21 “Non-Spiritual” Things that make us Happy.

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 10
Shares 10
Hearts 1.0
Comments 2.0
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 0.0
38 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.

21 Simple “Non-Spiritual” Things that make for Daily Happiness.

It’s the Little Things.

What’s something “non-spiritual” or “non-religious” you do that others can do, too, to be happy day-to-day? Say in comments, below. Be specific-ish!

1. Touch water. Whether in the form of a hot bath, a cool drink of water (stay hydrated!), swimming or the ocean, water heals.

2. Sweat once a day. Exercise—find something you enjoy doing, and do it. I like bicycling, climbing, and yoga.

3. Eat real food. If it has more than three ingredients, generally, or if you’ve seen an ad for it, generally—skip it.

4. Support, subscribe, read a good magazine (print or online) that’s better than you are—with a hot drink of coffee or tea and a little sunshine and quiet.

5. Keep our clothes off the floor. While a messy house, full of love, can be delightful, our environments reinforce our mental states, just as our physical posture can enlighten or depress us. So let’s practice keeping things relatively clean not out of a sense of uptightness, but out of a sense of matter-of-fact delight in daily beauty, respect and simplicity.

6. Community. Even if we don’t meditate, seeing community—bicycling around, at the dog park, at the grocery, at the cafe—will uplift and open our troubled hearts.

7. Don’t be afraid to be a fool. Smile at a stranger. Smile, period. It gets easier with practice (I say this as someone who doesn’t suffer new agey fools, gladly). Laughter, too, is one thing that’s no less delightful even if you’re faking it until you really mean it.

8. Work in an office, or live with, a dog. Dogs are shown to dramatically up folks’ happiness, and productivity, both. And they’ll force you to get outside. Caveat: only adopt if we’re ready, more or less. Never buy.

9. Breathe in and out, slowly, once a day. Feel one’s breath like the rising, falling waves. Breathe deeply, clearing out old air. Breathe up into one’s collar bones.

@waylonlewis on Instagram

10. Never eat while standing up, or driving. We’ll overeat, generally, and we won’t enjoy the food so much.

11. Never cell phone while talking, or walking. Do one thing at a time, and know that it’s not a waste—being present is always more efficient, and leads to space for good ideas and fresh approaches.

12. Hike. Or, just walk. Get out in nature. Or, a park. Nature opens us up, and calms our kleshas.

13. Stop obsessing about one’s own happiness. Help others. In small or ongoing ways.

14. Put on a favorite song and sing it out, like we mean it.

@waylonlewis: Instagram. elephant tote bag, side one. Organic, Made in USA.

15. Pick up trash in the street. Take a bottle out of the trash, and put it in recycling. Save unused napkins from a restaurant for use at home. Do little things for society that may go “unrewarded.”

16. Watch a movie and eat a little too much ice cream/pop corn/vegan ice cream/edamame/nuts. Collapsing into one’s core once in a while is necessary to one’s creative energies.

17. Put a few photos of loved ones around.

18. Be honest. This includes doing work for money that we can believe in, or finding a way to feel good about it.

19. Sleep more. Even a little more. I have no idea how, but it’s a good idea.

20. Write. Whether a journal or a blog, expressing oneself is cathartic and sensical-making.

21. Meditate. There’s nothing “spiritual” about meditation. It’s simply sitting still, with good, relaxed posture, and paying attention to one’s outbreath. When we notice a thought, that’s fine, we acknowledge it with a “label” by saying, silently, to ourselves, “thinking,” and returning to the outbreath. Before we know it: present moment, from whence all great and good things manifest.



Bonus! If you’re still frowning, here’s one more trick:

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 10
Shares 10
Hearts 1.0
Comments 2.0
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 0.0
38 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.

is a new feature on Elephant Journal—enabling you to instantly share your mindful ideas, photos, art, YouTube videos/Instagram links & writings with our 5 million readers. Try it Now.

Write Now

Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view.


69 Responses to “21 “Non-Spiritual” Things that make us Happy.”

  1. MeMe says:

    Sleep more and keep stuff off the floor? I can tell you one thing about the author. They don't live in a home with pre-schoolers.

  2. Elisheva says:

    I am excited about my work. Every day I work–I am working on my Ph.D.–I am excited about some piece of research I find, or how a paragraph takes shape as I "sweat" the grammar and diction. I like to write, even though it is a painstaking process, and something exciting always happens. I am more joyful because I find little bits of joy and excitement in my work.

  3. WyldeWitch says:

    I don't like number 6, mixing with people is miserable.

  4. Nick says:

    I like complimenting random women. Gives me a sense of pride! Also, who doesn’t like a simple compliment?!

  5. Peggy says:

    Creativity- beside singing and writing, dance to a favorite song and do art- doodle, sketch, paint even if you believe you have no “talent”. Find non verbal ways to express yourself.

  6. Irene says:

    I do almost the 21things, seriously I do! and for me is wellness flowing.

    And all of them are far from complicated. Really easy to accomplish with a little engagement.

  7. Karyn says:

    Dance! Turn up the music to your favorite song and get your body moving even if you’re not good at it. No one is judging.
    Inspire others. Take time to encourage someone to live out their dream, accomplish a goal and to be good to self.

  8. nanab1964 says:

    Teach the next generation about their ancestors. If you don't know your own family history then teach yourself as well.

  9. Freddy says:

    Music: any music, any type. Set a time to relax and really listen.
    Better yet make some music yourself. Piano, guitar, ukulele, tamborine. You’d be surprise how just keeping a beat with some sticks helps your attitude and outlook!

  10. Jill says:

    I believe that people who compliment others and feel it contributes to society and makes them feel good are not realizing that their opinion does not validate another. Your opinion is not important that it needs to be expressed even if its a 'good opinion' nor does it require the receiver of your vocalized opinion to value it.. It's insulting, at times, to be 'complimented' unless it's about how damn smart I am…how I look physically is not of your concern nor your opinion of my business.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.