07/11/2012 07:41 am ET | Updated Sep 10, 2012

Top 5 Happy Thoughts

Sometimes finding a moment to relax during a busy week is nearly impossible. Looming work deadlines, pressure from supervisors and peers, in addition to hefty responsibilities at home can amount to a great deal of anxiety and stress.

I personally prefer to release tension daily at the gym: on the treadmill, on the elliptical or in a group cardio class. Of course, when life gets busy, or the day escapes me, sometimes exercise doesn't fit into my schedule.

Instead of sweating out stress, I make a quick mental list of top five (to 10) thoughts -- simple occurrences or hopes -- that put a smile on my face.

Below is an example list of items:

  1. Sleeping in -- but still waking up at an early hour -- and realizing it's a weekend.
  2. Summer Fridays (or summer holidays).
  3. Hearing a long-forgotten song that brings me back to a good time/place in life.
  4. Seasonal drinks (can be winter, summer, spring or fall treats).
  5. Thinking about a personal or professional accomplishment I once deemed impossible.
  6. Reliving an inside joke with a close friend.
  7. Thinking of a past, future or dream-relaxing destination vacation.
  8. Visiting playful prancing miniature puppies.
  9. The idea of walking through pouring rain without a meeting attend, a person to impress or a train to catch.
  10. Having a productive go-with-the-flow day without an agenda.

Taking a minute to think about small, everyday happenings such as these bring me peace and a happiness during chaos.

What are your top five (to 10) happy thoughts?

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