Misery is easy, happiness you gotta work at
1. Don’t gossip or get involved in other peoples drama. Make a conscious decision (and effort) to stop talking about others, being involved in conversations about others and getting involved in unnecessary drama. Life’s so much easier and happier that way. Have you ever just innocently been present during a certain conversation and then, before you know it, you’ve been dragged into the drama?! Walk away, change the topic of conversation or be honest and say ‘sorry, I don’t want to get involved.’ It’s a much better view from the sidelines!
2. Let go of your own drama / don’t be a negative nancy. Sure, we all need to debrief with our friends every now and then but overindulging in our own dramas and problems can sometimes make them bigger than what they are. It can also make us a bit of a drag to hang out with. Whinging and going on and on about the same old stuff just drags people down into our own dark hole. Ever walked away from someone who did nothing but talk about their problems for an hour and think ‘thank god!’. Don’t be a negative nancy. Aim to be someone who can shelve their problems for a while or rise above them to still be there for others – even though you have stuff goin on. Cos really, we all have stuff goin on…
3. Don’t believe everything you think. Much of our suffering stems from our untamed minds that run all over the place and make up stories. Don’t believe everything your mind throws at you. Two questions we should always ask – “Am I sure? Could I be wrong?” Most of the time the answer is a big yes to the second one. Our thoughts are powerful things – little bundles of energy that can trigger negative emotions and the stress response in the body. We can stress and have emotional reactions from wrong conclusions and assumptions, imaginary events, things that we fear but won’t ever happen, old conversations and scenarios that we keep re-running in our mind. Objectively assess the stories your mind is telling you and choose what you want to give your energy and attention to. Give most of your attention to the good stuff and keep your common sense!
4. Use affirmations/positive mind chatter. Yes, the fake it til you make it idea DOES actually work. You’ve no doubt made up a conclusion or story in your head (refer no. 3 above) at some time and realised later on you were totally off track. Your mind fabricated the entire thing – made up a great elaborate story. The more we tell ourselves something the more we believe it. When using affirmations choose the words and language that resonates with you and invokes a positive feeling. It’s got to be believable for YOU. Use affirmations to flick the switch from a negative mind to a positive mind. Affirmations can be very helpful and powerful. Instead of letting your mind run wild, in any direction it chooses, direct it. Start calling the shots and tell it what you want it to think and get involved in.
Your worst humiliation is only someone else’s momentary entertainment
5. Quit the re-runs. Don’t re-run your daily dramas. The day is over – what happened, happened. There are lots of circumstances that we cannot change or control. Re-running conversations and scenarios (thinking about what we should have said, should have done, could have done) just drives us crazy! It takes away any chance for peace and happiness in this moment, right now.
6. Be grateful. “You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?” Being grateful for what we DO have helps us to move our mind away from ‘lack’ and towards ‘have’ and happiness. To touch a moment of desirelessness, and feel content with what we have and where we are, is life changing. Once we touch that space we realise contentment truly comes from within our own mind. We can always sit in that space of gratitude and contentment whenever we choose. Start a gratitude journal and fall asleep feeling grateful for what you have. You’ll sleep better and wake up happier!
7. Hang out with positive people. Well, try to. There are always going to be negative nancy’s around (there’s usually at least one at work isn’t there?!) but, when you have the choice, spend time with people who are inspiring, light hearted and have a positive spin on life. Drama is not what you need – a light hearted view on life IS. If circumstances mean you have negative personalities around you, remember number one!
8. Get moving. Moving the body is one of the best ways to de-stress and feel good about yourself. Body, mind and emotions are all connected and exercise and happiness are clearly linked. How do you feel after doing exercise as opposed to sitting on the couch watching tv and stuffing yourself with maccas? Exercise makes you feel great (loads of feel-good endorphins get released), sitting around and eating maccas makes you feel gross, heavy and lethargic. Strengthen that will power and push yourself out that door. Better still, get someone close to you to push you out and hold you accountable. Having an exercise buddy keeps us motivated and on track if our will power is not strong enough. Fresh air on your face and a bit of sweat can make you feel alive.
9. Rejoice in the good fortune of others. Be happy for those who attract good things and good fortune. The only person who can make you feel inferior is you so stop comparing your life to someone else’s. If a feeling of inadequacy arises flick the switch and rejoice in what others have and are doing. We are all unique. We all live unique lives with unique experiences. Feel inspired by others and what they are doing instead of feeling like your life is a failure in some way.
10. Remember to look up. Go outside and look at the moon and the stars! You’ll feel bigger than your problems and touch the magic and mystery of this thing called life… this is my most favourite happiness habit.
What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be
11. Spend some time alone. Make alone time a necessity. It is only then, without all the noise, that we can truly connect with our own heart, our creativity, our hopes and dreams… Inspiration comes and intuition flows when we are alone. Solutions to our problems come, decisions become easier and we have lightbulb moments. We suddenly know what’s right.
12. Do something for someone else. Being there for others is actually one of the quickest ways to happiness. Stepping outside of our own lives and drama for a while is liberating. Helping to decrease the burden and suffering of someone else, without expecting anything in return, actually takes away our own troubles. Giving to others triggers a pure joy and happiness within our hearts that instantly lightens the load of life.
13. Keep things in perspective. Keeping things in perspective helps. If we have somewhere to live, food to eat, water to drink and clothes on our back we’re luckier than millions of others in the world. Having a bad day (and we all have them) does not mean you have a bad life.