates practitioners, we’re well aware of the power the mind has over the body.

So why not use this connection to add a little extra bliss into your life? Here, Pilates instructor Conni Ponturo, the author of Falling into Joy: Eight Simple Steps to Allow Your Body to Become Your Best Friend (Balboa Press, 2017), offers her tips for upping your happiness quotient instantaneously.

Play a Morning Mind Game. When you wake up, don’t reach for your phone. Instead, take a moment to imagine a new vision for your life. Think about how you want to look, what you will wear and where you will live. Forget about what you don’t have, and dream about how you want to feel in your new life.

An Affirmation a Day Goes a Long Way. Take a positive feeling each day and turn it into an affirmation. Maybe it’s compassion, love, patience, joy, happiness, playfulness, determination, etc. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you of this feeling. It will help you to pay attention and stay present.

Schedule a Play Date. Let’s not forget that we are meant to play, explore, be in nature and have fun. Do you have fun time built into your week? If not, make it a habit to schedule something that makes you laugh.

Start a Joy Journal. Write down three to five joys that are around you, and your joyful feelings will multiply. Keep it simple, noticing all the wonderful things you have. We tend to focus on what’s wrong, but in your journal, focus on what’s right.

Become a Tourist in Your Own City. Make a list of all the wonderful programs, art museums, concerts and shows we tend to take for granted. Take a friend to try a tourist attraction you’ve never visited before, especially if it feels stupid or silly. After all, the silly laughs are always worth it.

Lighten Up. Let’s not take everything so seriously. In class, I say, it’s not brain surgery, it’s Pilates. Don’t overthink or overwork.

Refocus Your Attention. Instead of being so self-focused, think about how can you reach out to your community or an organization in need of your gifts. The rewards you will feel can uplift and transform your life and your heart. —Amanda Altman

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