1. Use the phrase "I'll wait for you," or "We have time." Such offerings only cost a few minutes, but have the potential to bring instant peace to any situation.
2. Accept one invitation that will make someone else happier:
Yes, you can throw a penny in the fountain.
Yes, we can read one more book.
Yes, you can push the button.
Then notice the joy that YES brings. That joy is yours for the taking.
3. Decline one request that will make you happier:
No, that doesn't work for me right now.
I wish I could, but I can't.
It's no for today, but please ask me another time.
Feel the relief that NO brings. Commend yourself for guarding your time and energy.
4. When a loved one is struggling or you are in conflict with each another, ask: "How can I help?" This question acknowledges his or her struggle while keeping defensiveness, judgment, and accusation out of the equation. It puts you on the same team.
5. Be a Silver-Lining Spotter. In the midst of a challenging moment, find the bright side:
Well, at least we didn't miss the whole thing.
Well, it could be raining, too.
Well, at least we had a few minutes to talk while we waited for the doctor.
Added bonus: This teaches your loved ones to be Silver-Lining Spotters, too.
6. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the tasks ahead of you, remind yourself that you do not have to do them all at once -- just one. Just start with one.
7. When critical thoughts become critical words that hurt loved ones or yourself, silence them with the phrase: "Only love today." Constant criticism creates a toxic environment where no one wants to be. Love creates a home that people want to come back to -- even when they are grown.
8. Remind yourself of this significant (but often unappreciated) fact: Someone is counting on me to be here, and I am. I am here. If that is all you do today, that is worthy of celebration.
This post originally appeared on The Hands Free Revolution Facebook page. Rachel Macy Stafford is the New York Times bestselling author of HANDS FREE MAMA, and has a second book coming out next month called HANDS FREE LIFE. It is a book about living life, not managing, stressing, screaming, or barely getting through life. Through truthful story-telling and life-changing Habit Builders, Rachel shows us how to live better and love more despite the daily distractions and pressures pulling us away.