Happiness – How to “get” it and keep it!
1. Express Gratitude:
Develop an “Attitude of Gratitude”! Get in the habit of being thankful for what you have! Appreciate everything you already have in your life, whether it is people, things or experiences. If you are not appreciative for what you already have in your life, nothing will ever be “enough” for you. You will continually chase more and more but not value everything you have going on for you right now. I’m not saying you don’t want to strive for more, richer, better “stuff”, but act as if you already have it in your life and be thankful for it. By giving thanks for things that you want in your life, it programs your mind that these things are already reality, and you’ll be amazed at how it sometimes just seem to “magically” appear within your life.
2. Chose Hope not Fear:
H.O.P.E. – Happy, Optimistic, Positive, Experiences
F.E.A.R. – False Evidence Appearing Real
Optimism: [op-tuh-miz-uhm] noun:
- A disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and expect the most favorable outcome.
- The belief that goodness pervades reality.
Disposition: [dis-puh-zish-uhn] noun:
- Natural mental and emotional outlook
- Predominate or prevailing tendency.
So to be an optimist, one can have a prevailing tendency to see the positive in most things. You have the tendency to see the silver lining of an event and make the most of it. Some people come by this naturally, but it can be learned. Start off small and whenever anything that your first perceive as negative happens, catch yourself and try to list what positive outcomes could happen due to that event occurring. At first it may seem like you are grasping at anything that could be positive, but over time it will become easier to see the light and not the darkness in events that take place.
With hope comes more hope. With optimism comes more optimism. With happiness comes more happiness.
3.Practice Random Acts of Kindness:
Pick up something someone dropped, hold a door open, carry someone’s groceries, put money in their parking meter…it doesn’t have to be much, but just even the smallest act has a positive effect on everyone involved.
Whether you are the recipient of an act of kindness, the giver of an act of kindness, or someone random who happened to witness the act of kindness, you are all affected almost equally in the same positive way. Everyone involved with the kind act receives the same mental lift from Serotonin, the “happy” neurotransmitter. Serotonin is released in the brain, which is a natural mood elevator.
My grandfather always used to say, “you are part of the gang you hang with”. This is so true when it comes to how the people you spend time with effects your mood and ability to be happy. So surround yourself with kind, gentle and positive people, you may find yourself happier because of it!
“You are always living a reflection of whatever you are outputting. And so, if you get into a little pocket where a lot of people are being rude, it’s probably because you are being rude – or because you have been aware of people being rude. Nothing ever happens to you that is not part of your vibration!” – Esther Abraham-Hicks
4. Develop Healthy Coping Strategies:
A coping strategy is how you actually deal with life and its ups and down. Having a healthy strategy to help deal with stresses that occur in life can add happiness to your reality.
Let’s list some negative coping strategies first. They may initially reduce stress but when done for a long time, may do damage.
- Drinking in excess
- Overeating or Under eating
- Using drugs to be stimulated or to relax
- Isolating yourself from family, friends or activities
- Zoning out for hours in front of the TV
- Being overly active – must constantly be doing something
Healthy Coping Strategies
- Avoid Unnecessary Stress – Eliminate things that you know cause a stressful reaction. Could be such things as driving a different route home with less traffic, ordering your groceries online to avoid the supermarket rush, being prepared for everything you need to do in one day to prevent extra “running around” and multiple trips home if you forgot something.
- Adapt to the stressor – If you can’t change the stressor, change yourself. You can adapt to stressful situations and regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude about the situation you are in.
- Adjusting Your Attitude – How you think can have a profound effect on your emotional and physical well-being. Each time you think a negative thought about yourself, your body reacts as if it were in the middle of a tension-filled situation. Your physiology actually changes to mirror your thoughts. Muscle tension increases, blood pressure rises, cortisol production escalates. Negative thoughts = negative body physiology. Positive thoughts = Happy, healthy physiology! Your mind believes what you tell it. If you keep telling it negative things all day, your overall attitude is negative. If you say good things about yourself, you are more likely to feel positive. Henry Ford said “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.”
Healthy Alternative to help Relax
- Go for a walk
- Spend time outdoors in nature
- Call a good friend
- Play with a pet
- Read a great book
- Listen to uplifting music
- Write in a journal
- Get adjusted
5. Write your Goals:
People have more happiness when they have certainty than upheaval and chaos. By having a written plan, you have a road-map to help carry out your purpose or passion in life. Having goals helps to clarify and organize the wants, needs and desires of your life.
How to Write your Goals:
First figure out your Purpose by asking these two questions: “Who do you want to be?” and “What do you want to do?” Once you figure out your purpose, divide your goals into five categories: Personal, Professional, Financial, Community, and Play.
When you have written goals, you have some certainty of where you want to go and what you want to attain, the choices of how you get there become easier.
6.Take Excellent Care of Yourself:
Your body is the only place you have to live in. Take care of your body and your body will take care of you. You need to maintain a balance of nutrition, exercise and rest. In other words, you need to Move, Eat and Rest Well.
One way that proper nutrition, exercise and rest help to maintain ones happiness is through blood sugar levels. With the epidemic of Type II diabetes in the world today, one must learn to control their blood sugar levels. If this is not properly balanced, your mood can become tired, cranky and easily overwhelmed with mundane things in life. If you don’t feel good physically, your focus, feelings and fatigue will affect how you feel.
Exercise is a proven stress reliever and releases endorphins, which do elevate your mood and make you feel less pain. I do believe Reese Witherspoon’s character in one of my favorite movies said it right: “Exercise gives you endorphins–endorphins make people happy and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands… they just don’t.” Elle from Legally Blonde
Also stay well hydrated. Chronic dehydration can alter many things in your life, so increase your water intake to at least eight glasses of good, clean water a day.
7. Present Time Consciousness (PTC):
Learn and move on from your past, plan yet don’t stress about your future. Worrying about tomorrow, takes away today’s strength. Concentrate on the now of life. Too often we get caught up in the “tomorrows” or the “yesterdays” baggage. Learn to truly focus on what you are doing at this very place and time, and have gratitude for it. Love this very moment for this moment is your life.
“The most powerful time in your life is NOW!” – Dali Lama
Love, light and laughter,