Sunday, 23 May 2010

...Shares 15 Easy Tips For Happiness!

Happiness is our birthright. When we see a small baby we instinctively squeal with delight at his or her first smile. Our natural human instinct is to lean is towards happiness, but as time passes and life's experiences unfold, we can sometimes lose our mojo. When that happens it can be hard to retain our sense of perspective and we can fall into the habit of negative thinking. Maybe money's tight, or your relationship has ended, or you had a row with your best friend. 

No matter what has happened to wipe that smile off your face, you must try to do whatever you can to put it back, and I don't mean eating another bar of chocolate or having another plate of macaroni cheese! 

Here's 15 things you can do today that will bring a smile to your face, if not get you laughing out loud!

1. Avoid negative people. I don't really need to expand on this one too much do I? You know who they are, and you know how they make you feel, and you know you need to avoid them.  If you can't avoid them altogether then at least keep them at arms length, and minimise your contact with them.

2. Stand in front of a mirror, look into your eyes and smile. Tell yourself how wonderful you are and that you deserve to be happy. Do this a few times a day, even if it feels silly. This works wonders to lift your spirits!

3. Avoid wearing black clothes, and inject some colour into your wardrobe. We tend to wear black when we want to make ourselves invisible and blend in with the walls (unless you're a vampire or Count Dracula?) No but really, wearing brighter colours will cheer you up. Get some pinks to feel more feminine, blue to feel calm and orange to get that spark of creativity flowing! 

4. Do some exercise and get some air into those lungs! We all know that regular activity benefits us enormously, both mentally and physically, even if it's just for 20 minutes a day. So take a brisk walk, run up and down your stairs a few times, do star jumps during the commercial breaks when you're watching TV. This will ensure you feel more energised and help you stay trim and fit, which will in turn have a knock-on positive effect on your mood.

5. Put on music that makes you happy, or with lyrics that cheer you up. Try Bach's Brandenburg Concerto's or Mozart's Ein Kleine Nachtmusik. If you prefer mainstream music then try Jimmy Cliff "I Can See Clearly Now" or Michael Jackson "The Way You Make Me Feel", "My Love" by Justin Timberlake or even Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" to name but a few. Anything that's definitely going to put a smile on your face.

6. Watch comedy shows, funny movies or go to a comedy night. Happiness is the aim here and what could be better than laughing?

7. Decide to be happy. Habits are formed very easily and if we simply decide to be happy then it will become a habit. Aristotle said "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit."  

8. Say yes to your dreams. All too often we want a better lifestyle, or a more fulfilling relationship, or a slimmer bodybut we look at what we have now, which may be a far cry from the ideal life of our dreams, and in our frustration we kill the dream off before it's even started to develop. Instead, let the seed of the dream take root, and you will find that in a very short time, things will start happening that will help turn that dream a reality. You might meet someone wonderful, or you might get a great new job offer, and this will happen simply because you said yes to your dreams and allowed them to unfold.

9. Fake it till you make it! This is one of my personal favourites. It doesn't mean if I act like a billionaire then I'm necessarily going to become one, but it does mean that my confidence is boosted, I'll stand taller and feel elevated. All of these are going to make me feel happier, and I'll give off a happier vibe, and as a result I'll attract positive experiences and positive people. Cultivate an internal sense that's always pointed towards happiness.

10. Smile! :) This is surprisingly simple, but it works a treat. Smiling at others is always lovely, and others love to see a smiling person, so go on - try it now!

11. Bloom where you're planted. 3 years ago, I had to move 200 miles away from my friends, my parents and my partner, and I hated it. My entire support network was gone overnight. I did everything I could to avoid putting roots down in my new home. I kept telling myself it was a temporary move, and that I'd be back before I knew it. And as might be expected, I got more and more miserable. So I decided to heed my own advice, and try to make the best of it. I joined a gym, I started to socialise more, made lots of new friends and now I know that wherever I find myself geographically, I can be happy mentally. And I am!

12. See the silver lining, because every cloud has one. If a relationship has ended, consider the reasons it's ended and be glad because now you can attract the person who is more suited to you - someone who wants to be with you, rather than the person who was happier with his friends. Someone who can't wait to spend the rest of his life with you, rather than the person who hesitates when marriage is mentioned. When you're sick and your body isn't as healthy as it was, use the time convalescing to review your lifestyle, your diet, and fitness routine. This will give you a renewed focus and allow your body to heal from a mentally positive perspective.

13. Believe and have faith in a Higher Power, whether that's God, Allah, the Jedi Master or The Universal Great Lord, and trust that your happiness matters to that Higher Power. This will enhance your sense of value, as well as renewing your confidence and allowing you to relax into a happier frame of mind. Someone else has got your back, and you're always safe.

14. Contribute to the community and help others in an area that means something to you. Run the marathon for charity or volunteer at a local charity shop. The beneficial attributes here are self explanatory.  

15. Remember tomorrow is another day! You get another chance to do it all over again, and the best part is you can improve on what you did today, tweak a few things here and there, and relax - it's never going to be perfect. But you've done your best, and that's all you ever need to do.

This article was originally entitled "10 Things to Make You Happy Today" but the more I wrote, the more things I found that make me happy, and the same will happen for you too. Look for reasons to be happy and you'll find them. See, there's number 16!

Disclaimer: Please seek advice from a healthcare professional if you are experiencing extreme bouts of unhappiness or depression. The writer cannot take responsibility for any reliance that is placed on the contents of this article, without the reader doing their own research to accompany it.

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