What’s the quickest way to improve your health and well-being? Create “happy practices.”

A happy practice is an activity done just for the sheer fun of it. It has no practical value at all, really. In the mighty scheme of life, it probably won’t lead to you becoming a millionaire, creating a greater impact on the world, or changing someone’s life. Wait a minute. Do you mean that there is no value in being happy and having fun?

You be the judge. Here are nine of my favorite happy practices.

Marvelous Greetings

When a person asks me how I am doing, I reply, “Marvelous.” I drop my voice and lengthen the letter a sound, as in “maaaaaaaarvelous,” like comedian Billy Crystal as one of his characters, who says, “Darling, you look marvelous.” When I feel down, just saying the word marvelous lifts my spirit and the spirits of those around me.

Make Up Songs on the Spot

I make up songs on the spot for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations, or whenever I feel the urge. I grab my guitar, tune into a rhythm emerging in my body, find a chord progression, then blurt. If I don’t know the people we are celebrating, I ask others to tell me their unique, genius qualities and what they appreciate about them. Since I never know what I’m going to sing next, every moment is fresh, new. Often, people attending play instruments and add lyrics.

Last year, I made up songs for relatives and friends on their birthdays. I did this for one of my nieces, Leiah, age five. She is a foster child who I didn’t know well. I asked my brother and sister-in-law to describe her genius qualities. I called back and left a song on their answering machine, weaving in what others appreciated about her. When Leiah heard her song on the machine, she stood up on a chair in front of everyone in attendance, beaming ear-to-ear, proud as she could be.

Jiggle

I jiggle during board meetings, long drives, and serious discussions. My favorite jiggling, though, is done lying on my back in one of two positions: completely flat or with my knees lifted. In both positions, I press my feet down like on a gas pedal until my whole body jiggles up and down.

Wiggle

In sitting positions, I rock, wiggle side to side, circle, and spiral. Like most adults, I suffer from repetitive, linear movements, straight forward and backward. I sit in front of a computer keyboard for long periods of time. The result is a stiff neck and sore back. A friend was a secretary to the president of one of the nation’s largest universities. She sat for long hours at her desk. One day, she brought a large gymnastic ball to work. As she typed, answered the phone, and performed her duties, she bounced softly on the ball and rotated her pelvis gently in round movements. When I do this on my gymnastic ball for long periods of sitting in classes, I enjoy as much energy flow, concentration, and focus at the end of the day as I did at the beginning.

Giggle

According to Webster’s, giggling is defined as “laughing with repeated short catches of the breath.” When was the last time you giggled? I surround myself with genius gigglers who enjoy catching me off guard when I take myself too seriously.

Joint Massage

Want to increase energy flowing through your body? Give and receive a joint massage. Focus on every joint in your body, starting with the extremities, like fingers and toes. Rotate the bones on both sides of the joints in circles and different directions, varying speed. Do this at a stop light with your finger and wrist joints or on the sofa watching TV with your toes and ankles. Want to give a friend a special treat? Invite him or her to lie down with eyes closed. You (and a few friends, too, if you wish) play with each joint in the person’s body and gently massage and move the joints. This practice relaxes and increases the flow of synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints.

Create Money Games

Being happy around my finances is as important to me as a healthy body, mind, and spirit. Did you know that money is the most frequently discussed problem area in relationships? More fights happen because of money issues than anything else, including sex. How’s your relationship with money? Serious? Fun?

One way to loosen the serious grip I have around money is by creating fun money games like this one. Eight years ago, I started noticing coins on the ground. I got this brilliant idea to start collecting them. For a container, I used a special mug. When I found a penny, nickel, or dime on the ground, I picked it up and put it in the mug. Over time, the mug gradually filled up. One day, an amazing thing happened. The mug completely filled and began overflowing. Almost to the exact day when the first penny overflowed, I noticed in my accounting system that I had moved from sixty thousand dollars in debt to one cent in assets.

I shared this game with a friend, who decided to play. A Feng Shui master had recently consulted with her to align the energy flow of her house. According to the Chinese Bagua system, the wealth section of her home was in the bathroom. So that’s where she placed a bowl for the coins she found, on the shelf in the bathroom. After a few weeks, she noticed that the amount of money in the bowl had grown substantially. Her guests had been using the bathroom and making their own contributions.

Belly Laughs

Have you ever laughed so hard that you got stitches in your side? A colleague told me he got rock hard abdominal muscles by belly laughing. I recommended he patent it and make an exercise DVD. Belly laughing helps digestion and deepens breathing, too. Just last night, a friend noticed that her voice had deepened after laughing for only a few minutes. I laughed recently at a winter solstice celebration when it was announced that the type of Christmas tree in the middle of the room was called a Fat Albert. “Hey, hey, hey.”

Funny Voices

As a child, I used to imitate comedians such as Steve Martin and George Carlin. To this day, I can easily recall routines and imitate funny voices. I like to discover new characters and personas. This summer, when I was coauthoring Power of Living Genius, about two thirds of the way through the book, we took a break. In the kitchen, preparing something to eat, my coauthor spoke with a funny Cheech and Chong voice. I responded with my Indian guru accent. We laughed so hard, we cried.

Conclusion

What are your happy practices?

Ask others about their happy practices, too. Want to increase the energy level in any group? Ask about people’s happy practices.
Want to increase your vitality on a regular basis? Create a new happy practice every month!

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Health. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Health”, visit http://selfgrowth.com/healthbook3.html

Author's Bio: 

Philip Johncock (http://johncock.com) collaborates with people interested in generating health, wealth, and success. His popular online and teleconference courses include Genius Course Online (http://GeniusCourse.net), Genius Calls (http://GeniusCalls.org), Grant Writing Basics and Locating Funders (http://4Grants.net), and Tantra at Home (http://TantraAtHome.com). He has authored twelve books that inspire greatness and cover such vital topics as sex, money, integrity, and life. Some of these include The Sexual Ecstasy Workbook, Dream-Making to Billions, Power of Integrity, and Book of Life (http://FunUnlimitedInc.com). He is a PhD candidate in ethical and creative leadership with two master’s and two bachelor’s degrees. Want to receive a free newsletter of happy practices and how people are even making money doing their happy practices? Go to http://HappyPractices.com.