My happiness level now, compared to three years ago, is like the difference between day and night. Here are the things I do, to start my day happy.
First, my alarm clock plays a song. I have four different songs that I wake up to; all are songs that I like waking up to and singing along with in my head.
- I Have This Hope by Tenth Avenue North
- Control (Somehow You Want Me) by Tenth Avenue North
- I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe
- Love Like This by Lauren Daigle
So my alarm goes off, I wake up, and am instantly happy that I get to sing along with a song that inspires me to hope.
Most days, I have some lights in my bedroom that come on extra low, and grow in brightness over the next fifteen minutes. But I do also have a button on my phone that turns them off. The timing is such that (whichever) song is over before the lights come on, so really this is a gentle backup wake up mechanism.
The song ends, I hit the snooze button (nine minutes), climb out of bed, and head to the bathroom and shower. First, I check that I’m going to have a towel for after the shower, and then turn on the water to warm up the shower. It’s a challenge to turn up the water flow enough to warm the pipes, but not so much as to waste any more water than possible. Pee. Go back to bed.
At this point, I’m going to have a few minutes left before the song plays again.
I start pondering what I’m going to be thankful for. Essentially, it’s an inventory of what happened yesterday that made me happy. The alarm clock song will start playing again. I sing along in my head again, and try to focus on the singing, without distracting myself away from the song. The song ends, and I hit the snooze button again.
Start praying. The first prayers I say are “I love you, God. I need you, God. I trust you, God.” Then I do a couple more prayers, along the lines of relieve me of the bondage of self and may I do thy will always.
Then, I say “Thank you Lord, for xxx” where I come up with three new things I’m grateful for, that I have never been grateful for, before. A friend of mine pointed out that this will result in more than a thousand things a year, that I consciously chose to be grateful.
Another aspect of it, is that it changes one’s time horizon. It’s easy to be grateful for a roof over my head, a good job, and such. But that doesn’t change day to day. What am I grateful for now, that I’ve never been grateful for before? It’s not something from last year – it’s something from last night.
Lastly, I pray for friends and family who are going through things, where God’s influence on them could help them.
Some time during that, my alarm clock will go off again. I might sing along again, or I might turn it off and go take my shower. Hopefully, the hot water in the shower is coming out of the shower head warm by now.